Ultralights Hall of Fame

Nomination Form



2018 Inductee

Eugene Smith

2018 Halls of Fame InducteesDavid Eugene “Gene” Smith was born in 1933 near Rolla, Missouri, and died in December of 2016. Gene earned a degree in mechanical engineering and worked for International Harvester and started a family. After several years he returned to Rolla with his wife and four kids, raising crops and cattle on a farm. At that point, he started flight training and eventually started his own crop dusting operation. After about 20 years, Gene was temporarily grounded with a medical issue, so he returned to farming but continued tinkering with aircraft.

Gene had a gift and passion for mechanical design and innovation that led him to start Valley Engineering in 1998, a business he co-owned with his son Larry. Gene designed the popular swing-wing Back Yard Flyer ultralight, which he demonstrated tirelessly at AirVenture Oshkosh every summer. Gene went on to design more than 20 other aircraft and never stopped tinkering. In 2001, he acquired Culver Props, and his two businesses have long supplied the ultralight and light-sport aircraft community with complete aircraft, as well as components like reduction drive systems, engines, and propellers.

Previous Inductees


2017 Mary Jones    
2016 Tracy Knauss    
2015 Leonard Milholland

2003

Michael Jacober

2014 Lowell Farrand

2002

John Chotia

2013

Frank Beagle

2003

Tom Peghiny

2012

Taras Kiceniuk Jr.

2001

W. Michael Sacrey

2011

Jack McCornack

2000

Boris Popov

2010

John Ballantyne

1999

Wayne Ison

2009

Roy Pinner

 

Homer Kolb

2008

Mike Loehle

 

John Moody

2007

Mike Markowski

 

Chuck Slusarczyk

2006

Volmer Jensen


 

 

Bob Lovejoy

 

 

2005

Larry Mauro

 


2004

Klaus Hill

 

 

 

Bert Howland

 

 

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