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Supporting American Aerospace Excellence

The House Aerospace Caucus promotes the critical work of the United States aviation, defense and space industries and supports our global aerospace leadership.
A Little more

About the Caucus

Aviation is deeply engrained in American history and innovation. Our aviation and defense industries employ more than 2.1 million skilled Americans, with employees in every state.

The House Aerospace Caucus will work to maintain U.S. global aerospace leadership, highlight the critical work that organizations and employees perform, engage members and staff on challenges facing the industry, and address legislative issues impacting aerospace. The caucus is bipartisan, with members from across the country that have a vested interest in aerospace.

U.S. aerospace and defense powers the U.S. economy, generating $892 billion in combined sales in 2021, in addition to $391 billion in economic value - representing 1.7% of total nominal GDP in the U.S.

close up of jet engine turbine

House Aerospace Caucus Celebrates National Paper Airplane Day

WASHINGTON – Today on National Paper Airplane Day, the House Aerospace Caucus is launching a paper airplane to encourage...

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Aerospace Caucus and AIA Host Launch Event

The House Aerospace Caucus served as an honorary co-host for the Aerospace Industries Association's (AIA) April 27 kick-...

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Aerospace Caucus Launches Website, Increases Membership

Today Chairman Ron Estes (R-Kansas) announced that the House Aerospace Caucus website is now live at

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Chairman Estes Hosts Supplier Roundtable

On March 15, Chairman Ron Estes (R-Kansas) hosted an aerospace and aviation supplier roundtable as part of the House Aer...

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Chairman Ron Estes

Chairman Ron Estes (KS-04)

Ron Estes (pronounced ESS-tiss) is a 5th generation Kansan and serves Kansas' 4th Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives, which includes Wichita — the Air Capital of the World.

In Congress, Rep. Estes has been a tireless advocate for aerospace workers and organizations. He successfully thwarted a proposal for so-called "privatization" of the FAA, supporting general aviation, worked fastidiously with stakeholders, government leaders, and the Federal Aviation Administration in the wake of the grounding of the 737 MAX to define a clear process for recertification, and helped preserve Wichita as the Air Capital of the World by introducing and helping pass the Aviation Manufacturing Jobs Protection Act in the House — enacted into law in March 2021.

Don Beyer

Don Beyer

Julia Brownley

Julia Brownley

Jerry Carl

Jerry Carl

Buddy Carter

Buddy Carter

Jason Crow

Jason Crow

Carlos Gimenez

Carlos Gimenez

Garret Graves

Garret Graves

Raul Grijalva

Raul Grijalva

Derek Kilmer

Derek Kilmer

Doug Lamborn

Doug Lamborn

Nick Langworthy

Nick Langworthy

John Larson

John Larson

Jake LaTurner

Jake LaTurner

Stephen Lynch

Stephen Lynch

Nancy Mace

Nancy Mace

Tracey Mann

Tracey Mann

Barry Moore

Barry Moore

Joe Morelle

Joe Morelle

Greg Murphy

Greg Murphy, MD

Jay Obernolte

Jay Obernolte

Chris Pappas

Chris Pappas

Scott Peters

Scott Peters

Darren Soto

Darren Soto

Beth Van Duyne

Beth Van Duyne

Ryan Zinke

Ryan Zinke

Aerospace & Defense

By the Numbers

Average Labor Income per Job

More Than $106,70040% Above National Average

A&D Workforce

More Than 2.1 Million With Employees in Every U.S. State

Industry Exports

$100.4 BillionWith Exports to 205 Countries

Economic Value

$391 Billion1.7% of Total Nominal GDP in the U.S.
*All stats from 2021 unless otherwise noted. Source: Aerospace Industries Association
A Look Back

Key Dates in Aerospace History

(Photos courtesy of Library of Congress)
  1. December 17, 1903

    Wright Brothers make their first flight in Kitty Hawk, North Carolina

    black and white photo of first flight airplane
  2. June 14, 1919

    First transatlantic flight

    First transatlantic flight
  3. May 20, 1926

    President Calvin Coolidge signs the Air Commerce Act, establishing federal control over civil aviation

