The National Aeronautic Association has named its candidates for the 2017 Robert J. Collier trophy, which is awarded annually for the “greatest achievement in aeronautics or astronautics in America.” The nominees are: Boeing’s 737 Max; the Cirrus Aircraft Vision SF50 single-engine jet; the autonomous helicopter system developed by the U.S. Marine Corps Office of Naval Research and Aurora Flight Sciences; the high-altitude glider Perlan Project; the Zee Aero Division of Kitty Hawk Corporation; the Vanilla Aircraft VA001 drone; the Edwards Air Force Base F-35 Integrated Test Force; the NASA/JPL Cassini Project Team; and the TSA, ALPA, and A4A Known Crewmember and TSA Pre✓ Programs. The Collier Trophy Selection Committee will meet on March 22 in Arlington, Virginia, and the recipient will be announced the next day. The formal presentation of the trophy will take place on June 14, at a location to be determined.
The trophy has been awarded annually for 105 years. Past winners include the crews of Apollo 11 and Apollo 8, the Mercury 7, Scott Crossfield, Elmer Sperry, Howard Hughes, and Orville Wright. Projects and programs that have received the trophy include the B-52, the Boeing 747, the Cessna Citation, the F-22 and the International Space Station. The five most recent recipients are the Blue Origin New Shepard Team; the NASA/JPL Dawn Mission Team; the Gulfstream G650; the Northrop Grumman, US Navy, and X-47B Industry Team; and the NASA/JPL Mars Curiosity Project Team. “This year’s outstanding group of nominees represent the great depth and breadth of our aviation industry,” said Greg Principato, NAA president. “Each is changing our world for the better. The Collier Selection Committee will have its work cut out for it this year and we at NAA couldn’t be more excited.”