The Collier Trophy


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The Collier Trophy

The Robert J. 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 list of Collier winners represents a timeline of aviation, as many of the awardees mark major events in the history of flight.

In addition to being an aviator, humanitarian, and sportsman, Mr. Collier was a prominent publisher whose family created the popular Colliers Weekly. Robert Collier commissioned the trophy in 1910 with the intent to encourage the American aviation community to strive for excellence and achievement in aeronautic development.

In recognizing the worth and future of aviation, Mr. Collier proclaimed the ideal that, "the flying machine should be unselfishly and rapidly developed to its ultimate potential for America's economic advancement." In support of his statement, Collier was the first person to purchase an airplane from the Wright brothers for personal use. Shortly thereafter, he  loaned his aircraft to the U.S. Army for flight evaluations at Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio, Texas, which led to the first military orders for a flying machine.  Robert J. Collier died in 1918 after completing his military service in World War I.

1911 - Glen H Curtiss, for successful development of the hydro- aeroplane.

1912 - Glen H Curtiss, for the invention of the single-pontoon seaplane and development of the flying boat.

1913 - Orville Wright, for development of his automatic stabilizer.

1914 - Elmer A and Lawrence B Sperry, for development of the gyroscopic control.

1915 - W Starling Burgess, for development of Burgess-Dunne hydro-aeroplanes.

1916 - Elmer A Sperry, for development of the Sperry drift indicator.

1917-1920 - No award presented.

1921 - Grover C Loening, for development of the Aerial Yacht.

1922 - Personnel of the US Air Mail Service, for achievement in completing a year of national operation without a fatal accident.

1923 - Pilots and other personnel of the US Air Mail Service, for night flight.

1924 - Army Air Service, for the first global flight.

1925 - Dr Sylvanus A Reed, for development of the metal propeller.

1926 - Maj E L Hoffman, USAAC, for development of a practical parachute.

1927 - Charles L Lawrance, for development of radial air-cooled aircraft engines.

1928 - Aeronautics Branch of the Department of Commerce, for development of airways and air navigation facilities.

1929 - National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics, for development of the NACA cowling for radial air-cooled aircraft engines.

1930 - Harold F Pitcairn and associates, for development and application of the auto-gyro and its demonstration as safe aerial transport.

1931 - Packard Motor Car Company, for development of the Diesel engine for aircraft.

1932 - Glenn L Martin, for development of an outstanding multi-engined, high-speed, weight-carrying airplane (B-10).

933 -
Hamilton Standard Aircraft Propeller Company, with particular credit to Frank W Caldwell, Chief Engineer, for development of a controllable-pitch propeller.

1934 - Capt Albert F Hegenberger, USAAC, for development and demonstration of a successful blind landing system.

1935 - Donald W Douglas and Douglas Aircraft Co, for development of the outstanding twin-engine commercial transport airplane (DC-2).

1936 - Pan American Airways, for establishment of a transpacific airline and the successful execution of extended over water navigation in regular operations.

1937 - Army Air Corps, for design and equipment of a substrato- sphere airplane.

1938 - Howard Hughes and associates, for a successful global flight.

1939 - The U S airlines, for record of safety in air travel.

1940 - Dr Sanford A Moss and the USAAC, for development of the supercharger.

1941 - Air Forces and U S airlines, for worldwide operations of the Air Transport Command.

1942 - Gen Henry H Arnold, for organization and leadership of the USAAF.

1943 - Capt Luis De Florez, USNR, for development of synthetic training devices for flyers.

1944 - Gen Carl Spaatz, USAAF, for demonstrating the air power concept through employment of American aviation in the war against Germany.

1945 - Dr Luis W Alvarez, for his conspicuous and outstanding initiative in the concept and development of the Ground Control Approach system for safe landing of aircraft under all weather and traffic conditions.

1946 - Luis A Rodert, NACA aeronautical engineer, for pioneering research and development of a thermal ice-prevention system for aircraft.

1947 - John Stack, NACA research scientist, Lawrence D Bell, Bell Aircraft Corp, and Capt Charles E Yeager, USAF, for successful supersonic flight.

