The Collier Trophy is an annual aviation award administered by the U.S. National Aeronautic Association (NAA), presented to those who have made "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."
Robert J. Collier, publisher of Collier's Weekly magazine, was an air sports pioneer and president of the Aero Club of America. He commissioned the 525 pound (240 kg) trophy in 1911, originally named the Aero Club of America Trophy. Collier also was the owner of a Wright Model B biplane which he purchased in 1911. After presenting it several times, Collier died in 1918 after the end of World War I.
It was renamed in his honor in 1922 when the Aero Club dissolved, and the award was taken over by the NAA. The name became official in 1944, and the award presented once a year by the NAA president, with the trophy on permanent display at the U.S. National Air and Space Museum. As such, the trophy was in the custody of its 1969 co-recipient, Michael Collins during his directorship of the museum.
- 1911 Glenn Curtiss, for successful development of the hydro-aeroplane. The first award.
- 1912 - Glenn H. Curtiss, for the invention of the single-pontoon seaplane and development of the flying boat.
- 1913 - Orville Wright, for development of his automatic stabilizer.
- 1921 - Grover Loening, for development of the Loening Flying Yacht.
- 1922 - United States Air Mail Service, for the first transcontinental air mail route.
- 1923 - United States Air Mail Service, for the first transcontinental air mail route involving night flight.
- 1925 - Sylvanus Albert Reed, for the metal propeller.
- 1928 - Aeronautics branch of the United States Department of Commerce for development of airways and navigation facilities.
- 1929 Fred Weick, for design of the NACA cowling which revolutionized civil air transport by making aircraft faster and more profitable. It also found application on the bombers and fighters of World War II.
- 1930 Harold Frederick Pitcairn and associates for development of the autogyro.
- 1932 Glenn L. Martin for the design of the Martin B-10 (XB-907) bomber.
- 1933 Frank W. Caldwell of Hamilton Standard for the hydraulically controllable propeller.
- 1934 Albert Francis Hegenberger for the first blind flying landing system.
- 1936 Pan American Airways for establishment of a transpacific airline and the successful execution of extended overwater navigation in regular operations.
- 1937 Army Air Corps for the design and development of the Lockheed XC-35.
- 1938 Howard Hughes
- 1945 Luis W. Alvarez for the Ground Controlled Approach (GCA) which allowed radar operators to talk a pilot down.
- 1947 Chuck Yeager for piloting the Bell X-1, the first aircraft to break the sound barrier. According to his biography, Yeager used the trophy in his garage to store nuts and bolts.
- 1954 Richard T. Whitcomb for his discovery of the area rule, a design method for supersonic aircraft.
- 1958 Clarence "Kelly" Johnson of Lockheed Skunk Works, and Gerhard Neumann and Neil Burgess of GE, for leadership in the development of the F-104 Starfighter (1958) and its J79 engine.
- 1961 Scott Crossfield, Joseph A. Walker, Robert Michael White and Forrest S. Petersen, X-15 test pilots.
- 1963 Clarence "Kelly" Johnson, for his leadership at Lockheed's Skunk Works in the development of the SR-71 Blackbird.
- 1969 the crew of Apollo 11
- 1970 The Boeing Company as leader of the industry-airline-government team which successfully introduced the 747 into commercial service with particular recognition to Pratt and Whitney Division of United Aircraft Corporation and to Pan American World Airways.
- 1975 David S. Lewis, Jr. of General Dynamics Corporation, and the F-16 Air Force Industry Team, for significant advancements in aviation technology leading to innovative fighter aircraft effectiveness.
- 1978 Sam B. Williams for development of the small, high-efficiency turbofan.
- 1985 Russell W Meyer and Cessna Aircraft Co for the outstanding safety record of the worldwide fleet of Citation aircraft
- 1986 Dick Rutan, Jeana Yeager, Burt Rutan and the team of the non-stop unrefueled circumnavigation of the Rutan Voyager
- 1989 Ben Rich for leading Lockheed's Skunk Works to develop the first stealth aircraft, the F-117.
- 1990 Bell Boeing V-22 Osprey team
- 1991 The Northrop Corporation, the Industry Team and the United States Air Force for design, development, production, and flight testing of the B-2.
- 1992 Naval Research Laboratory, US Air Force, Aerospace Corporation, Rockwell International, and IBM Federal Systems Company for Global Positioning System (GPS).
- 1994 McDonnell Douglas for developing the C-17 Globemaster III.
