Blue Origin’s New Shepard Finalist for Prestigious Collier Trophy

The New Shepard capsule separates from its booster as the abort motor fires. (Credit: Blue Origin)

WASHINGTON, DC, February 2, 2017 (NAA PR) — The National Aeronautic Association announced today that four aerospace projects and accomplishments will compete for the 2016 Robert J. Collier Trophy.

For 105 years, the Collier Trophy has been the benchmark of aerospace achievement. Awarded annually “… for the greatest achievement in aeronautics or astronautics in America,”
it has been bestowed upon some of the most important projects, programs, individuals, and accomplishments in history.

Past winners include the crews of Apollo 11 and Apollo 8, the Mercury 7, Scott Crossfield, Elmer Sperry, and Howard Hughes. Projects and programs which have been the recipient of the Collier include the B-52, the Polaris Missile, the Surveyor Moon Landing Program, the Boeing 747, the Cessna Citation, the F-22, and the International Space Station. Most recently, the 2015 Collier was awarded to the NASA/JPL Dawn Mission Team.

The 2016 Nominees are:

  • Blue Origin New Shepard
  • Boeing 737 MAX
  • Dassault Aviation FalconEye Combined Vision System
  • U.S. Air Force 212th Rescue Squadron and 249th Airlift Squadron

Led by NAA Chairman Jim Albaugh, the Selection Committee will consist of leaders representing various organizations throughout aerospace.

The Selection Committee includes:

  • David Balloff, Embraer
  • Charles Bolden, Former NASA Administrator
  • Pete Bunce, General Aviation Manufacturers Association
  • Steve Callaghan, Vice Chairman, NAA
  • Brian Chase, Textron Aviation
  • Leda Chong, Gulfstream Aerospace Corporation
  • David Coleal, Bombardier
  • Randall Greene, Safe Flight Instrument Corporation
  • Mike Heuer, International Aerobatic Club
  • Margaret Jenny, Aero Club of Washington
  • Carl Johnson, Treasurer, NAA
  • T.C. Jones, Northrop Grumman
  • Tim Keating, The Boeing Company
  • Krisstie Kondrotis, Spirit AeroSystems
  • Dr. John Langford, Aurora Flight Sciences
  • Peter Lengyel, Safran Group
  • Dr. Samantha Magill, HondaJet
  • Dave Manke, United Technologies Corporation
  • Mary Miller, BBA Aviation
  • Norman Mineta, Former Secretary of Transportation and Former Secretary of Commerce
  • Ken Panos, Aerojet Rocketdyne
  • Peter Prowitt, GE Aviation
  • Dr. Marc Rayman, Jet Propulsion Laboratory
  • Skip Ringo, The Ringo Group
  • Jean Rosanvallon, Dassault Falcon Jet
  • Bob Rubino, Lockheed Martin
  • Bob Stangarone, Stangarone & Associates
  • Robert Sturgell, Rockwell Collins
  • Tony Velocci, Aviation Week & Space Technology (Retired)
  • Bruce Whitman, FlightSafety International

Greg Principato, President & CEO of NAA, will serve as the Director of the selection process and is a non-voting member of the Committee.

“For nearly the entire history of aviation, the Collier Trophy has recognized outstanding achievements,” Principato stated. “Even more than that, by shining a bright light on all of those advances, the Collier provides an incentive to even greater achievement for those who would come after. Aviation is not a static industry, it – and our society – depends on constant improvement and innovation. The Collier has played a key role in that, and this year’s nominees are in that tradition.”

The Selection Committee will meet on Tuesday, March 14th in Arlington, Virginia, and the winner will be announced that evening at the NAA Spring Awards Dinner held at the Crystal Gateway Marriott.

The formal presentation of the Collier Trophy will take place at a later date and location to be determined. More information can be found at

The National Aeronautic Association is a non-profit membership organization devoted to fostering opportunities to participate fully in aviation activities and to promoting public understanding of the importance of aviation and space flight to the United States. NAA is the caretaker of some of the most important aviation awards in the world, and certifies all national aviation records set in the United States. For information, visit