Past Student Design Competition Winners

2016 Sponsor — Bell Helicopter


Project — The competition, Air Launched Unmanned Disaster Relief Delivery Vehicle, challenged students to design an unmanned rotorcraft, capable of deployment from the ramp of an in-flight C-130J cargo airplane. The rotorcraft needed to arrest its descent and transition into its own flight mode to deliver supplies to remote areas from a hover and subsequently return to a recovery base.

 

 Graduate Winners 

  • 1st: University of Maryland — Halcyon

  • 2nd: Georgia Institute of Technology — Angel

  • 3rd: Politecnico de Milano — Fenix

  • Best New Entry: University of Liverpool — Capstone

Undergraduate Winners 

  • 1st: Nanjing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics — Aurora

  • 2nd: Georgia Institute of Technology — Valkyrie

  • 3rd: Pennsylvania State University — Droplet

  • Best New Entry: Alliance College of Engineering and Design — RAKSHAK

2015 Sponsor — The Boeing Company

 

    Project — The competition for "Distributed Logistics in an Urban Setting Using Small Unmanned Aerial Vehicles" provided challenging tasks for undergraduate student teams to complete a vehicle design, while graduate student teams completed a systems design. In addition, there was an optional task for undergraduate and graduate teams for planning and conducting a hardware validation activity.

       

Graduate Winners

  • 1st:University of Maryland College Park— UMD AirEZ   

  • 2nd:Georgia Institute of Technology/Middle East Technical University — GIT/METU GT STORK   

  • 3rd:Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute— RPI ADD90 

  • Best new graduate entry: Indian Institute of Science Bangalore

       Undergraduate Winners

  • 1st:Georgia Institute of Technology/Middle East Technical University— AirBuzz 

  • 2nd:Pennsylvania State University— PSU ROA 

  • 3rd:Georgia Institute of Technology/Middle East Technical University — GIT/METU HARETC 

  • Best new undergraduate entry is New River Community College.

2014 Sponsor — AgustaWestland

 

Project — The 2014 Student Design Competition challenged students to design an experimental Vertical Take-off and Landing (VTOL) aircraft — an X-VTOL — which is intended to establish key performance attributes to enable transformational mission capabilities on an objective aircraft. These include efficient sustained hover, long-range cruise, high useful loads and sustained flight at high speeds.

 

Graduate Winners

  • 1st: Georgia Institute of Technology — Ga Tech XV-58 Manta 

  • 2nd: Politecnico di Milano Team Caurus — NIBBIO

  • 3rd: Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute — The Emperor UAV

  • Best new entry: Politecnico di Milano

Undergraduate Winners

2013 Sponsor — Eurocopter

 

Project — To design a helicopter aimed at rescuing victims of a natural disaster with the capability to reach the scene rapidly with a large payload that is mission-equipped to operate safely.

 

Graduate Winners 

        Undergraduate Winners

2012 Sponsor — Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation

 

Project — To design a purpose built helicopter to race on a prescribed pylon course. Graduate students were required to submit a simulation package video. 

 

Graduate Winners

  • 1st: The University of Maryland — Dart T690/E550 (ExecSum or full report); a video of the flight simulation on the AHS YouTube Channel.
  • 2nd: Georgia Institute of Technology/University of Liverpool Advanced Racing Concept (ARC); a video of the flight simulation on the AHS YouTube Channel.

      Undergraduate Winners

  • 1st: Georgia Institute of Technology/Middle East Technical University — BADGER 

  • 2nd: Pennsylvania State University — AltairTheir video can be viewed on the AHS YouTube Channel.

2011 Sponsor — Bell Helicopter Textron

Project  — To design a multi-mission vertical lift system that optimally blends the competing requirements of three very different missions — Search and Rescue, Insertion and Resupply. The aircraft must be reconfigurable.

 

 Graduate Winners

 

  • 1st: The University of Maryland — Excalibur 
  • 2nd: Georgia Institute of Technology / University of Liverpool — Odyssey 

        Undergraduate Winners 

  • 1st: Georgia Institue of Technology — Golden Retriever 
  • 2nd: The Pennsylvania State University — Phoenix 

  • Best new entry: Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur —  RC2 

2010 Sponsor — The Boeing Company

Project — To design a technology demonstrator multi-lift system such that two rotorcraft could be cooperatively operated and lift 75% more payload than either aircraft. Graduate students were also challenged to design and conduct a flight test program for their system.

