News Release 0005A
Promoting and Supporting General Aviation and the Public's Understanding of it



Contact for Media Inquiries Only:  

Annual Wolf Aviation Fund Grant Program Begins, Seeking New Proposals Benefiting General Aviation

Many Diverse Projects Received Awards in 1999 and Prior Programs

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, May 22, 2000

All across the United States volunteers are building general aviation support organizations, innovators are dreaming up plans for better equipment and aircraft, teachers are finding new ways to use aviation to encourage learning among students, and communicators are telling the world how small planes and community airports benefit our communities.

For many of them the support offered by the Wolf Aviation Fund can make a big difference - and that's exactly  how its founders hoped it can be of help.  In addition to its own programs promoting and supporting general aviation, the Fund seeks talented people with worthwhile projects in order to provide them some critically needed resources where they are needed the most.

Perhaps you know of such people or organizations.  If so, today you can help make their day by telling them of the assistance and information available through the Fund and its web site. For example, here are a few stories about people the Fund helped in 1999:

Steven A. Bachmeyer, the 1998 A. Scott Crossfield Aerospace Education Teacher of the Year, received a grant to complete incorporation of his innovative Aerospace Education Alliance organization and translate its WINGS after-school program guidebook into Spanish.   His work can be viewed on the web at   Likewise, Mary Ann Turney of Arizona State University won a seed grant to help in forming a new statewide aviation education council in Arizona.

John Lowry of Montana developed a simplified methodology for evaluating aircraft flight performance. With Wolf Fund assistance he will hold a workshop to illustrate to major aviation organizations how the method can help them determine the characteristics of aircraft they fly or build.

William J. and Lance P. Alexander of the Alexsys Corporation have designed and patented a new cockpit instrument to display the safe operating envelope parameters and current situation for an aircraft while in flight. Their Wolf grant will take the project into its next stages, with the expectation the instrument will improve general aviation safety.

Also in the area of technical innovation is the work of Professor Karl Bergey and his team of students at the Aerospace Engineering Department at the University of Oklahoma.  Their grant contributes to their ambitious effort designing and building a technology demonstration General Aviation aircraft called the COUGAR.  Their project will develop and fly a GA aircraft incorporating advancements and features that can be applied to new GA designs and retrofitted to the existing GA fleet.

A larger number of younger students are learning aeronautical and related scientific principles by constructing a Rotorway helicopter in New York state.  As many as 2,100 middle school students will participate in Project SMART (for Science, Math, And Rotorcraft Technology) under the guidance of the highly-celebrated Technology Chairman Alan G. Horowitz of F.V. Festa Middle School in West Nyack, N.Y.

Family spokesperson Mr. A. E. "Ted" Wolf observed that "My Uncle Abby and Aunt Connie Wolf felt that the best way to keep both feet on the ground was to get up in the air - he as a fixed-wing pilot and she as a world record balloonist.  They wanted to pass on their love for and faith in flying to those who follow them and to the public at large.  The Wolf Aviation Fund is their legacy."

Continuing, Mr. Wolf asked: "Why Fly?  That is a question Abby and Connie Wolf spent their lives answering.  Now that they are gone they would like others to involve themselves in the same question. And not only why, but how, where, when, who, and what!  And they hoped that by helping others to deal with these questions the delight and purpose of flying will be more clearly revealed and better understood."

Additional information about the 1999 projects will be posted periodically on the Wolf Aviation Fund web site, including links to the recipients' own web sites where appropriate.  The site is also collecting reports from past program participants so others can learn from them. 

For instance, prior grant winner Dr. Sherry Rossiter developed a guidebook and web site describing the importance of critical incident debriefing for general aviation pilots.   The information is now available at .  Wanda Whitsitt of LifeLine Pilots in Illinois reported that their small microgrant enabled them to develop media contacts that led to a number of stories being published about their volunteers' work transporting patients.   The outcome included many new volunteers and supporters, additional  contributions, and continuing good stories in both print and electronic media.

The Fund's trustees are also very excited about the results of a grant given to Sedgewick Hines of Chicago to improve public access to the information in his excellent book "Aviation Scholarships."  With his grant Mr. Hines has expanded the information and advice on flight training grants and scholarships for those interested in aviation careers, and made it available at an excellent new web site, .

In Florida the Pensacola Area Flight Watch expanded its public outreach, including a website at  And the historical research group Aero Data Files used a microgrant to improve and increase the information available on its website at

All these projects reflect the Fund's Mission Statement:  "The Foundation shall promote and support the advancement of personal air transportation by seeking and funding the most promising individuals and worthy projects which advance the field of general aviation; by increasing the public's knowledge of aviation through publications, seminars, and other information media; by informing the aviation and scientific community of the existence and purpose of the Fund; and by soliciting and receiving feedback concerning Foundation-supported projects."

According to Ted Wolf, "Alfred L. (Abby) Wolf and Constance Conn (Connie) Wolf focused their lives on General Aviation.  They both felt it had great value for society at large, directly and indirectly, but that this value was at best misperceived and at worst seen as detrimental."

"Evidence of their concern and expressed as an attempt to rectify and improve this situation is the establishment of the Wolf Aviation Fund, which makes grants to support projects aimed at both improving General Aviation and also the understanding of its essence among flyers and non-flyers alike."

Awards given by the Fund support a wide spectrum of proposals fostering and promoting general aviation and its value to society.  The grants awarded range from several hundred to ten thousand dollars.  The year 2000 program has now begun and the Wolf Aviation Fund wishes to receive many appropriate proposals for consideration for funding.

The fastest and preferred way for interested persons to apply for grants is for them to visit the Fund's website at WWW.WOLF-AVIATION.ORG and view the GRANTS pages. Note that the website is dedicated to the promotion and advancement of general aviation, and contains much additional  information useful to anyone who values or supports general aviation.

For those without web access the guidelines may be requested via electronic mail sent to MAIL@WOLF-AVIATION.ORG or by a letter sent to Wolf Aviation Fund, Grant Administration, 149 Walnut Street, Willimantic, CT 06226.

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This release and any photographs from our site may be downloaded from the Wolf Aviation Fund website and used for your story.  Access the release at:

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Last modified: April 17, 2019