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TopNAA Record                                               April 2011

Sikorsky Aircraft X2 Demonstrator Team

To Receive 2010 Robert J. Collier Trophy

    NAA announced at its Annual Spring Awards Luncheon that Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation and the X2 Demonstrator Team have been selected as the recipient of the 2010 Robert J. Collier Trophy "for demonstrating a revolutionary 250-knot helicopter, which marks a proven departure point for the future development of helicopters by greatly increasing their speed, maneuverability and utility."


Chris Van Buiten of Sikorsky speaking after his company was announced as the winner of the 2010 Collier Trophy. The excited members of his Sikorsky team were listening (and celebrating) via his cell phone!

    This year is the 100th Anniversary of the Collier Trophy, which is awarded annually "for 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." The list of Collier winners represents a timeline of air and space achievements, marking major events in the history of flight.

    "We had an excellent slate of nominations, covering an impressive and innovative list of aviation and aerospace accomplishments," said NAA Chairman Walter Boyne, who also chairs the Collier Trophy Selection Committee. "The Sikorsky team has developed an extremely impressive state-of-the-art prototype which we believe holds great promise for the future of the helicopter industry."

    "We appreciate the vision of the Collier Selection Committee in awarding the 100th Collier Trophy to a helicopter in this age of supersonics, hypersonics, and space flight," said Sikorsky's Chris Van Buiten. "We are now approaching the milestone of 2 million lives saved by helicopters. The X2 technology will greatly expand the capability of helicopters to save lives and increase troop mobility."
    Other nominees for the 2010 Collier Trophy included:

  • Automatic Ground Collision Avoidance System
  • Fighter Risk Reduction Program Team
  • The Boeing Company C-17A Globemaster III Team
  • General Aviation: Saving Thousands of Lives in Haiti
  • MC-12W Project Liberty Team
  • Orion Launch Abort System Development Team
  • X-51A WaveRider Team

    The Collier Trophy will be formally presented at the 100th Anniversary Robert J. Collier Trophy Dinner on Thursday, May 5, 2011, at the Crystal Gateway Marriott in Arlington, Virginia. Click here for more information and ticket/table purchase.

2011 Collier Selection Committee

Hearing Nomination Presentations,

Questioning Presenters, and Discussing Nominations

head tablemontage2   

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John Porcari to Speak at NAA April Luncheon

   Deputy Secretary of Transportation John D. Porcari will speak at the NAA Luncheon on Thursday, April 14, 2011.


John Porcari

   Porcari has served in his current position since June 1, 2009 and is the Department of Transportation (DOT) Chief Operating Officer with responsibility for the day-to-day operations of 10 modal administrations and the work of more than 55,000 DOT employees nationwide and overseas.

   Before becoming Deputy Secretary, Porcari served as Secretary of the Maryland Department of Transportation since January 2007, a position he also held between 1999 and 2003. In that role, he transformed the state's capital program for transportation to require all projects to be consistent with the principles of smart growth, overseeing the $1.4 billion expansion of Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport, a plan to double transit ridership in the state by 2020, and a strategic plan for maritime commerce that resulted in contracts with long-term minimum tonnage guarantees at the Port of Baltimore.

   The luncheon will be held at the Crystal Gateway Marriott; the reception is at 11:30 a.m. and the luncheon runs from Noon-1:30 p.m. The cost is $60 per seat or $420 for a table of eight people. Click here to register.

   The NAA Luncheon Series is strongly supported by several Season Table Holders, including The Boeing Company, Cobham, DRS Technologies, EADS North America, GE Aviation, Lockheed Martin Corporation, Northrop Grumman Corporation, Rolls-Royce North America, UTC/Pratt & Whitney, Aurora Flight Sciences, and Curtiss-Wright Corporation.

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Nelda K. Lee Accepts Stinson Award

    Nelda K. Lee of The Boeing Company accepted the 2010 Katherine and Marjorie Stinson Award at the International Women in Aviation Annual Conference's Pioneer Hall of Fame Banquet in Reno, Nevada in February 2011.


