Millionaire Clarence H. Mackay commissioned the Mackay Army Aviation Cup for the Aero Club of America in 1911 to recognize the “most meritorious flight” of the year in military aviation. The silver Art Noveau trophy, crafted by Tiffany and Company, features four depictions of Nike, the winged Greek goddess of victory, holding the Wright Military Flyer. The achievements inscribed on the mahogany base symbolize the growth of American military aviation from its beginnings to the present day. Today, the U.S. Air Force and the National Aeronautic Association continue to present the trophy. The crews of the Fokker T-2, Douglas World Cruiser Chicago, Curtiss R3C Racer, and Explorer II received the Mackay Trophy for their achievements. Of these military pioneers, John Macready received the award three times, and Lowell Smith, Oakley Kelly, and Albert Stevens received it twice.
Image Number: A19850370000AER01
Credit: National Air and Space Museum Archives, Smithsonian Institution
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