X-47B UCAS-D wins Collier trophy

The X-47B UCAS-D is the 2014 Collier Trophy winner. (US Navy)
The X-47B UCAS-D is the 2014 Collier Trophy winner. (US Navy)

The Northrop Grumman X-47B unmanned combat air system demonstrator (UCAS-D) program has been awarded the 2014 Collier Trophy for the greatest achievement in aeronautics or astronautics in the US.

The award, announced by the National Aeronautic Association (NAA), recognises the achievements of the X-47B industry team “…for developing and demonstrating the first unmanned, autonomous air system operating from an aircraft carrier.”

“The array of advancement and achievement in aerospace was on full display in our 7 hours of Collier Selection,” chairman of NAA and chairman of the selection committee, Walter Boyne said at the NAA Spring Awards Dinner on April 9. “The nominations and presentations were exceptional and the discussions reflected the challenge that we had to select one. I want to congratulate Northrop Grumman, the United States Navy, and their team for the X-47B – it is a remarkable accomplishment.”

Other nominations this year included the Pratt & Whitney PurePower geared turbofan engine, the Boeing/USN P-8 Poseidon, and the hypersonic X-51A Waverider program.

Past winners of the Collier Trophy since 2000 include the Boeing 787, the Sikorsky X2 hybrid helicopter, the Lockheed Martin F-22 Raptor, the Scaled Composites SpaceshipOne, the F-35B’s lift fan design, and the Northrop Grumman Global Hawk.

Australian Aviation will feature the X-47B’s UCAS-D and follow-on UCLASS program in our upcoming May 2014 edition.