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TopNAA Record                                           November 2011


Nominations for the 2011 Collier

Trophy Now Being Acceptedcollier

   The Robert J. Collier Trophy, the "Greatest Award in Aviation," 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."

   Nominations are now being accepted and are due by January 31, 2012.  Click here for details on the nomination requirements.

   The list of Collier winners represents a timeline of aviation, as many of the awardees mark major events in the history of flight. Ricipients of the troophy include such individuals as Neil Armstron and the Crew of Apollo 11, Orville Wright, Elmer Sperry, Dr. Luis Alvarez, and Howard Hug
hes.  Projects and aircraft acknowledged as Collier winners include the B-52, the Golbal Hawk, the F-22, the missions of the Voyager, and the repair of the Bubble Telescope.

   While President of the Aero Club of America (the predecessor of NAA) Mr. Collier commissioned the trophy in 1910 with the intent to encourage the American aviation community to strive for excellence and achievement in aeronautic development.

   The 525-pound trophy was created by Baltimore sculptor Ernest Wise Keyser and was put on permanent display at the National Air & Space Museum in 1951.

   In recognizing the worth and future of aviation, Collier proclaimed the ideal that "the flying machine should be unselfishly and rapidly developed to its ultimate potential for economic advancement in America."

   NAA Chairman Walter Boyne speaks to the nomination process and meaning in his message in this issue.


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December Luncheon to Feature

Expert Aviation Analyst

Aboulafia   Richard L. Aboulafia, Vice President, Analysis at Teal Group, will speak at the NAA December Luncheon scheduled for Thursday, December 1, 2011 at the Crystal Gateway Marriott.

   A recognized authority on aerospace market conditions, Aboulafia writes and edits Teal Groups World Military and Civil Aircraft Briefing, a forecasting tool covering over 135 aircraft programs and markets. He will share is thoughts on aviation and defense in today's economy. His presentation will cover jetliner, fighter, business aviation, and rotorcraft markets and the key drivers behind their growth. He will take questions from the audience. Click here to register to attend.

2011 Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta        

   NAA President Jonathan Gaffney was a guest of the Balloon Federation of America at the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta in October, after which he said, "It was more than I ever could have imagined.  Whether it was my first balloon flight, the morning 'Mass Ascension' of 400 balloons, the 'Balloon Glows,' or the evening start of the America's Challenge Gas Balloon Race, it was a remarkable experience of the original form of human flight."

   You have probably seen pictures, but they simply can't reflect the energy, beauty, and complexity of this sport.  It should be on every aviation enthusiast's "to do" list. Below are some photos from the event.


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Centennial Celebration of Modern Soaring

   Aviation enthusiasts of all kinds gathered near Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, the weekend of October 21-24, 2011, for "Soaring 100," the centennial celebration of the birth of modern soaring.  October 24 marked the 100th anniversary of Orville Wright's 9-minute, 45-second glider flight that heralded the beginning of soaring as a sporting activity.

Art Greenfield
Art Greenfield, NAA Director of Contest & Records (at podium), addresses attendees at the dedication of Jockey' s Ridge State Park in Nags Head, NC as the National Landmark of Soaring, with (left to right) John Harris, President, Kitty Hawk Kites; Rich Hass, President, USHPA; Al Tyler, Chairman of the Board, SSA; and Bliss Teague, District IV Vice President, AMA.

   Weekend activities included aviation lectures, flight demonstrations, model building workshops, and displays of Wright Glider replicas, modern sailplanes, hang gliders, and model aircraft.

   NAA affiliated Air Sport Organizations in attendence included the Academy of Model Aeronautics (AMA), the Soaring Society of America (SSA), and the United States Hang Gliding and Paragliding Association (USHPA).

   The Soaring 100 event was made possible by the First Flight Society which has a mission to increase public awareness and appreciation of the lives, character, and accomplishments of Wilbur and Orville Wright and their impact on humankind through educational programming and exhibits.

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Chairman's Message

All Collier Trophy Nominees Stand TallBoyne 2010

   Perhaps the most remarkable aspect of the award of the Collier Trophy is not the prestige that it confers upon the year's winner, but rather the stimulating environment created by the selection and award process itself.

   Every competitor understands that there can only be one winner each year, but that does not inhibit entrants, and for a very good reason. Organizations or individuals submitting a nomination does so with the complete satisfaction of knowing that they arerecognizing a job well done - a reward in itself. 

   The act of submitting a contender for the Collier Trophy is a tribute not only to the person, the flight or the vehicle nominated, but also to everyone who participated in the process, from designer to crew to vendor to clerk. Just being an entrant provides an enormous psychological resource to the submitting organization. The act of entering the competition says to everyone involved, "You have done so well that your work merits consideration for the most prestigious award in aviation."

   The perceived value of being a participant in the Collier selection process is enhanced by the genuine sense of belonging to an elite group, one that shines well above all the others in the industry.

