NAHF Honors Armstrong's Legacy
The National Aviation Hall of Fame (NAHF) will honor the legacy of the first man to walk on the moon by renaming one of its most prestigious awards as The Neil A. Armstrong Aviation Heritage Trophy, to be awarded this September. Formerly The Rolls-Royce Aviation Heritage Trophy, the award has been presented during the Reno Air Races, and sometimes by Armstrong himself, as part of the concurrently held National Aviation Heritage Invitational. It recognizes "the most authentic example of a vintage aircraft restored to airworthy condition." This year, and moving forward, it will carry Armstrong's name. Head of Rolls-Royce North America, James M. Guyette, said Rolls-Royce has been a proud sponsor of the National Aviation Heritage Invitational since 1998. He added, "I can think of no finer way" to memorialize Armstrong than to rename the trophy "in his honor, as a lasting tribute to his legacy."
Armstrong's logbook is said to contain time in more than 200 different aircraft models, from the Aeronca Champ, to the X-15, and the Grumman/NASA Lunar Module he hand flew to landing on the surface of the moon. According to NAHF, prior winners have been thrilled to receive the trophy from a Hall of Fame Enshrinee, "especially the first man to walk on the moon." Said Mike Houghton, president of the Reno Air Racing Association, "I am thrilled that The Neil A. Armstrong Aviation Heritage Trophy will be unveiled to the NAHI competitors and our air racing fans at the 49th Annual Reno Air Races next month." This year, that winner will not just enjoy the presentation ceremony, but also the unveiling of the new trophy to take place Sunday, Sept. 16, at Reno. Winners are given a "keeper" trophy. The original resides throughout the year at the Smithsonian in Washington, D.C.