1948 - Radio Technical Commission for Aeronautics, for development of an Air Traffic Control system for safe, unlimited operation of aircraft in all weather conditions.

1949 - William P Lear, for development and production of the Lear F-5 Automatic Pilot and Automatic Approach Control systems.

1950 - The Helicopter Industry, the Military Services, and the USCG, for for development and use of rotary-wing aircraft for Air Rescue operations.

1951 - John Stack, NACA, for development of the transonic wind tunnel ventilated throat.

1952 - Leonard S Hobbs, Chief Engineer, United Aircraft Corp, in designing and producing the P&W J57 turbojet engine.

1953 - James H Kindleberger, Chairman of the Board, North American Aviation, for development of the F-100 USAF Super Sabre, first truly supersonic plane; and to Ed Heinemann, Douglas Aircraft Co, for the F4D Skyray.

1954 - Richard T Whitcomb, NACA research scientist, for discovery and experiments of the area rule, allowing greater speed and range with the same power.

1955 - William M Allen and Boeing Co and Gen Nathan F Twining and the USAF, for development and operation of the B-52.

1956 - Charles I McCarthy and associates at Chance Vought Aircraft Inc, and Vice Adm James S Russell, USN, and associates at Navy Bureau of Aeronautics, for design and development of the F8U Crusader.

1957 - Edward P Curtis, for his report, Aviation Facilities Planning.

1958 - USAF and industry team, for development of the F-104 -- Clarence L Johnson for design of the airframe; Neil Burgess and Gerhard Neumann of General Electric Co for development of the J79 engine; Maj Howard C Johnson, USAF, for world landplane altitude record; Capt Walter W Irwin, USAF, for world landplane speed record.

1959 - USAF, Convair Div of General Dynamics Corp, and Space Technology Labs Inc, for developing, testing, producing, and putting into operation the Atlas ICBM.

1960 - Vice Adm William F Raborn, for directing the creation of the Polaris fleet ballistic missile system..

1961 - Maj Robert M White, USAF, Joseph A Walker, NASA, A Scott Crossfield, North American Aviation, and Cdr Forrest Peterson, USN for invaluable technological contributions to the advancement of flight, and for great skill and courage as test pilots for the X-15.

1962 - LtCdr M Scott Carpenter, USN, Maj L Gordon Cooper, USAF, LtCol John H Glenn Jr, USMC, Maj Virgil I Grissom, USAF, Cdr Walter M Schirra Jr, USN, Cdr Alan B Shepard Jr, USN, and Maj Donald K Slayton, USAF, for pioneering manned spaceflight in the USA.

1963 - Clarence L "Kelly" Johnson, for designing and directing the development of the A-11 Mach-3 aircraft.

1964 - Gen Curtis E LeMay, USAF, for great achievements with respect to air vehicles and national defense.

1965 - James E Webb and Hugh L Dryden, representing the Gemini Program teams in significantly advancing the human experience in spaceflight.

1966 - James S McDonnell, for leadership and perseverance in advancing aeronautics and astronautics, as exemplified by the F-4 Phantom and Gemini space vehicles.

1967 - Lawrence A Hyland, representing the Surveyor Program team at Hughes Aircraft Co, Jet Propulsion Lab, and associated organizations, for putting the hands and eyes of the USA on the moon.

1968 - Col Frank Borman, USAF, Capt James A Lovell Jr, USN, and LtCol William A Anders, USAF, as crew of Apollo 8, for successful and flawless execution of the first manned lunar orbit.

1969 - Neil A Armstrong, Col Edwin E Aldrin Jr, USAF, amd Col Michael Collins, USAF, for the epic flight of Apollo 11 and first landing of man on the mooon.

1970 - Boeing Co, with particular recognition to Pratt & Whitney Div of United Aircraft Corp, and Pan American Airways, for successfully introducing the 747 into commercial service.

1971 - Col David R Scott, USAF, Col Jams B Irwin, USAF, and LtCol Alfred M Worden, for demonstrating superb skill and courage as crew of Apollo 15, and Dr Robert T Gilruth, as reprehensive of the engineering genius of the manned spaceflight team.

