Sikorsky Aircraft Wins Collier Award

The National Aeronautics Association states that the Collier Trophy is awarded to the person or organization that has shown “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.” The award was named in honor of Robert J. Collier, who was not only the publisher of the Collier’s Weekly Magazine but also president of the Aero Club of America, assisting in forging a future for air sports.

In the year 1911 Collier commissioned an award he named the Aero Club of America Trophy. Sadly Collier passed away in 1918. The Aero Club of America dissolved in 1922, and the National Aeronautics Association took over the award and renamed it. In 1944, the name of the trophy became official and the original trophy has been put on display in the U.S. National Air and Space Museum.

This prestigious award is handed out annually by the president of the NAA, and this year’s winner was Sikorsky Aircraft. It is also the hundredth time the award has been handed out. The Sikorsky X2 helicopter is most definitely a worthy winner.

The Sikorsky X2 is a twin rotor helicopter that is able to reach speeds of up to two hundred and eighty-eight miles per hour, or two hundred and fifty knots. There were four significant features that the engineering and design team wanted to achieve with the Sikorsky X2, namely low vibration, speed, a low work load for the pilot and a low auditory signature. Many shortcomings of high speed helicopters were minimized with the technology used for the Sikorsky X2 by using main rotors that counter rotate. At present the X2 is being designed for the Armed Aerial Scout program run by the army as a light attack aircraft, which will be known as the X2 Raider. The possibilities for the new helicopter are endless, as it could also be looked at for air rescue missions or an aircraft to respond to accident sites.

Vice President of the Sikorsky Research and Engineering division commend that receiving the Collier Trophy was a great honor and that “As the X2 Technology program transitions to its first application, we are confident that the X2™ design has a tremendous future and is scalable for a variety of rotorcraft sizes and applications. This recognition is warm acknowledgement of the great things that can be achieved when the spirit of innovation and dedication to the task are the foundation.”