Col­lier Tro­phy to X-47B team


The Na­tional Aero­nau­tic As­so­ci­a­tion (NAA) has selected the X-47B Un­manned Com­bat Air Sys­tem Demon­stra­tion (UCAS-D) team to re­ceive the 2013 Robert J. Col­lier Tro­phy, avi­a­tion’s high­est hon­our. Com­prised of lead­ers in govern­ment, busi­ness and in­dus­try, the NAA voting com­mit­tee awarded the US Navy, Northrop Grum­man and in­dus­try part­ners for “de­vel­op­ing and demon­strat­ing the first un­manned, au­ton­o­mous air sys­tem op­er­at­ing from an air­craft car­rier.”

On May 14, 2013, the X-47B was the first un­manned, tail­less air­craft to cat­a­pult launch from an air­craft car­rier, the USS Ge­orge H.W. Bush (CVN 77). Three days later, the air­craft made the first car­rier-based touch-and-go land­ings. On July 10, 2013, the X-47B made his­tory again on CVN 77 by be­ing the first un­manned, tail­less air­craft to make an ar­rested land­ing aboard a car­rier.

Con­ferred an­nu­ally, the Col­lier Tro­phy recog­nises one team or in­di­vid­ual who has made “the great­est achieve­ment in aero­nau­tics or as­tro­nau­tics in Amer­ica” dur­ing the pre­vi­ous year. Past re­cip­i­ents of the tro­phy in­clude Howard Hughes (1938), Neil Arm­strong (1969), the B-2 (1991), Global Hawk (2000) and Space Ship One (2004).

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