by the National Aeronautic Association
under the auspices of the FAA
, the Robert J. Collier Trophy
is considered the most prestigious
award in aerospace
. It was established in 1911 by Robert Collier, publisher of Collier's Weekly
magazine. He was also an early president of the Aero Club
. Collier was among the first to purchase an airplane
from the Wright brothers
for personal use.
The criteria for recognition is that the winner must be "the greatest achievement in aeronautics or astronautics in America for the preceding year, 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." The award, originally known as the Aero Club of America Trophy, was first presented in 1911 to Glenn Curtiss. Collier also stated that "the flying machine should be unselfishly and rapidly developed to its ultimate potential for America's economic advancement."
A list of the winners can be found at http://www.nasm.edu/nasm/aero/trophy/collier.htm.
Notable winners include Glenn Curtiss, (who was the first), Burt Rutan (his plane flew around the world on a single tank of gas), Howard Hughes, and the original seven astronauts.