Nelda K Lee (right) accepts the Stinson Award Trophy from Sandy Anderson of the NAA Contest and Records Board.

    The award was presented to Lee for "her career and personal achievements exemplifying outstanding and enduring contributions in the field of aviation, aeronautics, space and related sciences. As a role model and pioneer female aerospace test engineer, she has inspired women and men to seek careers in aviation."

    The Stinson Award recognizes a living woman for an outstanding and enduring contribution, a meritorious flight, or a singular technical development in the field of aviation, aeronautics, space or related sciences. 


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NAA Honors Most Memorable Aviation

Records of 2010 at Spring Awards Luncheon

   When the honorees for the NAA "Most Memorable Aviation Records of 2010" took the stage at the NAA Spring Awards Ceremony and Luncheon on March 15, they each had a fascinating story to tell.


Arnold Ebneter was thrilled to be honored for his cross-country flight in an airplane he designed and built.

   Eighty-two-year-old Arnold Ebneter, who built his own plane and flew it nonstop for more than 18 hours from Everett, Washington, to Fredericksburg, Virginia, is reported to have said upon landing, "I'm never doing that again!" He made the task of building the plane a family affair and called his family "great sponsors" and thanked them for "putting up with me for 50 years."

   Douglas Cairns piloted a flight to all 50 states and Washington, DC in 5 days, 15 hours, and 16 minutes, shattering the previous record of more than 13 days set in 1987. A Type 1 diabetic, Cairns was out to prove that diabetics can be reliable pilots - he once lost his flying license due to diabetes, but was able to get it back. "There are 500 pilots out there with diabetes, and the United States is


John Parker thanks all who helped make his record flight possible.

one of five countries that allows diabetics to fly," he said.

   John Parker set a speed record in his Thunder Mustang airplane, flying an average of 364 mph over a 100-kilometer course, completing the course in 14 minutes, 33 seconds. This set a record for internal combustion airplanes weighing 2,205 < 3,858 lbs. He built the plane over two years following the loss of his previous airplane in a fire that occurred during an aborted takeoff.

   Christopher Kelleher and his Qinetiq HALE team shattered a record for flight duration for unmanned aerial vehicles, remotely piloting their Zephyr 7 solar-powered aircraft for 14 days, 22 minutes. The previous record set in 2001 was 1 day, 6 hours, 24 minutes. "We set out to build an aircraft that could fly continuously in the stratosphere," Kelleher said. 


Nancy Koreen accepts her award from Rod Skaar, Chairman of the NAA Contest and Records Board.

   Nancy Koreen, the U.S. Parachute Association Director of Sport Competition, talked about her participation in the largest head-down skydiving formation, which included 41 women, breaking the previous record of 20 women set in 2008. They jumped from 18,000 feet. "This jump was inspiration to show that if you work hard for a goal you can achieve it," she said.

   Captain Jason Ledbetter was also honored at the luncheon for his city-to-city record flight from Myrtle Beach, SC to Atlantic City, NJ in a Spirit Airlines Airbus A319.

President's Message


The 100th Anniversary Collier 

Small Jonathan

   One of the most important responsibilities I have in the Collier Trophy selection process is to search out nominations from throughout the aviation and aerospace industry and community in America. I do this through travel, writing, meetings, discussions - anything that puts me in contact with people and organizations in our industry (and, in full disclosure, I don't vote on the nominations, lobby or discuss them with anyone on the Selection Committee, nor do I name Selection Committee members; as I like to say, "I just go out and try to line up the nominations.") I do encourage participation, answer questions, coach, and will even review presentations. When the selection is complete, I will provide a debriefing to nominees if requested.

   What I have learned in my four years at NAA is that each year brings an extraordinary diversity of nominations to the competition - and this year's selection process continued that trend.

