A crowd gathers to honor this year's Achievement in Aviation Award recipient Edward Trippe, chairman of the Pan Am Historical Foundation.


A large crowd of aviation enthusiasts gathered at the Louis A. Turpen Aviation Museum at SFO to honor this year’s Achievement in Aviation Award recipient Edward Trippe, chairman of the Pan Am Historical Foundation and son of Pan Am founder Juan T. Trippe. This year’s award was presented to Trippe by William R. Hearst III, the Society’s 2022 award recipient and long-time aviation preservation supporter.

Trippe delivered a moving speech about Pan Am’s storied past and announced some very exciting news: The Pan Am Historical Foundation is donating its entire film archive to the SFO museum for preservation and to be shared with the public. This impressive collection includes an estimated 700 titles and footage from over 6 decades, specifically from 1927 through 1991. “The collection is extraordinary and includes hundreds of hours going back to the early days of the company… included are travel logs of almost every country served by Pan Am, engineering and maintenance films, advertising materials, flight training videos, mechanical issues, and rare footage of Pan Am at war,” Trippe said.

Trippe added that the collection “couldn’t have a better home,” than at the Louis A. Turpen Aviation Museum at SFO. “I’m delighted that it will be available for future generations and will be well taken care of.”

In addition to this amazing film archive donation, Trippe said that he was pleased to announce a matching grant of $100,000 as an initial contribution in a proposed partnership with the San Francisco Aeronautical Society. “It is our hope that this pledge will be a catalyst to raise significant endowment for the preservation and management of the film collection going forward,” Trippe explained.

“The Pan Am film collection is a veritable treasure trove of aviation history.” Pan Am paved the way for air travel as we know it today and this film collection tells their story of courage, innovation and leadership. We are grateful for this generous donation and look forward to working with the SFO Museum to make this content available for the public to enjoy,” San Francisco Aeronautical Society’s  President John L. Martin said. He also pledged to raise an additional $100,000 donation to match the Pan Am Historical Foundation donation.

After the award and exciting news about the donation and grant, a lively auction was held to raise funds for the SFAS.  Prizes included airline tickets, hotel stays and a great sports package including a pair of Warrior tickets and a two-night weekend stay at San Francisco’s Westin St. Francis hotel in Union Square.


Written By Vanessa Guerra

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Proceeds from the Gala Dinner enable SFAS to continue its efforts to preserve the history of aviation through educational programs and acquisition of artifacts for the permanent collection at SFO Museum.