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Robert J. Collier Trophy Dinner: June 3, 2015

Hangar 7, Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport


Gulfstream to Receive 2014 
Robert J. Collier Trophy

NAA President and CEO, Jonathan Gaffney  (left) and the Gulfstream Team

At the Spring Awards Dinner on March 11, 2015, NAA announced that Gulfstream has been named the recipient of the 2014 Robert J. Collier Trophy "For the development of the Gulfstream G650 Business Jet, which strengthened business aviation through significant technological advancements in aircraft performance, cabin comfort, and safety."  

The Collier Selection Committee, comprised of 30 individuals from throughout the aviation and aerospace industry, met earlier in the day to listen to presentations from each of the seven nominees.

The Robert J. Collier Trophy 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." 



Gulfstream G650
Katherine & Marjorie Stinson Trophy 
Awarded to Dr. Marina Ruggles-Wrenn


Dr. Marina Ruggles-Wrenn, a Professor of Aerospace Engineering at the Air Force Institute of Technology, received the 2015 Katherine and

Mary Miller (left) and Paula Hochstetler (center) present Dr. Marina Ruggles-Wrenn (right) with the Stinson Trophy 

Marjorie Stinson Trophy for  "...dedicating over 27 years of her professional life to advancing the state-of-the-art in aerospace structures, design, and materials."

The Stinson Trophy was created in 1997 by NAA to honor the accomplishments of two sisters - Katherine and Marjorie Stinson. These sisters were among the first 11 American women to be certified as airplane pilots through the Aero Club of America (the predecessor of NAA). Their flying school helped numerous U.S. and foreign pilots to earn their Aero Club licenses, the precursor to FAA pilot certificates. 

The trophy recognizes a living person for " outstanding and enduring contribution to the role of women in the field of aviation, aeronautics, space, or related sciences."


Two Eagles Complete Record Breaking Flight


Two Eagles balloon pilots Leonid Tiukhtyaev and Troy Bradley landed safely just outside Baja, Mexico on Saturday, January 31, 2015, after completing their successful attempt to capture the world gas balloon distance and duration records.

The records are pending approval by NAA and FAI, but it appears the Two Eagles team has surpassed both the distance and duration records for gas balloons. The team's distance of 6,646 miles (10,696 km) surpassed the existing record of 5,208 miles (8,383 km), set by Double Eagle V pilots Ben Abruzzo, Larry Newman, Ron Clark, and Rocky Aoki in 1981, by 27%.

The team stayed aloft for 160 hours, 38 minutes (6 days, 16 hours, 38 minutes), besting by 17% the previous record of 137 hours, 5 minutes, 50 seconds set in 1978 by Ben Abruzzo, Maxie Anderson, and Larry Newman aboard the Double Eagle II.


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President's Message
Save the Date


As you read at the beginning of this newsletter, Gulfstream and the G650 was selected earlier this month as the recipient of the 2014 Robert J. Collier Trophy.  All of us at the National Aeronautic Association congratulate them on their great accomplishment and their remarkable aircraft. 


Of course, the Trophy - permanently displayed at the Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum -- will be presented at the Annual Collier Dinner to be held right outside NAA Headquarters - Hangar 7 at DCA - on June 3rd.


But the Collier Trophy dinner is more than just about the recipient.  While the trophy is reflective of "...the greatest achievement in aeronautics or astronautics in America," (and Gulfstream certainly fits the bill) it also reflective of our nation's progress in aviation for over a century.


Robert Collier commissioned the trophy in 1910 with the intent to encourage the American aviation community to strive for excellence and achievement in aeronautic development.  But while the Collier Dinner is to honor the recipient, it is also designed to celebrate the relentless progress of our industry.


Please make plans to join us on June 3rd.  I promise that you find it a great use of your time.


Jonathan Gaffney

  NAA President and CEO

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NAA 2015 Luncheon Series


January Luncheon



Richard Aboulafia, Vice President, Analysis for the Teal Group, gave

 "Aviation's State of the Union" at the January 30th luncheon. He provided an outlook for the aviation industry for 2015.




NAA gratefully acknowledges the support of our 

2015 Luncheon Sponsors: 


Aerojet Rocketdyne, Boeing, GE Aviation, Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, Rolls-Royce North America, UTC/Pratt & Whitney, Aurora Flight Sciences, and The Ringo Group

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Air Sport Organization News


Four United States Adventurers to Compete in the 2015 Red Bull X-Alps


Four Team USA entries will compete in the 2015 Red Bull X-Alps. Known as the World's Toughest Adventure Race, participants will make their way from Salzburg, Austria to a beach in Monaco, traveling the length of the Alps only by paraglider or on foot.


