Our Founders
Promoting and Supporting General Aviation and the Public's Understanding of it

Alfred L. and Constance C. Wolf

To refer to an individual as a pioneer is a lofty statement reserved for the very few. Yet how appropriate such a title is for the late Alfred L. "Abby" Wolf.

A lawyer who was first inspired by the heroics of Charles Lindbergh, Abby became interested in aviation and learned to fly, obtaining his license in 1929. Recognizing that as the new field of aviation grew there would be a need for changes in aviation laws and regulations, he began to specialize in this area of the law at his firm in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. His avocation truly became his vocation as he helped shape the path of aviation law as we know it today. 

The term pioneer is also often synonymous with freedom, and to Abby Wolf freedom was partly defined in terms of what we now call General Aviation: personal transportation in personal aircraft. In the true American tradition of pioneering and preservation of freedom, Mr. Wolf, along with four contemporaries, founded the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association in 1939 to assure representation for this segment of the flying community.  This established a proper place for General Aviation to co-exist with the airlines and the military as America's airspace became more crowded and complex.

Mr. Wolf had a distinguished career in the United States Air Force, retiring with the rank of Brigadier General in1964. His most notable accomplishment was overseeing the ferrying of more than 6,000 new combat aircraft into the Pacific Theater during World War II. During this exemplary period of service he accumulated several thousand flight hours and numerous ratings in aircraft ranging through helicopters, transports, and fighters. He soloed his first jet-powered aircraft at the age of 51, an act never before accomplished by any reserve officer.

Great lives often reflect great partnerships, and in the case of Abby Wolf his wife of 54 years, Constance Cann "Connie" Wolf, provided the ultimate complement to this adventurous and accomplished individual. Connie also caught the bug and learned to fly (her husband taught her during their honeymoon).  At one point much later in her life she was one of only five women in the entire world to possess a valid airman's certificate longer than fifty years.

Connie Wolf's true aviation passion was flight in balloons - and gas filled balloons in particular. She and Abby took their first balloon ride together in 1951 over Zurich, Switzerland. The thrill of that ride inspired a life-long passion for Connie, as an unusually subdued Abby found himself "huddling in the bottom of this miserable laundry basket." While Connie CON-BAL2.gif (857 bytes)went on to perform various and well-publicized balloon flights, Abby returned to pilot all manner of powered aircraft, never setting foot in a balloon again.

Living at their farm homestead - aptly named "Wingover" in respect for their nearby home base, Wings Field in Ambler, Pennsylvania - the Wolfs directed their aviation, business, travel, and charitable activities. Connie had been a theatrical agent in New York prior to her marriage, an occupation that gave her access to many of the stars of the era. Many such luminaries of stage and screen attended the Wolf's famous "fly-in" parties at Wings Field. They pioneered this new social event, combining enthusiasm for aviation with friendly gatherings and festive occasions.  This tradition of camaraderie continues today at small airports across the country.

Abby and Connie Wolf's life-long love of aviation, adventure, and public service was the guiding inspiration for the establishment of the Wolf Aviation Fund. The fund is administered to provide support for those who endeavor to perpetuate general aviation in such a manner as to "transcend the ordinary in order to be true to the spirit of the creators."  Their marvelous pioneering spirit, love of aviation, and concern for the flying rights of the individual  will be preserved and reflected in the people and works supported by the Wolf Aviation Fund.  

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Copyright 1998 through 2018    Alfred L. and Constance C. Wolf Aviation Fund   
Last modified: April 17, 2019