   This feeling of belonging is further enhanced by the climate of solidarity found at every Collier Trophy award dinner where the winner is properly gratified by the single recognition of receiving such an important award.

   But there is an almost equal gratification among the other contenders in the audience, who knew how just how well their nominee had to have done to even have been considered a contender. The result is a universal recognition of just how demanding is the discipline in which we strive, and how rewarding it is to be placed in such elite company.
   I urge everyone to look at their projects which meet the criteria for the award of the Collier Trophy, and then to make a detailed submission. You can do so with confidence that your submission will be carefully considered by informed and dedicated members of the selection committee. You may also have confidence that your doing so will be greatly appreciated by all of those who helped create the project itself.


Walter Boyne

NAA Chairman

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Air Sport Organization News

Virgin Galactic Opens Spaceport America

   It may not yet have the notoriety of the Mos Eisley spaceport in the Star Wars movie, but Spaceport America, the world's first purpose-built commercial spaceport, is now open for business in southern New Mexico.

   The facility opened on October 18, 2011 in an exciting ceremony attended by scores of enthusiastic future astronauts, celebrities, key government officials, and several Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) leaders. EAA reported on the opening on its website, including videos of some of the events.

   Virgin Galactic Chairman Sir Richard Branson, who along with his children Sam and Holly will be the first commercial passengers on SpaceShipTwo, provided one of the day's highlights when they rappelled from the roof of the gleaming new 114,000-square-foot building proclaiming the terminal as the "Virgin Galactic Gateway to Space."


Project Bandaloop dancers of San Francisco hang and dance on the side window wall of the Virgin Galactic Gateway to Space Hangar as a large crowd plus WhiteKnightTwo and SpaceShipTwo reflect in the glass. (2011 Mark Greenberg/Virgin Galactic)

  The spaceport includes a 2-mile runway and will serve as the operating hub for public space travel envisioned by Branson. A demonstration flight of WhiteKnightTwo and captive-carried SpaceShipTwo provided a glimpse of the nascent space tourism industry.

   The new facility is a combined terminal and hangar facility, supporting up to two WhiteKnightTwo and five SpaceShipTwo vehicles. It will also house all of the company's astronaut preparation and celebration facilities, a mission control center, and a friends-and-family area, as well as public access through the New Mexico Spaceport Authority's planned Visitor Experience.

   Branson called the complex "a 21st century building for a 21st century business" that incorporates extensive environmental considerations such as geothermal heating and cooling. Designed by UK-based Foster + Partners, URS Corporation, and local New Mexico architects SMPC, Spaceport America meets LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Gold standards for environmental quality.


Harrison Ford Speaks to

Senate General Aviation Caucus

   As the  Experimental Aviation Association (EAA) reported on its website, "the frenzied activity of Congress will stop to listen when a well-informed celebrity has something to say."

   So it was on October 19, 2011, when longtime EAA member, pilot, and former Young Eagles program chairman Harrison Ford talked about the importance of general aviation to the U.S. Senate General Aviation Caucus. Ford was also the winner of the NAA's 2010 Wright Brothers Memorial Trophy.

   He joined Senate General Aviation Caucus Co-Chairs Sen. Mark Begich (D-AK) and Sen. Mike Johanns (R-NE) in speaking to nine other senators, numerous senate staff members, and assembled media about the importance of general aviation to the nation's economy and transportation system.

   Among the issues highlighted during the Capitol Hill appearance were the threat of the $100-per-flight user fee proposal unveiled by the Obama administration, the efforts toward finding a suitable replacement of 100 low-lead aviation fuel, and the importance of maintaining the Block Aircraft Registration (BARR) request program that maintains privacy rights of aviators from public Internet access following during flights.

   Several other aviation groups also oppose the proposed $100 user fee. The U.S. Parachute Association (USPA) reported on its website that a petition, "Take User Fees off the Table," has been launched on a site recently inaugurated by the White House that allows anyone to petition on a specific issue.

   If within 30 days 5,000 people sign a petition, the White House staff will issue an official response and direct it to the appropriate agency. As of October 24, the petition had 8,580 signatures. Even though this petition has already reached the 5,000-person threshold, additional signatures still send an important message to the White House, so every signature counts.


Jet-Powered Sailplane Featured

On the History ChannelSailplane

   The Soaring Society of America (SSA) reports that the BonusJet jet-powered sailplane will be featured on the History Channel Modern Marvels program beginning Monday, October 10, 2011. Modern Marvels has moved to the History Channel's new sister channel H2, which may not be available in some areas. The History Channel website lists the program at 10:00 PM EDT (7:00 PM PDT), but check local listings for the time in your area.

 Desert Aerospace, LLC, manufactures the BonusJet, which is the first truly practical jet self-launching sailplane.