1972 - Adm Thomas H Moorer, USN, representing personnel of the 7th and 8th Air Forces of the USAF and Task Force 77 of the USN in Operation Linebacker II.

1973 - Skylab Program, with special recognition to William C Schneider, program director, and the three Skylab astronaut crews.

1974 - Dr John F Clark, NASA, and Dr Daniel J Fink, General Electric Co, for proving the value of U S space technology (LANDSAT) in Earth resources and environment management, with special recognition to Hughes Aircraft Co and RCA.

1975 - David S Lewis, General Dynamics Corp, and USAF F-16 team, for significant advancements leading to innovative fighter aircraft effectiveness.

1976 - USAF, B-1 Industry Team, and Rockwell Intl Corp, for design and development of the B-1.

1977 - Gen Robert J Dixon, USAF, and TAC for developing and implementing the Red Flag simulated flight-training program for military air crews.

1978 - Sam B Williams, Williams Research Corp, for concept and development of the smallest high-efficiency turbofan, for use in powering cruise missiles.

1979 - Dr Paul B MacCready, with special recognition to pilot Bryan Allen, in designing, building, and flying the Gossamer Condor.

1980 - NASA Voyager Mission team, represented by its chief scientist, Dr Edward C Stone, for a spectacular fly-by of Saturn and return.

1981 - NASA, Rockwell International Corp, Martin Marietta Corp, Thiokol Corp, with special recognition to the crew of Columbia Capt Robert L Crippen, USN, Col Joe H Engle, USAF, Capt Richard H Truly, USN, and John W Young for proving the concept of manned reusable spacecraft.

1982 - T A Wilson and Boeing Co, for development of the 757 and 767 airliners.

1983 - US Army and Hughes Helicopters Inc, for development of the AH-64A Apache helicopter weapons system.

1984 - NASA and Martin Marietta Corp, with special recognition to astronaut Capt Bruce McCandless II, USN, Charles E Whitsett Jr of NASA, and Walter W Bollendonk of Martin Marietta Co, for development of the manned maneuvering units and NASA team that rescued three disabled satellites.

1985 - Russell W Meyer and Cessna Aircraft Co, for the outstanding safety record of the worldwide fleet of Citation aircraft.

1986 - Jeana L Yeager, Richard G Rutan, Elbert L Rutan, Bruce Evans, and associates, for design and development of the Voyager aircraft and skillful execution of the first nonstop, un-refueled global flight.

1987 - NASA Lewis Research Center and turboprop team, for design and development of advanced turboprop propulsion concepts.

1988 - Rear Adm Richard Truly, USN, for outstanding leadership in the direction of recovery of the manned space program.

1989 - Ben R Rich and the Lockheed-USAF team, for production of the F-117A Stealth.

1990 - Bell-Boeing team for development of the V-22 Osprey tilt- rotor aircraft.

1991 - The Northrop Corporation Industry Team and the USAF.

1992 - Global Positioning System Team.

1993 - Hubble Space Telescope Repair Team.

1994 - McDonnell Douglas C-17 Globemaster, the USAF and the Industry Team

1995 - Boeing Commercial Aircraft Company and the Boeing 777 Team

1996 - Cessna Aircraft Company and the Citation X.

1997 - Gulfstream Aerospace Corporation and the Gulfstream V.

1998 - U-2S/ER-2 aircraft and Lockheed Martin and its partners, General Electric, NASA, USAF Air Combat Command, and Defense Intelligence Agency.

1999 - Boeing F/A-18E/F Super Hornet development team.

2000 - Global Hawk Unmanned Aerial Vehicle by Northrop-Grumman.

2001 - Pratt & Whitney for achievement in aeronautics or astro- nautics in America, demonstrated by actual use during the proceeding year.

2002 - Sikorsky S-92 helicopter.

2003 - Global Positioning System Team, consisting of researchers from Naval Research Lab, USAF, Aerospace Corp, Rockwell Intl Corp, and IBM Federal Systems Co.

2004 - SPACESHIPONE TEAM for the first-ever privately financed, manned spacecraft.




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