The United States joins Austria, France, Germany, and Switzerland fielding teams of four athletes. Honza Rejmanek (Team USA1) returns for his fifth race; his best finish to date was third place in 2009. Gavin McClurg (Team USA2) has completed several similar routes, including traversing the Sierra Nevada and the Canadian Rockies, which resulted in his co-nomination for National Geographic Adventurer of the Year. Dawn Westrum (Team USA3) is only the fourth woman ever to compete in the X-Alps; this is her first race of this type, but she has an extensive background in ultra-marathon and adventure racing. Dave Turner (Team USA4) is one of two wild-card participants; his specialty has been solo "vol-bivouc" (fly-camp) adventures. 


The seventh edition of the biennial race starts July 5, 2015 and will be covered live on the internet. Complete profiles and interviews with the competitors are available by clicking here.



Skydiving Hits Record High Numbers


Photo by Niklas Daniel

For the third year in a row, the U.S. Parachute Association (USPA) is reporting record-high growth, indicating that more and more people are not only jumping for the first time, but are taking up the sport as a hobby and a passion.


Throughout 2014, USPA membership continued to set record highs, ending the year with 36,770 members, the highest in the association's 68-year history.


Last year, more than a half million people experienced the thrill of a lifetime, taking the leap for the first time. These first-timers and USPA members combined to make roughly 3.2 million skydives at more than 240 USPA-affiliated skydiving schools and centers across the country.


USPA also welcomed nearly 8,000 new members, the most ever added in a single year, and issued more than 4,100 basic skydiving licenses. These record-high numbers prove that more first-timers are coming back to pursue the sport and become certified solo jumpers.


For more information on making a first jump or to find a skydiving center near you, visit the USPA website or call 800.371.USPA.


70th Anniversary of the Pitts Special to be Observed at EAA AirVenture 2015


This summer will mark the 70th anniversary of the first test flight of the Pitts Special by Curtis Pitts himself.  This aircraft went on to become one of the premiere aerobatic aircraft of all time and continues to enjoy an active life in the hands of competition and recreational pilots around the world.  It is one of the iconic aircraft types in aerobatic history and made possible the foundation, growth, and expansion of the International Aerobatic Club (IAC) in the 1970's.  Its importance to aerobatic development cannot be overemphasized.


To recognize this beautiful airplane and all the models that have followed since the first "Special" took to the air in 1945, the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) and IAC will celebrate this 70th anniversary with special displays at EAA AirVenture 2015 in Oshkosh, Wisconsin as well as forums and airshow demonstrations. The IAC is inviting its members who would like to celebrate the anniversary by bringing their Pitts aircraft to AirVenture to display them in a specially designated parking area located next to the IAC building. Pitts owners who would like to participate in the celebration at Oshkosh are being asked to register in advance.


Additional events being planned during the celebration include a celebration dinner and special forum speakers at the IAC Pavilion focused on a wide variety of subjects surrounding the Pitts aircraft operations, maintenance and history. AirVenture takes place July 20-26, 2015. Updates on the celebration for the Pitts can be found on the IAC website.


Accompanying this article are photos of Betty Skelton and her Pitts Special N22E, "Little Stinker".  This airplane now resides at the Smithsonian's Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center.  Betty was the first to fly the Pitts in competition.  Curtis Pitts is also shown next to a replica of the first Pitts Special which he test flew in August 1945.  



AMA Announces Rare Bing Autoplan on Display at The National Model Aviation Museum


The National Model Aviation Museum, located at the International Aeromodeling Center in Muncie, IN, is thrilled to announce that the Intermuseum Conservation Association (ICA) has completed the restoration of the Bing Autoplan. This exceptional aircraft is now on display at the museum, and is now the oldest original model airplane in its collection.


For more information, please visit click here.



AMA Releases Statement on FAA's Notice of Proposed Rule Making for Small UAS


The Academy of Model Aeronautics (AMA), released the following statement in response to the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking for Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems released by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).


"While we have not yet fully reviewed the proposed rule, we can say that regulations relating to the commercial use of small unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) should not apply to the longstanding, educational hobby of flying model aircraft. These are two very different activities, and Congress appropriately made clear in 2012 that model aircraft should be exempt from federal regulation.


To read the statement in full, please click here.



Save the Date


National Model Aviation Day: August 15, 2015

For more information, click here.



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Aero Club News
Abe Karem to Receive Cabot Award

The Aero Club of New England (ACONE) will present the Godfrey L. Cabot Award to Abe Karem on Friday, June 5, 2015 in Boston.


The Godfrey L. Cabot Award will be presented to Karem to honor his lifetime of innovation creating remotely piloted, unmanned aerial vehicles (RPA). His designs have fundamentally defined the basic configuration for the majority of fixed-wing and single-rotor RPAs, according to club officials.


Karem has developed more than 30 aircraft designs, half of which have been built and flown, since emigrating from Israel in 1977. He is best known for the achievements of Leading Systems, which created the Predator family of RPAs.  Karem is founder, president, and chief designer of Karem Aircraft located in Lake Forest, Calif.