Graduate Winners 

  • 1st: The University of Maryland's — Goliath  
  • 2nd: Georgia Institute of Technology's — Thor  

Undergraduate Winners 

  • 1st: The Pennsylvania State University's — SPARCL  

  • 2nd: Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute with — GunSmash and the Atlas

  • Best new entry: M.S. Ramaiah Institute of Technology (India)— Silver 

2009 Sponsor —  AgustaWestland
Project — To design a new, non-conventional rotor/drive system for a helicopter, starting from a current, in-service design with MTOW between 3500 and 5500 kgm, and including all necessary subsystems that will endow the new design with improved performance in terms of speed, range, payload, endurance and noise signature. (pdf)

Graduate Winners

Undergraduate Winner

  • 1st: Georgia Institute of Technology Blue Team — GyrBlitz 

  • 2nd: Pennsylvania State University — Pegasus 

  • Best new entry: Nanjing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics — Non-Conventional Rotor Drive   

2008 Sponsor —  Eurocopter

Project — To design an advanced VTOL "SMART-COPTER" concept capable of operating from an unprepared area and which minimizes energy consumption throughout the operational envelope. (pdf)

Graduate Winners

Undergraduate Winners

2007 Sponsor —  Sikorsky Aircraft Corp.

Project — To design an advanced manned VTOL Approach and Recovery Vehicle (ARV) that is capable of operating from a submersible vehicle in support of Special Operations Forces, and an advanced Unmanned Escort Vehicle (UEV) that is capable of supporting the operations of the ARV. (pdf)

Graduate Winners

Undergraduate Winners

2006 Sponsor — Bell Helicopter Textron, Inc. 
Project - To design a two-seat, single-engine turbine training helicopter with operating characteristics representative of the world's turbine helicopter fleet, while being cost-competitive with current piston-engined training helicopters, along with the conceptual design of a low-cost turbine engine. (pdf)
Graduate Winners  

Undergraduate Winners

  • 1st: Pennsylvania State University and Technion — Israel Institute of Technology

  • 2nd: Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology Team 

  • Best new entry: Istanbul Technical University.

2005 Sponsor — The Boeing Co. 
Project - To develop the conceptual design of a modern military Heavy Lift VTOL aircraft. The aircraft had to be designed to operate from existing naval ships and be able to transport a 20-ton FCS combat-ready vehicle. (pdf)
Graduate Winners

Undergraduate Winners

2004 Sponsor - AgustaWestland 
Project - To develop a helicopter specifically designed for high altitude rescue operations. The aircraft had to be certified for single pilot, day/night operations with cruise speeds of at least 145 knots. (pdf)
Graduate Winners
  • 1st: University of Maryland
  • 2nd: Georgia Institute of Technology 
  • 3rd: The US Air Force Institute of Technology won third place as well as the "New Entrant" category 

Undergraduate Winners

2003 Sponsors — Sikorsky Aircraft Corp. and NASA
Project — To design a VTOL urban disaster response vehicle for high rise firefighter deployment, rooftop occupant extraction, disaster command and control and other emergency response missions. (pdf)
Graduate Winners 
  • 1st: University of Maryland 
  • 2nd: Georgia Institute of Technology captured second place honors. In the undergraduate category, The Pennsylvania State University won first-place with Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute coming in a close second and Iowa State University placing third.
2002 — Sponsor - Bell Helicopter Textron, Inc.
Project — To upgrade and remanufacture a 4-6 place turbine helicopter for commercial applications, that can operate at 140 Kt cruise speed and have a range of 400 nm. (pdf)

Graduate Winners 

Undergraduate Winners

  • 1st: Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute 

2001 Sponsor — Boeing Philadelphia
Project — To develop a VTOL platform with an innovative method of controlling the cyclic pitch of the rotor blades. Methods that do not depend upon the use of traditional swashplate mechanisms were sought. (pdf)
Graduate Winners
2000 Sponsors — Sikorsky Aircraft Corp. and NASA
Project — To develop an autonomous rotorcraft for exploration of Mars. The mission was to be a proof-of-concept demonstration for rotary wing flight in the Martian atmosphere. (pdf) 
Graduate Winners
  • 1st: Georgia Institute of Technology took first place honors in the Graduate Propulsion System and in the Graduate Flight Computer competitions
  • 1st: University of Maryland Vechicle Design 
  • 2nd: Georgia Institute of Technology in the Graduate Vehicle Design category

Undergraduate Winners

  • 1st: Pennsylvania State University in Vehicle Design section  

1999 Sponsor — Bell Helicopter Textron
Project — To develop a VTOL four-to-six place aircraft minimizing the the number of man hours required to fabricate the components. (pdf)
Graduate Winners