   Last year, most of the nominations were fully-deployed programs, technologies, or aircraft -- such as Aircell, the Lockheed Martin C5-M, the Space X Falcon 1, the MC12, and the International Space Station (which was selected as the 2009 Collier recipient).

   This year most of the nominations were developing projects, capabilities, demonstrators, or technologies - all of which have significant potential to improve the "...performance, efficiency, and safety of air or space vehicles..."  The winner, of course, was the Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation and the X2 Technology Demonstrator Team; the X2 Technology Demonstrator is an aircraft which has tremendous potential to change the future design and operations of helicopters in the world.

   In this spirit of "looking forward," there have been a number of Collier competitions through the years which identified projects that were still being developed and which demonstrated tremendous potential. The most obvious example was the 1992 Collier Winner - the Global Positioning System---which, while acknowledged as a military program at the time, has subsequently transformed logistics, transportation, and aviation in the years after its nomination (I think my coffee cup has GPS in it).

   Now entering its 101st year, the prestige and history of the Collier is evident.  It is important that the Collier Trophy not be viewed as simply recognition and reward for an accomplishment or project "well done," but also for a risk "well taken."

   The 100th Anniversary Collier Dinner will be held on May 5, 2011, in Arlington, Virginia. Please join us there in support a great award, a great winner, and a great organization.

   Equally as important as attending the dinner, however, is a responsibility everyone in the aerospace industry owes to the Collier Trophy---making a nomination. In the months to come, please take the time to consider possible nominations for the Collier; your thoughts and considerations may well decide the selection. NAA's objective in preservation of the Collier legacy is to have, each year, the widest possible field of nominees for what is clearly "The Greatest Award in Aviation."


Jonathan Gaffney 

NAA President and CEO


NAA Accepting Nominations for

2011 Public Benefit Flying Awards

   NAA and the Air Care Alliance (ACA) welcome nominations for the 2011 Public Benefit Flying Awards. These awards recognize the contributions of those individuals who fly for the benefit of others, and public benefit flying organizations. If you know an individual or an organization who has been doing outstanding work which should be recognized, please take a moment to nominate them for these prestigious awards, which include:

  • Distinguished Volunteer Pilot - Awarded to an individual or individuals for outstanding public benefit flying service as a volunteer pilot.
  • Distinguished Volunteer - Awarded to an individual or individuals for outstanding service as a non-flying volunteer working in public benefit flying.
  • Outstanding Achievement in Advancement of Public Benefit Flying - For outstanding achievement by an individual or organization that helped raise the standard of service of or contributed significantly to the overall advancement of Public Benefit Flying.
  • Public Benefit Flying Teamwork Award - For outstanding cooperation and coordination involving two or more unaffiliated Public Benefit Flying organizations in the accomplishment of a common mission, task, or objective.
  • Champion of Public Benefit Flying - Awarded to an individual, organization, or company who, while not operationally directly involved in Public Benefit Flying, has provided extraordinary support for such efforts and thus advanced the cause of Public Benefit Flying.

   The deadline for nominations is May 31, 2011. Click here for details and nomination guidelines.

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Air Sport Organization News

450 Young Eagles Fly During EAA Skycatcher Tour Event


Pilot Jeff Skiles speaks to EAA Young Eagles.

  Young Eagles Co-Chairman Jeff Skiles and EAA Chapters in four communities opened the world of flight to young people during two weekends in March 2011 as more than 450 kids were flown during EAA's Young Eagles Skycatcher Tour in Spruce Creek, Florida.

   A highlight of the Spruce Creek event was the opportunity for Skiles to fly Michael Jones, the son of a passenger on the famed US Airways Flight 1549 aircraft that Skiles and Sully Sullenberger successfully landed on the Hudson River in January 2009.


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Aero Club News

VIPs Address WAC Luncheons

   National Aviation Hall of Fame inductee Clay Lacy was the featured speaker on March 22, 2011 at the Wichita Aero Club (WAC) monthly luncheon. Lacy is a movie and air racing legend as well as a United Airlines and Learjet pilot who learned to fly at age 12 and has logged more than 50,000 hours.