The Cabot Award, made in commemoration of Dr. Godfrey L. Cabot (now deceased), is presented each year by ACONE to an individual or team who have made a unique and unparalleled contribution to encourage and advance aviation and space flight.  

Around the Wold in an Albatross


Reid Dennis speaking at the Aero Club of Northern California Luncheon on February 24, 2015
More than 135 members and guests turned out for the Spring Luncheon of the Aero Club of Northern California on February 24th to hear venture capitalist Reid Dennis speak on his around-the-world flight in a restored Grumman Albatross amphibian.


The March 17 to May 21, 1997 flight followed the route of Amelia Earhart's 1937 final flight, on which her Lockheed Electra disappeared over the Pacific. Starting from Oakland, California, Dennis' flight included 38 stops in 21 countries in 195 hours of flight time.


The 1955 Grumman G-64 Albatross can operate on water and land. Dennis' 1997 globe-circling flight escorted Texas aviator Linda Finch on her re-creation of Earhart's last flight. Finch's journey was filmed from Dennis' twin-engine Albatross, which accompanied Finch's Electra in case she needed help in an emergency.


Dennis bought the Albatross, sitting derelict with no engines in the 

Arizona desert, in 1989. It took seven years for mechanics to rebuild the former U.S. Navy seaplane. In 2013, Dennis donated the Albatross to the Hiller Aviation Museum in San Carlos, California.


Dennis is one of Silicon Valley's first venture capitalists. For almost 50 years he has been investing in private companies, then waiting for the stock to go on the public market and appreciate. His success has allowed him to indulge his passion for aviation, particularly seaplanes. 



Spring 2015


In This Issue
Collier Trophy Recipient
Stinson Trophy Recipient
President's Message
NAA 2015 Luncheon Series
Air Sport News
Aero Club News
Upcoming Events
Call for Nominations
Records Claimed
Upcoming Events 

Collier Trophy Dinner


Wed, June 3, 2015


Historic Hangar 7

Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport


NAA June Luncheon

Date: TBD

Crystal Gateway Marriott

Arlington, Virginia


Summer Awards Ceremony

Mon, July 13, 2015

Terminal A

Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport

Call for Nominations

FAI Awards

Nominations Close

April 30th


The F�d�ration A�ronautique Internationale (FAI) awards dozens of medals and diplomas annually to recognize accomplishments in the air, especially in the field of sporting aviation. 

Click here  for details.

2015 Collier Dinner Sponsors:
New NAA Corporate Members


Records Claimed
December 1, 2014 to
February 28, 2015

FAI Smaller   




Speed Around the World, Over Both the Earth's Poles:  44 mph

William C. Harrelson

Class C-1.d, Group I

Lancair IV

1 Continental IO-550

Kinston, NC



Speed Over a Recognized Course:


Glasgow, UK to Bedford, MA:  422 mph

Earl T. Leonard & Justin J. Maas

Class C-1.i, Group III

Gulfstream G280

2 Honeywell HTF7250G



Dubai, UAE to Luanda, Angola:  546 mph

John A. McGrath, Anthony M. Fidrych & William T. Baker

Class C-1.l, Group III

Gulfstream G650

2 Rolls-Royce BR725



Newark, NJ to Santiago, Chile:  554.54 mph*

Robert S. McKenney & Scott W. Curtis

Class C-1.m, Group III

Gulfstream G650ER

2 BMW Rolls-Royce BR725



New York, NY to Beijing, China:  509 mph

Michael R. Jarrett, Raymond A. Wellington & Scott W. Curtis

Class C-1.m, Group III

Gulfstream G650ER

2 Rolls-Royce BR725



Midland, TX to Kansas City, MO:  195 mph

James T. Claire

Class C-1.c, Group I

Lancair ES

1 Continental IO-360



Beijing, China to Savannah, GA:  608 mph

Michael R. Jarrett, Raymond A. Wellington & Scott W. Curtis

Class C-1.m, Group III

Gulfstream G650ER

2 Rolls-Royce BR725






Distance: 6,654 mi

Duration: 160 hrs, 43 min

Troy A. Bradley & Leonid Tyukhtyaev

Class AA-13, General


Saga, Japan to Baja, Mexico




Unmanned aerial vehicles


Duration:  80 hrs, 2 min, 52 sec*

Peter LeHew, John Cody Allee, David Paul Gerhardt, Joel Walker & Thomas Washington

Class U1.f, Group I

Aurora Flight Sciences Orion

2 Austro AE300

Ridgecrest, CA




Except where noted by an asterisk (*), information is preliminary and subject to approval.

NAA Staff Directory
Jonathan Gaffney

President & CEO

Art Greenfield
Contest & Records
Stephanie Berry
Awards & Events,

Natasha Clark
Administration & Membership


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