Seven aviation and aerospace projects have been named as contenders for the 2012 Robert J. Collier Trophy, the National Aeronautic Association announced this week. The nominees are: the Gulfstream G650; Felix Baumgartner and the Red Bull Stratos team; Lockheed Martin's autonomous K-Max helicopter; the NASA/JPL Mars Science Laboratory/Curiosity project; the NASA/JPL Voyager Interstellar Mission project; the U.S. Air Force MC-12 Project Liberty, which converted a King Air to military use as a crewed surveillance aircraft; and the NASA/JPL Dawn mission, which sent a spacecraft to investigate two dwarf planets to learn about the early history of our solar system.
The award, which is more than 100 years old, has been given to such projects as the B-52, the Gulfstream V and the International Space Station, and to individuals including Chuck Yeager, Scott Crossfield, Howard Hughes and the crew of Apollo 11. The 2011 trophy went to the Boeing Company for the 787 Dreamliner. The winner will be announced March 12, and the formal presentation of the trophy will take place May 9 in Arlington, Va. More details about each of this year's nominees can be found at the NAA website.