“Mr. Aviation” is a big title but Dwane Wallace, who steered Cessna Aircraft (Booth No. C8843) through 40 years of boom and bust and into the age of the modern business jet, deserves the moniker even more after being enshrined into the National Aviation Hall of Fame (based in Dayton, Ohio) on October 4.
A founder and first chairman of the General Aviation Manufacturers Association, Wallace was instrumental in the development of business aviation. “Wallace’s aggressive expansion of the company’s product line, including the introduction of the Cessna Citation, secures his legacy,” said Scott Ernest, president and CEO of Cessna. “Mr. Wallace was the personal embodiment of the bold spirit that led Cessna.”
Wallace was the nephew of Clyde Cessna. During the Great Depression, he used money won by air racing to meet the company’s payroll. After World War II, Wallace directed Cessna’s development of an extensive line of corporate and general aviation products that grew the company into an aviation household name. He retired from the company in 1975 and passed away in 1989.