Undergraduate Winners

  • 1st: Rennselaer Polytechnic Institute  

  • 2nd: Princeton University 

  • Best New Entrant was given to Princeton University

1998 Sponsor — Boeing Philadelphia
Project — To develop a modern 12-seat civil VTOL transport rotorcraft with the capability to grow to 19 seats with minimum changes.
Graduate Winners
  •  1st: University of Maryland
  •  2nd: U.S. Naval Postgraduate School
  •  2nd: Pennsylvania State University  

Undergraduate Winners

  • 1st: Rennselaer Polytechnic Institute 

  • 2nd: U.S. Naval Postgraduate School 

  • 2nd: Pennsylvania State University 

1997 Sponsor — Boeing Mesa
Project — To develop the conceptual design of a VTOL aircraft which could serve as an armed escort for the V-22 high-speed rotorcraft.

Graduate Winners

  • 1st: Georgia Institute of Technology won first place in the graduate category and the U.S. Military Academy won first in the undergraduate division. The U.S. Naval Postgraduate School and Pennsylvania State University took second place in the graduate and undergraduate categories.

Undergraduate Winners

  • 1st: U.S. MIlitary Academy 

  • 2nd: Pennsylvania State University 

1996 Sponsor — Sikorsky Aircraft Corp.
Project — A cost-effective, dedicated fire fighting rotorcraft that could best perform a 200 acre, 10 hour forest fighting job for the least overall cost.
Graduate Winners
  • 1st:Georgia Institute of Technology and 
  • 2nd:U.S. Naval Postgraduate School 

Undergraduate Winners

  • 1st: Pennsylvania State University

  • 1st: U.S. Military Academy 

  • 2nd: Rennselaer Polytechnic Institute

1995 Sponsor — Bell Helicopter Textron, Inc.
Project — A UAV capable of extracting two people, delivering a payload capsule weighing up to 400 lbs., and equipped with video surveillance.
Graduate Winners 
  • 1st: The U.S. Naval Postgraduate School 
  • 2nd: Georgia Institute of Technology

Undergraduate Winners

  • 1st: Georgia Institute of Technology 

  • 2nd: U.S. Military Academy

1994 Sponsor — Boeing Helicopters
Project — VTOL system with dual-use applications as a civil transport and as a troop assault vehicle.
Graduate Winners
  • 1st: Georgia Institute of Technology
  • 2nd: US Naval Postgraduate School

Undergraduate Winners

  •  1st: US Military Academy placed both first and second in the undergraduate category.

1993 Sponsor — McDonnell Douglas Helicopter Systems
Project — Scout Reconnaissance
Graduate Winners 
  • 1st: US Naval Postgraduate School 
  • 2nd: Arizona State University placed

Undergraduate Winners

  • 1st: US Military Academy placed both first and second in the undergraduate category.

1992 Sponsor — Sikorsky Aircraft
Project — VTOL Package Express Aircraft
Graduate Winners
  • 1st: Georgia Institute of Technology
  • 2nd: Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute 

Undergraduate Winners

  • 1st:Penn State placed first and second in the undergraduate categories

1991 Sponsor — Bell Helicopter Textron, Inc.
Project — High Speed VTOL
Winners — Georgia Institute of Technology in all categories
1990 Sponsor — Boeing Helicopters
Project — Remotely Piloted Surveillance Vehicle
Winners — Georgia Institute of Technology in all categories
1989 Sponsor — McDonnell Douglas Helicopter Systems
Project — Light Utility Helicopter
Winners — Georgia Institute of Technology in all categories
1988 Sponsor — Sikorsky Aircraft
Project — Heavy Lift Helicopter
Winners — Georgia Institute of Technology placed first and second, University of Maryland placed third
1987 Sponsor — Bell Helicopter Textron, Inc.
Project — Low Cost Tilt Rotor for Commuter Operations
Winners — Georgia Institute of Technology placed first and second, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute placed third
1986 Sponsor — Boeing Helicopters
Project — One Man Rotary Wing Racer
Winners — Georgia Institute of Technology in all categories
1985 Sponsor — Boeing Helicopters
Project — Sport Helicopter for Home Construction
Winners — Georgia Institute of Technology 1st and 2nd Place, Penn State 3rd Place
1984 Sponsor — Boeing Helicopters
Project — Combat, Search and Rescue
Winners — Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and Georgia Institute of Technology