By Mary Grady, Contributing editor
The Boeing 787 was chosen for the 2011 Robert J. Collier Trophy, which honors the "greatest achievement in aeronautics or astronautics in America," the National Aeronautic Association announced on Tuesday. The jet was one of four finalists for the award, along with the Lockheed C-5M Super Galaxy, the Gamera human-powered helicopter, and Pipistrel's Taurus G4 electric-powered airplane. "We were very pleased with this year's slate of nominations -- all of them were impressive, inspirational, and innovative, and certainly represent the future of aviation and aerospace," said Walter Boyne, NAA chairman. "We congratulate Boeing on their great accomplishment with the 787." The mid-size, long-range, fuel-efficient 787 Dreamliner was certified last year.
"The men and women of Boeing, working with our partners around the world, poured their hearts into designing, building and delivering the 787 Dreamliner," said Jim Albaugh, CEO of Boeing Commercial Airplanes. "It was a long and sometimes difficult journey. We're deeply honored to receive this award." Sixty customers have ordered 868 Dreamliners, Boeing said.