Collier Trophies

The Skunk Works® is the proud home of seven Collier Trophies. Some of the Skunk Works' most notable aircraft have received the prestigious trophy, which bears the name of the past publisher and early president of the Aero Club of America, Robert J. Collier. The trophy is awarded annually by the National Aeronautic Association 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.


F-104 STARFIGHTER (1958)

The F-104 Starfighter, the frst Mach 2 aircraft, was developed to compete against Soviet MiGs in the early 1950s.


USAF A-11 MACH 3 AIRCRAFT (1963)

The SR-71 Blackbird reconnaissance aircraft was the first to cruise at speeds in excess of Mach 3. It was retired in 1990, but remains the highest flying and fastest jet aircraft ever developed.


F-117 NIGHTHAWK (1989)

The F-117 Nighthawk, was the world's first operational stealth fighter. It demonstrated its extraordinary low observable capability during Operation Desert-Storm in early 1991.


U-2S/ER-2 DRAGON LADY (1998)

Though the trophy for the U-2S was given in 1998, the first U-2 got its start in 1954 when the threat of Soviet Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles compelled the CIA to task Kelly Johnson and the Skunk Works team to develop a high-altitude reconnaissance aircraft. The U-2S remains the highest flying, single engine airplane in service today.


JSF/X-35B STOVL (2002)

The Skunk Works-led development and flight testing of the Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, BAE Systems X-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) prototypes earned this team a Collier Trophy. Included in this effort was the successful flight testing of the innovative lift fan system on the X-35B demonstrator. The successful testing of this revolutionary vertical landing capability was a key factor in this win.


F-22 RAPTOR (2006)

The Raptor’s overwhelming performance in the demanding 2006 joint military exercise called Northern Edge secured the 2006 trophy. The YF-22, the precursor to the F-22 Raptor, was designed and built by an ADP led industry team. U.S. Raptor Team members include the U.S. Air Force, Lockheed Martin, Boeing, Pratt & Whitney, Northrop Grumman, Raytheon, BAE Systems and some 1,000 suppliers in 42 states.


X-47B (2013)

The X-47B is a tailless, strike fighter-sized unmanned aircraft developed by Northrop Grumman as part of the U.S. Navy's Unmanned Combat Air System (UCAS) Carrier Demonstration program. The Northrop Grumman led X-47 team won the Collier Trophy for its successful demonstration of carrier operations. Lockheed Martin’s work included the successful design and manufacturing of the leading edges and arresting hook system.