“Collier Trophy is the everlasting symbol of the growth of the American airline industry” – Walter Boyne – Chairman, National Aeronautic Association
“Captures the history of innovation and excellence in the airspace history.” – Marion Blakey, President and CEO, Aerospace Industries Assn.
“Represents the innovation, the exploration and the achievements of the men and women who have been flying airplanes and flying spacecraft for all these 100 years” – Admiral Richard Truly USN retired, Collier recipient 1988
“Collier Trophy is really something that is very unique and very meaningful (…) is the Oscar of Aviation” – Dick Rutan, Collier Recipient 1986
The Collier Award is really about excellence in aerospace, is about great engineering, is about teams that create great things that never existed before (…) it legitimizes the hard work of the various teams that win” – Jim Albaugh, president and CEO of Boeing Commercial Airplanes
The Robert J. Collier Trophy is awarded annually “for the greatest achievement in aeronautics or astronautics in America, concerning 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.” The list of Collier winners represents a timeline of aviation, as many of the awardees mark major events in the history of flight.
In recognizing the worth and future of aviation, Mr. Collier proclaimed the idea that “the flying machine should be unselfishly and rapidly developed to its ultimate potential for economic advancement in America.”
Jeana Yeager is an American pilot mostly known as the first woman to fly an airplane nonstop around the globe without refueling. As a member of the pioneering Voyager Team, the aviatrix Jeana Yeager is the first woman to have received the Collier Trophy, aviation’s most prestigious award. She also received the Edward Longstreth Medal from the Franklin Institute in 1988.
After six years of design, construction, and development, the Voyager team constructed a unique aircraft made almost entirely of lightweight graphite-honeycomb composite materials. On board this aircraft, the Voyager team achieved a milestone flight in December 1986 by flying around the world without stopping or refueling. The team also set the flight record, taking only nine days, three minutes, and forty-four seconds.
In recognition of this revolutionary aviation triumphal achievement, President Reagan presented the Voyager crew with the Presidential Citizenship Medal, awarded only 16 times before in history. Jeana is the first woman to be awarded the Presidential Citizenship Medal.
In her own words, in her book “Voyager” (The pilots who designed and flew the “Voyager” around the world) – 1987, Jeana describes in one sentence the experience which brought her prominence “If it were easy, it would have been done a long time ago.”