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Thu, Apr 06, 2023

2022 Collier Trophy Recipients Named

James Webb Telescope Team Honored

On 05 April 2023, the National Aeronautic Association (NAA) announced with eagerness and earnest admiration that the 2022 Robert J. Collier Award shall be presented to the James Webb Space Telescope Team.

Named for aero-sports pioneer and Aero Club of America president Robert J. Collier, the trophy is awarded annually by the NAA to those who’ve made "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."

In 1910, Collier commissioned Baltimore sculptor Ernest Wise Keyser to fashion the 525-pound Aero Club of America Trophy, which was first awarded in 1911 to Glenn H. Curtiss in recognition of his development of the amphibious airplane.

Collier personally presented the trophy a number of times prior to his 1918 death.

In 1922, upon the Aero Club’s dissolution, responsibility for the award’s presentation was assumed by the National Aeronautic Association (NAA). In 1944, the trophy was officially renamed in honor of Collier.
The award is presented by the NAA president, and the trophy remains on permanent display at the U.S. National Air and Space Museum.

Collier Trophy recipients include: Orville Wright, for development of his automatic stabilizer; Major Edward L. Hoffman of the United States Army Air Corps for his development of a practical parachute; Frank W. Caldwell of Hamilton Standard for his development of the hydraulically actuated propeller; the Apollo 11 crew for humankind’s first lunar landing; The Boeing Company for its B-525 strategic bomber and 747, 757, 767, 777, and 787 airliners; Russell W. Meyer and the Cessna Aircraft for the outstanding safety record of the Cessna Citation aircraft family; Dick Rutan, Jeana Yeager, Burt Rutan, and the team responsible for the first non-stop unrefueled circumnavigation of the Earth as accomplished in the Rutan Voyager aircraft; the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory, U.S. Air Force, Aerospace Corporation, Rockwell International, and IBM Federal Systems Company for their joint development and deployment of Earth’s Global Positioning System (GPS); and the United States Air Force, Lockheed Martin, BAE Systems, Boeing, Northrop Grumman, Raytheon, and Pratt and Whitney for their joint production of the F-22 Raptor.

NASA Administrator Bill Nelson stated: “The James Webb Space Telescope is nothing short of a scientific feat, and is a shining example of what NASA can accomplish when we push the boundaries of space exploration. From discovering some of the earliest galaxies ever observed to delivering a more detailed view of exoplanet atmospheres than ever before, it’s all due to the hard work and dedication of the exceptional Webb team. Congratulations on this well-deserved honor!”

James E. Webb, for whom the Webb Space Telescope is named, himself won the Collier Trophy in 1965—sharing the distinction with Hugh L. Dryden for the pair’s contributions to NASA’s Project Gemini.

The Collier Trophy was stolen—albeit briefly—in 1978. The thieves abandoned the award in Washington D.C.’s Fort Foote Park, where it was recovered 26-hours after going missing.

FMI: www.naa.aero


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