National Aeronautic Association

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National Aeronautic Association
National Aeronautic Association Logo.png
Formation1905;114 years ago (1905)
Type Not for profit
Purpose Aviation advocacy
James Albaugh
Greg Principato

The National Aeronautic Association of the United States (NAA) is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization and a founding member of the Fédération Aéronautique Internationale (FAI). Founded in 1905, it is the oldest national aviation club in the United States and one of the oldest in the world, it serves as the “Aeroclub of the United States” and, by its Mission Statement it is "…dedicated to the advancement of the art, sport and science of aviation in the United States.” The NAA is headquartered at the Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport, in Washington, D.C.

<i>Fédération Aéronautique Internationale</i> voluntary association

The Fédération aéronautique internationale, is the world governing body for air sports, and also stewards definitions regarding human spaceflight. It was founded on 14 October 1905, and is headquartered in Lausanne, Switzerland. It maintains world records for aeronautical activities including ballooning, aeromodeling, unmanned aerial vehicles (drones), as well as flights into space.

Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport Airport near Washington, D.C.

Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport, also known as Washington National Airport, is an airport in Arlington, Virginia that is one of two major airports serving Washington, D.C., the other being Washington Dulles International Airport approximately 30 miles (48 km) to the west in Fairfax and Loudoun counties. It is the nearest commercial airport to the capital and serves the Baltimore–Washington metropolitan area. Called Washington National Airport both historically and contemporarily, the airport was renamed to honor President Ronald Reagan in 1998. The Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority (MWAA) operates the airport with close oversight by the federal government due to its proximity to the national capital.



The NAA was founded in 1905 as the Aero Club of America (ACA), by members of the Automobile Club of America. From its inception, ACA’s goal was to promote aviation in any way possible, as both a sport and a commercial endeavor. In 1922 it was incorporated as the Aero Club’s successor, and continued the original group’s mission of promoting aviation. The NAA has been steeply involved with the growth of aviation in the United States almost since its beginning, to the point of being the sole issuer of pilot licenses in American until the Civil Aeronautics Act of 1926. The Chairman of the NAA is James Albaugh. The President and Chief Executive Officer of the NAA is Greg Principato.

Aero Club of America

The Aero Club of America was a social club formed in 1905 by Charles Jasper Glidden and Augustus Post, among others, to promote aviation in America. It was the parent organization of numerous state chapters, the first being the Aero Club of New England. It thrived until 1923, when it transformed into the National Aeronautic Association, which still exists today. It issued the first pilot's licenses in the United States, and successful completion of its licensing process was required by the United States Army for its pilots until 1914. It sponsored numerous air shows and contests. Cortlandt Field Bishop was president in 1910. Starting in 1911, new president Robert J. Collier began presenting the Collier Trophy.

James Albaugh American businessman

James F. Albaugh is the former executive vice president of The Boeing Company and chief executive officer of the Boeing Commercial Airplanes business unit. He served in these capacities for Boeing Commercial Airplanes from September 1, 2009 until his retirement on June 26, 2012. He retired from the company on October 1, 2012. He previously served as president and chief executive officer of the Boeing Defense, Space & Security business unit. In that capacity, Albaugh was responsible for over 70,000 employees and supervised a $30.8 billion budget. Albaugh was one of the defense industry's best-paid managers.

The NAA and the Fédération Aéronautique Internationale

In 1905, the NAA joined Germany, Spain, Belgium, the United Kingdom, Italy, Switzerland, and France to create an international aviation organization — Fédération Aéronautique Internationale —with the goal of fostering aeronautical activities worldwide. FAI is the organization responsible for establishing the rules for record-setting and competition, and also for recognizing international achievements in aeronautics and astronautics.

The NAA is the largest member of FAI and is responsible for appointing representatives to 15 major air sport and technical committees of FAI. The NAA also represents U.S. interests in aviation at the FAI’s Annual General Conference.


The NAA has three distinct responsibilities: The recording and certification of Aviation and Aerospace Records, the administration of Aviation Trophies and Awards, and working with Air Sports Organizations in America on the advancement of their individual sports.

Aviation and aerospace records

The NAA has certified aviation and aerospace records in the United States since 1905. Its records database counts over 8,000 record flights [1] to include those of balloons, airships, airplanes, (landplanes, seaplanes, amphibians, very light jets,) gliders, helicopters, autogiros, model aircraft, parachutes, human powered aircraft, spacecraft, tilt-wing/tilt-engine aircraft, hang gliders, paragliders, microlights, space models, and UAVs. In addition, the NAA certifies a wide variety of records including altitude, time-to-climb, distance, speed, greatest payload carried, and efficiency. As the U.S. representative to FAI, the National Aeronautic Association is the sole authority for overseeing and certifying all aviation records that take place within the United States. On average, the NAA certifies 150 records each year. The NAA records process [2] is directed by the NAA Contest and Records Board and managed by the NAA Director of Contest and Records, Arthur W. Greendfield. It is easy to carry out a record attempt with an ordinary plane, but there is some paperwork and verification involved. [1]

Flight airspeed record Wikimedia list article

An air speed record is the highest airspeed attained by an aircraft of a particular class. The rules for all official aviation records are defined by Fédération Aéronautique Internationale (FAI), which also ratifies any claims. Speed records are divided into multiple classes with sub-divisions. There are three classes of aircraft: landplanes, seaplanes, and amphibians; then within these classes, there are records for aircraft in a number of weight categories. There are still further sub-divisions for piston-engined, turbojet, turboprop, and rocket-engined aircraft. Within each of these groups, records are defined for speed over a straight course and for closed circuits of various sizes carrying various payloads.

