Tony Jannus Award

The Tony Jannus Award recognizes outstanding individual achievement in scheduled commercial aviation by airline executives, inventors and manufacturers, and government leaders. The award is conferred annually by the Tony Jannus Distinguished Aviation Society and was first bestowed in 1964 in Tampa, Florida, U.S. Its namesake, aviation pioneer Tony Jannus (1889–October 12, 1916), piloted the inaugural flight of the St. Petersburg Tampa Airboat Line on January 1, 1914, the first scheduled commercial airline flight in the world using heavier-than-air aircraft. In addition to preserving the legacy of Tony Jannus, the non-profit Society also offers financial assistance to college students pursuing studies in aviation and conducts an annual essay contest for high school students to encourage careers in aviation.

Past recipients of the award include such famed luminaries as Eddie Rickenbacker, Donald Douglas, Jimmy Doolittle, C. R. Smith (the founder of American Airlines), William A. Patterson (president of United Airlines 1934–1966), and Chuck Yeager. Those so honored are enshrined at the St. Petersburg Museum of History's First Airline Pavilion. The Museum, located 100 yards (91 m) from the site of the inaugural flight's takeoff on January 1, 1914, also has an operational replica of the Benoist XIV airplane flown by Jannus that day. On January 29, 2011, the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics dedicated an historic site plaque on the museum's grounds, commemorating the site of the world’s first regularly scheduled airline.

Read more about Tony Jannus Award:  History, Recipients of The Tony Jannus Award, Tony Jannus Distinguished Aviation Society

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