You Should Be Bidding at AIAA Foundation Silent Auctions

Why aren’t you buying more of this treasure?

Since SciTech 2016, the AIAA Foundation has held silent auctions at the AIAA’s major forum events (SciTech, Aviation, Propulsion and Energy, Space).

I continue to be surprised at the variety and quality of items available. There have been aircraft and spacecraft models, books, software, flags, plenty of signed items, and more. The four things I’ve been lucky enough to win in the auction are shown below.


Clockwise from upper left: model of a B-17, signed Buzz Aldrin photo (signed book not shown), vintage book, and a signed artist’s print of the Space Shuttle.

But how is it possible I could win that Buzz Aldrin photo as the SECOND bidder? I wasn’t even present on the last day of the auction. And I know for a fact that astronaut photos are priced for retail sale quite a bit higher than what I paid. And I got a signed book too for essentially nothing.

Although it works against my bidding strategy, I’d like it if more people participated in the silent auctions. Here are five reasons why.

  1. Silent auctions are easy.
    1. Visit the AIAA booth in the exhibit hall at any time and browse the available items.
    2. Write your name and your bid on the paper in front of each item.
    3. Return throughout the conference to see if you’ve been outbid.
    4. If you’ve been outbid, return to Step B.
    5. On the last day of the exhibition, return to see if you’ve won.
  2. The auction items are donated by aerospace companies from around the world and are perfect for aerospace geeks like you’ll find at the AIAA Forums. People like me. And you. Or maybe you know a geek who would appreciate an aerospace-themed gift at your favorite, upcoming, end of year holiday.
  3. The AIAA Foundation is a worthy cause.
    1. The Foundation promotes our profession and STEM in general at the K-12 level.
    2. Scholarships and competitions are sponsored at the collegiate level.
  4. Tax deduction!
  5. Did I say they have cool stuff? At a recent auction they had an F-15 model signed by Chuck Yeager to commemorate his 1989 flight celebrating the 65th anniversary of breaking the sound barrier.

Now I’m not guaranteeing that you’ll walk away with something like Neil Armstrong’s lunar rock sample bag (including moon dust).

The next auction (see this web page under the Special Events heading) is coming up at Space on 12-14 September in Orlando.

If you have something to donate to be auctioned (I’m talking to you, huge Aerospace Corporation), let me know and I’ll put you in touch with the appropriate people at AIAA. I’d love to see some flown items (stuff carried on Shuttle missions?).

For the rest of us, plan to do a little bidding for a good cause. You’ll be happy you did.

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