- 1995 Boeing Commercial Airplanes and the Boeing 777 airliner development team, winner for producing the advanced 777 widebody twinjet.
- 1996 Cessna Aircraft Company and the Citation X Design Team for designing, testing, certifying, and placing into service the Citation X, the first commercial aircraft in U. S. Aviation history to achieve a cruising speed of Mach .92
- 2000 Northrop Grumman, Rolls-Royce, Raytheon, L-3 Communications, United States Air Force, and DARPA For designing, building, testing, and operating Global Hawk, the first fully autonomous, operationally demonstrated, and most capable surveillance and reconnaissance unmanned aerial vehicle in the world.
- 2001 Lockheed Martin, Rolls-Royce, Pratt and Whitney, BAE Systems, Northrop Grumman and the Joint Strike Fighter Program Office; for inventing, designing, developing, and demonstrating the Integrated LiftFan Propulsion System 
- 2002 Sikorsky Aircraft and the S-92 Team, lead by Nicholas Lappos.
- 2004 Burt Rutan and his SpaceShipOne team for designing and launching the first commercial manned launch vehicle
- 2004 Gulfstream Aerospace for the development of the G550, the first civil aircraft to include an enhanced vision system as standard equipment.
- 2005 Eclipse Aviation was awarded as the result of Eclipse Aviation's "leadership, innovation, and the advancement of general aviation" in the production of very light jets, specifically, the Eclipse 500.
- 2006 The F-22 Raptor Team, because the F-22 "established the unquestionable superiority of the Raptor, a culmination of years of visionary design, rigorous testing, and innovative manufacturing," according to NAA President David Ivey. The Raptor Team consists of the United States Air Force, Lockheed Martin, BAE Systems, Boeing, Northrop Grumman, Raytheon, Pratt and Whitney, and 1,000 other suppliers located in 42 states.
- 2007 Various public and private organizations and companies for their innovative work on Automatic Dependent Surveillance-broadcast (ADS-B).
- 2008 The Commercial Aviation Safety Team
- 2009 The International Space Station Team
- 2010 The Sikorsky Aircraft Corp. Sikorsky X2 Technology™ Demonstrator Team
- 2011 The Boeing Company for designing, building, delivering, and supporting the 787 Dreamliner
- 2012 NASA/JPL Mars Science Laboratory/Curiosity Project Team for "successfully landing Curiosity on Mars, advancing the nation's technological and engineering capabilities, and significantly improving humanity's understanding of ancient Martian habitable environments."
- 2013 Northrop Grumman/U.S. Navy/Industry team for designing, building, and demonstrating the X-47B aircraft and its ability to autonomously operate from and perform arrested landings upon an aircraft carrier.
- "The Founding Father". Flying Magazine: 76. Aug 1976.
- Ritchie Thomas. "Sylvanus Albert Reed Inventor". AAHS Summer 1992: 103.
- Air Progress: 60. August 1989.
- Maisel, Martin D., Demo J. Giulianetti and Daniel C. Dugan. NASA SP-2000-4517, "The History of the XV-15 Tilt Rotor Research Aircraft: From Concept to Flight" (PDF) p155 NASA, 2000. Accessed: 17 March 2012.
- Propulsion System in Lockheed Martin Joint Strike Fighter wins Collier Trophy Lockheed Martin press release, February 28, 2003. Retrieved: January 2010
- "Propulsion system for a vertical and short takeoff and landing aircraft", United States Patent 5209428 (PDF of original)
- "GAPAN to bestow top flight operations award on Nick Lappos" HeliHub, 2 October 2013. Accessed: 13 October 2013.
- Warwick, Graham. "Sikorsky's X2 - Collier Win, Commercial Next?" Aviation Week, Mar 16, 2011. Accessed: March 8, 2014.
- Larson, George. "Sikorsky's X2 and the Collier Trophy" Aviation Week, Mar 23, 2011. Accessed: March 8, 2014.
- Bosco, Cassandro (March 12, 2013). "NASA/JPL Mars Curiosity Project Team Receive 2012 Robert J. Collier Trophy". National Aeronautic Association. Retrieved February 9, 2014.
- The Collier Trophy - contains a fairly up-to-date listing of the winners
- Collier Winners by decade - from NAA's website
- From Engineering Science to Big Science - The NACA and NASA Collier Trophy Research Project Winners, Edited by Pamela E. Mack