Epic Collier Trophy Fails

A history of Collier awards for achievements that didn't work out as planned.

Collier Autogiro
Collier Autogiro

The history of the National Aeronautic Association is a long and glorious one. From the organization's first award to Glenn Curtiss for the development of the floatplane, the NAA has much more often that not hit the nail on the head, recognizing remarkable achievements that have stood the test of time.

But there have been some noteworthy mistakes and controversies along the way, some awards that seem in retrospect politically motivated and others that seem wishful thinking for struggling programs. Others were victims of unforeseeable circumstances. While it's true that in some of these failed awards, the noteworthy achievement or product came back to snatch victory from the jaws of failure, in other cases, the failure, as the kids are fond of saying, was simply epic.