NSM Today and a Discussion on Early Gliding History Associated with New York State
Trafford Doherty became executive director of the National Soaring Museum on August 1, 2016. He had previously served for more than 13 years as executive director of the Glenn H. Curtiss Museum in Hammondsport.
A graduate of Alfred University, Traff is the third generation in his family to have a close association with aviation history. His grandfather, William Ellwood “Gink” Doherty (Hydro pilot #7) learned to fly with Glenn Curtiss and was a 1911 graduate of the Curtiss Flying School at Hammondsport, NY. Gink was a test pilot for Glenn Curtiss and is best remembered for testing the Langley on Keuka Lake. Traff’s father, W.E. “Tony” Doherty, Jr., flew in the Royal Canadian Air Force and USAF during WWII, was active in soaring at Harris Hill, worked as sales manager for Schweizer Aircraft, and after retirement, also served for a time as Curtiss Museum executive director. Traff’s mother, Jacqueline, served in the Royal Air Force during WWII and his maternal grandfather, Air Chief Marshal Sir Trafford Leigh-Mallory, planned and conducted the Allied air operations on D-Day.
Traff also has a background in aviation, being a pilot and aviation historian. He flew for a number of years as a tow pilot and sailplane instructor for the Schweizer Aircraft Corp. in their soaring school at Elmira, NY. In recent years, Traff has given numerous presentations on early aviation, and in 2010, was invited to serve as a panelist at the Naval Aviation Symposium in Pensacola, FL.
Traff and his wife, Jean, are the parents of three grown children and grandparents of five. They live just outside of Hammondsport, high on a hill above Keuka Lake.