2018 Winners


Best New Product: Logos Technologies Redkite
Taking a heavy sensor that could only be carried by a large aircraft and shrinking it to less than 35 lb. to fit in Class 3 tactical UAVs. Wide-area motion imagery allows moving vehicles and individuals to be tracked in city-size areas.

Dual Use: Raytheon Coyote UAV
For flying into and waiting in the eye of Hurricane Maria, allowing the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to better forecast how intense the storm would be at landfall and more accurately estimate the magnitude of the storm surge.

Electronics/Avionics: U.S. Navy/Rockwell Collins Tactical Combat Training System Increment II.
This team developed the first airborne training instrumentation system with certified multi-level security that allows 5th-generation fighters to train with 4th-generation fighters while protecting sensitive data.

Operations: U.S. Missile Defense Agency/Boeing Ground-based Midcourse Defense System
After decades of development, demonstrating that the Ground-based Midcourse Defense System could do what was once called impossible – intercept a target simulating an ICBM.

Supplier Innovation: Metro Aerospace C-130 Microvanes
For commercializing Lockheed Martin-developed microvanes to reduce the aft-body drag on the C-130 and lower cruise fuel consumption by more than 3%. In 2017, Canada became the first -130 operator to install the devices.

Technology: Bell Helicopter V-280 Valor
A third-generation tiltrotor prototype for the U.S. Army’s Joint Multi Role Technology Demonstration, the development of the V-280 Valor, Bell Helicopter was selected for the program in 2014 and completed assembly of the flying demonstrator in September.

Unmanned Systems: Kratos UTAP-22
For the tenacious development of the UTAP-22 Mako, a militarized UAV derived from the U.S. Air Force’s BQM-167 aerial target drone. The highly maneuverable weapon and sensor-carrying unmanned aircraft has flown in large-scale military exercises and could soon be put into production for combat use.

Weapons: United States Special Operations Command/Dynetics GBU-69/B
Addressing an urgent warfighter need for a munition with increased lethality, reduced acoustic signature, and expanded range by fielding - the GBU-69/B Small Glide Munition (SGM) was developed, tested and fielded in less than three years for less than $25 million.


Launchers: SpaceX
For demonstrating potential operational reusability for orbital spaceflight for the first time since the space shuttle program.

Leadership: Peggy A. Whitson (Ph.D.), U.S. Astronaut
In completing an extended 9.5-month stay aboard the International Space Station, Dr. Whitson set a new record for cumulative time in space (665 days) by a U.S. astronaut. She previously served as the first non-pilot and the first woman to head the Astronaut Office and was the first woman to command the ISS.

Operations: Indian Space Research Organization/Planet Labs
This organization launched a record 104 satellites in a single launch, including 88 Earth-imaging satellites for PlanetLabs to make daily global images of Earth widely available to help analyze changes over time.

Platforms: ViaSat/Boeing ViaSat-2
The entry into service of the world’s highest-capacity commercial communications satellite, ViaSat-2, reducing the cost of space-based connectivity enough to make it competitive with terrestrial services.

Science: Cassini Mission/Jet-Propulsion Laboratory
The inspiring symbiosis of science and engineering in repurposing instruments for studies unimagined during the spacecraft design, resulting in the discovery of what may be the best place in the solar system to look for present-day life beyond Earth.

Business Aviation

Best New Product: Foreflight
The expansion of its electronic flight bag’s planning, briefing, filing and weather information technology to incorporate Jeppesen’s worldwide library of terminal and VFR/IFR enroute charts presented on tablet devices.

Customer Service: MedAire
Offering the best anytime emergency response, evaluation, guidance and facilitation for individuals with medical or security issues anywhere globally, either terrestrially or while airborne, its centers in Phoenix (AZ), Frankfurt (Germany) and Beijing (China) have fielded more than 600 calls daily.

Electronics/Avionics: Dassault/Elbit FalconEye
For creating, certifying and installing FalconEye, the world’s first head-up display system that combines high-resolution synthetic vision with enhanced infrared vision and low-light video imaging, providing pilots clear visual guidance into remote airports, even during degraded visibility conditions.

Leadership: Edward M. Bolen, President & CEO, National Business Aviation Association (NBAA)
In this role, Mr. Bolen created a broad coalition to represent the business aviation community’s interests in a unified and forceful opposition to the transfer of federal control of the U.S. air traffic management system to a semi-private entity.

Platforms: Pilatus PC-24 Versatile Jet
The PC-24, a pressurized, twin turbofan aircraft, is able to operate from unpaved landing strips as well as paved runways less than 3,000 feet long. The aircraft features integrated avionics, a flat-floor cabin, quick change seats and an oversize cargo door to provide operators with unsurpassed flexibility.

Technology: Tamarack Aerospace Atlas Active Winglet System
For developing the first drag-reducing winglet system that incorporates active load alleviation, allowing winglets to be installed without having to reinforce the original wing structure. The Active Winglet is approved for retrofit to all Cessna CitationJet models, with more types to come.


Best New Product: Metamaterial Technologies MetaAir Laser Strike Protection
A flexible optical filter applied to the inner surface of cockpit windows to block laser strikes without interfering with visibility. MTI partnered with Airbus to develop and commercialize this technology.

Leadership: Tom Gentile, President & CEO, Spirit AeroSystems
For leading the turnaround of the aerospace industry’s leading aersostructures provider and securing a long-term master contract with Boeing that is critical to the long-term viability of both companies, which will partner on additive manufacturing and other advanced processes

MRO: Delta TechOps
Delta TechOps avoided more than 1,000 potential engine events over the past year by implementing an innovative approach to asset monitoring and operations via data tools.

Platforms: 737 Max
Successfully introducing the first version of the 737MAX (737-8) into service, while simultaneously developing and flight testing the 737-9 and starting assembly of the 737-7. Amid production rate increases, Boeing’s Renton-based 737 team introduced the first MAX into the line without incurring delays or interruption.

Safety: Commercial Safety Aviation Safety Team/Aviation Safety Information Analysis and Sharing Initiative
An unparalleled collaboration between government and industry to improve aviation safety. Having exceeded its first 10-year goal and reduced U.S. commercial aviation fatality risk by 83%, CAST now aims to reduce the remaining risk (50%) by 2025, leveraging industry data and analytical tools from ASIAS.

Supplier Innovation: Norsk Titanium/Boeing
For qualifying the first additively manufactured structural titanium parts for a commercial aircraft. Titanium fittings produced using Norsk’s “wire-in-arc” Rapid Plasma Deposition process are FAA-approved and being installed in Boeing 787s.

Technology: Airbus
The BLADE project – which stands for “Breakthrough Laminar Aircraft Demonstrator in Europe” – which is tasked with proving the viability of introducing laminar flow technology to commercial aviation. It aims to improve aviation’s environmental footprint, bringing with it a 50% reduction of wing friction drag and up to 5% lower CO2 emissions.

Lifetime Achievement

Dr. John S. Langford, Chairman and CEO, Aurora Flight Sciences
Dr. Langford’s achievements range from leading the MIT Daedalus team that set human-powered flight records in 1988 to building Aurora Flight Sciences, the company he founded in 1989, into a world leader in autonomous flight. In 2017, Boeing moved to acquire Aurora for its expertise and Dr. Langford was named the next chairman of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics.

Bruce Whitman, Chairman, President and CEO, FlightSafety International
Mr. Whitman is being honored for providing clear direction, support and management for his aviation training and simulator manufacturing company for over 50 years and by doing so helping to ensure the safety of thousands of air crews and passengers every day.