Injured Veterans Take Flight

   The United States Hang Gliding and Paragliding Association (USHPA) reported on its website that The New York Times published an article, "Accustomed to Wheels, Thrill-Seeking Injured Veterans Take Wing," which describes how some veterans are taking up paragliding.


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Aero Club News

Southern Calif. Club Members Preview

New Air Museum at Santa Monica

Artist's rendering of the new Museum of Flying.

Members of the Aero Club of Southern California (ACSC) made a preview visit in September to their state's newest aviation museum, now nearing completion at the Santa Monica Airport with a public opening set before year-end.

   The $3.8 million Museum of Flying will be home to two dozen historic aircraft and a variety of exhibits, many related to the Douglas Aircraft Company, which built thousands of airplanes there in the wartime years of the 1940s.

   ACSC plans its final meeting of the year in Los Angeles on November 17, when it will award its annual scholarships to selected high school and college students and host a group of California aviators who will receive aviation record certificates and FAI awards from NAA President Jonathan Gaffney recognizing speed or altitude records set during 2011.


GDOT Official Speaks to

Carol Comer

Atlanta Aero Club

Carol Comer, Acting Director for the Georgia Department of Transportation Division of Intermodal spoke to the Atlanta Aero Club in October. She oversees the state's aviation, transit, rail, and waterways programs.

   The presentation included statistics from a recent Statewide Aviation Economic Impact Study, which quantifies the economic contribution of the state's 104 publicly-owned, public-use airports to the state

Craig Fuller

and local economies. Attendees also viewed a short film, "The Georgia Airports Mean Business."

   The next AAC meeting is scheduled for December 8 at the Capital City Club with Craig Fuller, President of Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association, as the featured guest speaker.


NAA Logo

In This Issue
Collier Trophy Nominations
December Luncheon
Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta
To Come
Chairman's Message
Air Sport Organization News
Aero Club News
Membership Meeting Notice
Upcoming Events
Call for Nominations
Featured Member Orgs
Records Claimed
Air Sports Link
NAA Credit Card


Special Notice to Members:

2011 Annual NAA Membership Meeting
NAA hereby notifies all current NAA members that the annual meeting of the membership will be held Friday, December 16, 2011 at 10:00 a.m. at the offices of Hogan Lovells, Columbia Square, 555 13th Street, NW, Washington, DC. All members are invited to attend. Please notify NAA of your attendance by December 6, 2011 by email to
[email protected].  This meeting will be followed immediately by a meeting of the Board of Directors.


Upcoming Events

Upcoming Events


Fall Awards Banquet

Monday, Nov. 7

Premier Award presentations

Details and Registration 


December Luncheon

Thursday, Dec. 1

Featuring Richard Aboulafia,

Aviation Analyst, Teal Group

Details and Registration 


Annual Membership Meeting

Friday, December 16

Click here for details 

Call for Nominations

Katherine & Marjorie Stinson Award


Nominations close 11/30/11

Awarded to 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.

Click here for details.


2011 Collier Trophy

Nominations accepted through 1/31/12

Awarded annually for the greatest achievement in aeronautics or astronautics in America the value of which has been thoroughly demonstrated by actual use during the preceding year.

Click here for details and nomination requirements.


This month's featured member

Rockwell Collins  





Records Claimed
July 1 - August 31, 2011  

FAI 80 



Speed Over a Commercial Airline Route:

Syracuse, NY to Greensboro, NC:   

 500 mph

Douglas L. Rice

Class C-1

US Airways Airbus A320




Speed Over a Recognized Course:

Cologne, Germany to Great Falls, MT:   

297.72 mph

Travis P. Holland & Gregory L. Oswald

Class C-1.e, Group III (Jet)

Embraer Phenom 100

2 Pratt & Whitney Canada PW617F-E



San Diego, CA to

Tucson, AZ:  177.81 mph

Thomas L. Graham

Class C-1.c, Group I (Internal Combustion)

Cessna 182RG

1 Lycoming O-540



San Diego, CA to Reno, NV:  254 mph

Douglas G. Matthews

Class C-1.e, Group I (Internal Combustion)

Chance Vought F4U-4 Corsair

1 Pratt & Whitney R-2800



Reno, NV to San Diego, CA:  298 mph

Douglas G. Matthews

Class C-1.e, Group I (Internal Combustion)

North American P-51D Mustang

1 Rolls-Royce 1650



Dover, DE to Kabul, Afghanistan:  497 mph

Scott S. Korell

Class C-1.t, Group III (Jet)

Lockheed Martin C-5M

4 General Electric CF6-80C2




Speed Over a Recognized Course, Round Trip:

San Diego, CA to Savannah, GA (and return):  71 mph

Carl J. Nurmi,

Miguel Krishnan,

Jerry M. Peck,

& Travis H. Reid

Class E-1.c, Group I (Piston)

Robinson R44 Raven II

1 Lycoming O-540




This Month's
Air Sport Link     


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