Tuesday, July 13, 2010

2010 National Aviation Hall of Fame Enshrinement Class - Warren Grimes

If you walk outside at night and notice the red, green and white lights of a passing airplane, give thanks to Ohio’s Warren Grimes. This inventor, innovator and entrepreneur is known as the “Father of Aircraft Lighting” – and every American aircraft built during World War II was equipped with Grimes Lighting.

Warren Grimes was born in Montgomery County, OH, in 1898, not far from where Orville and Wilbur Wright would perfect their aircraft. Warren later lived with his brother Frank in Detroit, and worked at Ford, then began a small business focusing on electrical products. The company caught the eye of Henry Ford, who approached Grimes in the mid 1920’s to produce lights for the famed Ford Trimotor. Within 48 hours, Grimes had the first lamp ready to go.

In the 1930’s he formed the Grimes Company to develop, make and market aircraft lighting products. In the 1950’s, the Grimes Flying Lab – a modified Beech 18 – was a common sight in the skies over central Ohio as company engineers tested and developed products.

Grimes died in 1975, but his legacy lives on every night in the skies around the world.

For more of Warren Grimes’ story, as well as the other members of this year’s Hall of Fame class, join us Saturday night at 7:00pm EDT for the LIVE Internet broadcast of the entire Hall of Fame Enshrinement event. Click here

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