February 5, 2010
By Sarah Brown
The National Aeronautic Association on Feb. 2 announced nominees for the 2009 Robert J. Collier Trophy.
The Collier Trophy is awarded annually “for the greatest achievement in aeronautics or astronautics in America, with respect to improving the performance, efficiency, and safety of air or space vehicles, the value of which has been thoroughly demonstrated by actual use during the preceding year.” The 2009 nominees represent accomplishments in space travel, military aviation operations, and aviation communications.
The nominees are airborne communications company Aircell; NASA crew launch vehicle Ares 1; military transport aircraft C-5M Super Galaxy; the Kandahar Airfield Operations Team; the International Space Station; intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance aircraft MC-12W Project Liberty enterprise team; the Space X Falcon 1 launch vehicle development team; and John Warner and the Excalibur unmanned combat air vehicle. The winner will be announced March 3 at the NAA Spring Awards Luncheon.
“We are very proud of the history and significance of the Collier Trophy,” said Jonathan Gaffney, president and CEO of NAA and executive director of the Collier Selection process. “The fact that these great nominations have been submitted for it is a testament to its importance to our aviation and aerospace industry.”
Previous winners of the Collier Trophy include Glenn Curtiss, Howard Hughes, Chuck Yeager, the crews of Apollo 11 and Apollo 8, and the SpaceShipOne team. The 2008 recipient was the Commercial Aviation Safety Team (CAST), “For achieving an unprecedented safety level in U.S. commercial airline operations.” AOPA was among the groups honored in the 2007 trophy, which went to the Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B) team of public and private sector groups, “for conceptualizing, developing, and initially implementing the next generation performance-based air-ground, ground-air, and air-air surveillance system.”
A touch of history, affordable flying, unique sightseeing, a good meal, and a community of pilots: Isn’t that what general aviation is all about?
Getting the job done on the local and national levels requires long-term planning, a hands-on approach, and keeping the effort moving, said Sean Collins, AOPA’s Eastern regional manager.
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