   He also developed Astro Vision, the camera system used to shoot nearly all the aerial sequences in movies such as Top Gun and Armageddon.Paul Bowen, a world-renowned aviation photographer who has worked on numerous occasions with Lacy, introduced the 2010 National Aviation Hall of Fame inductee. 

   Noted aviation analyst Richard Aboulafia of the Teal Group will present industry projections at a WAC luncheon on April 26, 2011. He was WAC's first speaker in December 2008 and presented an ominous forecast, although less threatening than what eventually transpired. As the economy appears to be strengthening, attendees should be curious to hear what Aboulafia now has to say about prospects for the regional aviation industry.

   Kansas Fourth District Freshman Congressman Mike Pompeo will address WAC at a luncheon on May 9, 2011. He'll discuss the good news received by local employers Boeing and Spirit AeroSystems with the recent awarding of the KC-46A tanker contract to Boeing. 


ACNC Elects New Officers                                            

   At its annual meeting in January, the Aero Club of Northern California (ACNC) elected Sandra Clifford president and Max Trescott vice president. Eric Peterson continues as treasurer, Jerry Bennett is filling in for Ray Hutchings as secretary, and Frank Sweeney continues as newsletter editor.


FedEx Founder and CEO Receives Award from ACSC


Fred Smith of FedEx, right, receives the ACSC silver medallion from Boeing's Jim Albaugh.

   More than 200 members of the Aero Club of Southern California (ACSC) and their guests attended a festive banquet in Los Angeles in early March to see the club's annual Howard Hughes Memorial Award presented to Frederick W. Smith, Founder and CEO of FedEx.

   The traditional silver medallion that accompanies the award trophy was presented to Smith by Jim Albaugh, President of Boeing Commercial Airplane Co. and recipient of that award for 2007.Among those attending was NAA President Jonathan Gaffney.

The next ACSC function, scheduled for April 21, 2011, will include a visit to a unique California firm that recycles retired aircraft components into decorative objects and furniture. Details can be seen at

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In This Issue
Sikorsky Wins Collier Trophy
Porcari to Speak at April Luncheon
Nelda Lee Wins Stinson Award
2010 Most Memorable Records
President's Message
Public Benefit Flying Awards
Air Sport Organization News
Aero Club News
Upcoming Events
Call for Nominations
Featured Member Orgs
Records Claimed
Featured Air Sport Org
NAA Credit Card

Upcoming Events

NAA April Luncheon

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Featuring John D. Porcari, Deputy Secretary of Transportation

Click here for details and registration.


Collier Dinner

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Click here for details.

Call for Nominations

FAI Awards

Nominations due

to NAA by April 30

There are seven international awards for nomination. Click here for details on the awards and how to submit a nomination.


PBF Awards

Nominations due

May 31, 2011

There are five award categories designed to  

recognize the significant contributions of volunteer-based Public Benefit Flying and the outstanding work of the individuals and organizations engaged in this humanitarian activity.
Click here for details and nomination procedures.
This month's featured member

Rockwell Collins



Records Claimed
December 1 - 31, 2010




Free Three Turnpoint Distance:  960 mi

Gordon Boettger & Hugh Bennett

Class DO, Open Class, Multiplace

Schempp-Hirth Duo Discus

Minden, NV





Speed Over a Straight Course:  45 mph

Dean Eldridge

Class RPF1Tm, Paraglider, Foot Launched, Solo, Thermal Engine, Male

Paramania Fusion

Salton Sea, CA






Assembled Mass of Spaceships Linked in Flight:  1,135,568 lbs

Commanders Steven W. Lindsey & Scott Kelly and crews of STS-133 & ISS Expedition 26

Class K/P, Absolute Space Record

NASA Space Shuttle Orbiter and International Space Station

John F. Kennedy Space Center, FL


This Month's
Air Sport Link

NAA Credit Card

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