Very light jet Class of small jet aircraft under 10,000 lb.

A very light jet (VLJ), entry-level jet or personal jet, previously known as a microjet, is a category of small business jets seating four to eight people and often with a maximum takeoff weight of or under 10,000 pounds (4,540 kg), although the Embraer Phenom 100, HondaJet and Cessna Citation M2 are all slightly over. VLJs are considered the lightest business jets and are approved for single-pilot operation.

Contest and Record Board Members (as of January 1, 2012)
Advisory Panel

Aviation trophies and awards

The NAA acknowledges the accomplishments and achievements in aviation and aerospace through its trophies and awards. Some of these trophies are considered to be some of the most important awards of this nature in the world.

Wright Brothers Memorial Trophy

The Wright Brothers Memorial Trophy was established by the National Aeronautic Association (NAA) in 1948 after a trust fund was created in 1936 by Godfrey Lowell Cabot of Boston, a former president of the NAA. It is awarded to a living American for "significant public service of enduring value to aviation in the United States." The presentation of the award is made annually at the Aero Club of Washington, as close as possible to December 17 each year, the day on which, in 1903, the Wright brothers made the first flight in an airplane. The inaugural recipient of the trophy was William F. Durand, "a pioneer in aeronautics, naval propulsion and engineering research methods". Until 2010, winners of the award received a trophy depicting the Wright brothers' Wright Flyer aircraft. From 2010 onwards, a redesigned trophy featuring a silver obelisk and bronze inscription has been awarded.

Mackay Trophy

The Mackay Trophy is awarded yearly by the United States Air Force for the "most meritorious flight of the year" by an Air Force person, persons, or organization. The trophy is housed in the Smithsonian Institution's National Air and Space Museum. The award is administered by the U.S. National Aeronautic Association.

Wesley L. McDonald United States admiral

Wesley L. McDonald was a United States Navy admiral and naval aviator. He led the first air strike against North Vietnam after the Gulf of Tonkin incident and was the commander in charge of Operation Urgent Fury, the invasion of Grenada to rescue American citizens.

FAI Awards

Within the United States and its Territories, the NAA has the sole responsibility of administering awards established by the FAI.

Sabiha Gökçen First female fighter pilot

Sabiha Gökçen was a Turkish aviator. She was the world's first female fighter pilot, aged 23. Others such as Marie Marvingt and Evgeniya Shakhovskaya preceded her as military pilots in other roles, but not as fighter pilots and without military academy enrollment. She was an orphan, and one of the eight adopted children of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk.

Aeronautics science involved with the study, design, and manufacturing of airflight-capable machines

Aeronautics is the science or art involved with the study, design, and manufacturing of air flight capable machines, and the techniques of operating aircraft and rockets within the atmosphere. The British Royal Aeronautical Society identifies the aspects of "aeronautical Art, Science and Engineering" and "the profession of Aeronautics ."

Astronautics theory and practice of navigation beyond the Earths atmosphere

Astronautics is the theory and practice of navigation beyond Earth's atmosphere.

Air Sports In America

The NAA encourages and supports the development and growth of the sport of aviation in the United States and does so primarily through its relationship with eight Air Sport Organizations (ASOs) based in the country. The NAA recognizes the ASOs as the official governing bodies for their respective air sports.

Air Sport Organizations

NAA leadership

Board of Directors

NAA membership

NAA has five groups of members: Corporate, Air Sport, Affiliate, Aero Clubs, and Individuals.

Corporate members
Air Sport members
Affiliate members
Aero Club members
Individual members

As of December 31, 2014 NAA has 1,029 individual members.

NAA Luncheon Program

The NAA Luncheon Program brings together leaders in the aviation and aerospace industry with professionals from around the Metropolitan Washington, DC region. Speakers from the highest levels of government, industry, and associations have addressed important issues related to the Department of Defense, the military services, and Aerospace Industry Affairs.

The NAA Luncheon Program is directed by the NAA National Aviation Awards and Events Committee.

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The Robert J. Collier Trophy is owned and administered by the National Aeronautic Association and is awarded annually "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."


  1. 1 2 "Any Pilot Can Set a Speed Record". Flying Magazine. Retrieved 4 October 2015.
  2. Records Downloads NAA