The G650 business jet’s contributions to business aviation “through significant technological advancements in aircraft performance, cabin comfort, and safety” earned Gulfstream Aerospace the 2014 Robert J. Collier Trophy, the National Aeronautic Association announced March 11.
The Collier Trophy is awarded each year “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 selection committee chose Gulfstream’s G650 for the honor over fellow nominees Alan Eustace and the StratEx team, the Embraer Legacy 500, the F-16 Automatic Ground Collision Avoidance Team, the General Aviation Joint Steering Committee, Orion Exploration Flight Test-1, and the Orion unmanned aircraft system team.
“It was a very strong list of nominations which reflect the advancement of the world’s aviation industry,” said Jim Albaugh, chairman of NAA, in a news release. “It was a difficult list from which to select a recipient, and I congratulate Gulfstream on this great honor.”
With a maximum range of 7,000 nautical miles and a maximum operating speed of Mach 0.925, the G650 helped Gulfstream reach $7.78 billion in annual billing in 2014, according to data from the General Aviation Manufacturers Association. The company pushed the range to 7,500 nm with the extended-range version, G650ER, which claimed several world-record flights in 2014 and 2015.
Past winners of the Collier Trophy include the crews of Apollo 11 and Apollo 8, the Mercury 7, Scott Crossfield, Elmer Sperry, and Howard Hughes.