    Former President Coolidge sitting next to gentleman
  4. April 6, 1927

    William P. MacCracken Jr., assistant secretary of commerce for aeronautics, receives Pilot License No. 1, the first private pilot license issued by the federal government

    Pilot's identification card
  5. May 20, 1927

    Charles Lindbergh makes the first solo transatlantic non-stop solo flight

    Lindbergh standing in front of the Spirit of St. Lewis
  6. 00/00/1928

    Wichita claims the title of Air Capital of the World

    Wichita Air Capital logo with sunflower and two wings
  7. January 1, 1929

    First air traffic controller

    black and white photo of Archie W. League sitting down
  8. November 28, 1929

    First flight over the South Pole

    black and white photo of people standing near airplane
  9. May 15, 1930

    Ellen Church, a registered nurse, becomes the first stewardess and the first female crew member aboard a commercial airliner

    Church stands on airplane step welcoming a crew member holding a briefcase
  10. December 31, 1930

    First radio-controlled airport tower

    An air traffic controller at work inside tower
  11. May 21, 1932

    Amelia Earhart becomes the first woman to make a solo crossing of the Atlantic by airplane

    Earhart stands near airplane wing as people cheer
  12. July 22, 1933

    Wiley Post completes first solo flight around the world in 7 days, 18 hours, and 49 minutes

    two man standing in front of airplane
  13. July 6, 1936

    Federal Air Traffic Control begins

    internal shot of first air traffic control tower
  14. September 14, 1939

    The VS-300 becomes the world's first practical helicopter

    Mr. Igor Sikorsky makes first ascent on his new helicopter
  15. 00/00/1941

    U.S. Army Air Corps forms first Black military flying unit, the Tuskegee Airmen

    black and white photo of the Tuskegee Airmen posing in front of plane
  16. October 14, 1947

    First piloted supersonic flight

    Chuck Yeager stands in front of plane with 'Glamorous Glennis' written on side
  17. September 18, 1947

    U.S. Air Force established

    Former President Truman signs document
  18. June 12, 1957

    Dwight D. Eisenhower becomes the first President to employ a helicopter while in office

    Helicopter lands on White House lawn
  19. January 31, 1958

    The U.S. successfully launches Explorer I, the first U.S. earth satellite

    black and white photo of three men raising a model
  20. July 29, 1958

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) established

    newspaper clipping entitled IKE SIGNS BILL CREATING U.S. SPACE AGENCY
  21. August 23, 1958

    The Federal Aviation Act of 1958 creates the Federal Aviation Administration

    two men watch as sign is raised onto building
  22. May 5, 1961

    Alan Shepard becomes the first American in space

    black and white photo of Alan Shephard
  23. February 20, 1962

    John Glenn Jr. pilots the first manned orbital flight in space

    black and white photo of Glenn smiling at camera
  24. 00/00/1962

    John F. Kennedy becomes the first president to fly in a jet specifically for presidential use

    jet with United States of America written on the side
  25. July 20, 1969

    Neil Armstrong becomes the first man to walk on the moon

    Armstrong on the moon next to American flag
  26. July 17, 1975

    First international docking in space

    Apollo–Soyuz crew members
  27. July 1, 1976

    Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum opens in Washington, D.C.

    black and white photo of people clapping in front of museum
  28. April 21, 1981

    The U.S. launches space shuttle Columbia on the first shuttle orbital flight

    Columbia launch
  29. June 18, 1983

    Sally Ride, Ph.D., becomes the first U.S. woman in space

    Sally Ride smiling inside spaceship
  30. 00/00/1985

    Wichita State University establishes National Institute for Aviation Research

    Front view and sign of building
  31. December 21, 2015

    First successful return and vertical landing of a first-stage rocket

    rocket launch
  32. December 20, 2019

    U.S. Space Force established

    President Trump signs document
  33. November 16, 2022

    NASA launches Artemis I, the first launch in a program hoping to return to the moon

    Artemis 1 launching in the distance