Neil A. Armstrong Aviation Heritage Trophy
Owned by: Chuck Greenhill of Kenosha, Wisconsin
Restored by: The Aeroplane Factory of Kenosha, Wisconsin
The aircraft was judged to be the most historically accurate and authentically restored. Both trophies went to P-51D owner Chuck Greenhill of Kenosha, Wisconsin, who purchased the vintage plane in June 1998 and spent the next three years restoring it. The Aeroplane Factory of Kenosha, Wisconsin, spent an additional year detailing the aircraft. The result is a P-51D Mustang that looks exactly the way it did during World War II. Greenhill conducted extensive research on numerous aircraft flown during World War II and decided to replicate the aircraft of Major Chuck Cummins of the 361st Fighter Group. The winning aircraft, one of only 153 P-51s in airworthy condition, is affectionately named "Geraldine" after Major Cummins' wife.
Greenhill said: "I am very interested in the preservation of aviation history and wanted to restore the P-51 as it was during a snapshot in history - when the original aircraft returned from a mission in June 1944. I am extremely proud to be the recipient of the prestigious Rolls-Royce Aviation Heritage Trophy which encourages the preservation of aviation history."
In World War II, the primary mission of the North American P-51 Mustangs was to escort allied bombers deep into enemy territory, where they became duly dubbed "little friends." One of America's most famous engines, the V-1710, built by the Allison Engine Company, now Rolls-Royce Corporation, powered the North American P51A Mustangs and then the Rolls-Royce Merlin V-12 was used in the P-51B/C and bubble canopy P-51D/K models.