Forum 75 Program Overview

Below is a schedule of the major events at Forum 75 (details subject to change). For more information, please download the Forum 75 Final Program

Check out the 75th Annual Forum and Technology Display main page for more information.

You can also download a pdf of the Forum 75 schedule views:

All events will take place at the Pennsylvania Convention Center except for the MAV ChallengeFranklin Institute Historic Evening and the industry tours.

Sunday, May 12, 2019
Exhibitor Move-in 10:00am–5:00pm
Exhibitor Registration Opens 10:00am–5:00pm
Attendee Registration Opens 2:00pm–5:00pm
Monday, May 13, 2019
Registration Opens 7:00am–5:00pm
Exhibitor Move-in 8:00am–5:30pm
VFS Technical Council Meeting 7:30am–11:00am
Short Course on Electric VTOL Fundamentals
Instructor: Dr. Anubhav Datta, University of Maryland
7th Annual Micro Air Vehicle (MAV) Student Challenge
Venue: University of Pennsylvania, Houston Hall (Hall of Flags)
Session Chair Meeting 11:00am–12noon
Student Volunteer Meeting 11:30am–12:15pm
Journal Editors Meeting 12 noon–1:00pm

Technical Session A

  • Acoustics I
  • Adv Vertical Flight I
  • Aerodynamics I
  • HUMS I
  • Manufacturing Tech I
  • Product Support
  • Propulsion I
  • Systems Engineering
  • Test & Evaluation I
Technical Session A Refreshment Break—Sponsored by Angelus Corporation 3:00pm–3:30pm
Special Session 1: The Army's Vision for Future Vertical Lift
Moderated by COL Matt Isaacson, US Army, Operations Officer Future Vertical Lift
  • “Future Vertical Lift Needs,” COL Matt Isaacson, US Army,
    Operations Officer Future Vertical Lift Cross Functional Team
  • “Army CS3 / Future Long-Range Assault Aircraft (FLRAA),” COL Steve Clark,
    US Army, PM FVL, PEO Aviation
  • “Army CS1 / Future Attack Reconnaissance Aircraft (FARA),” Dan Bailey,
    FARA CP PM, Army Futures Command
Special Session 2: Perspectives on 75 Years of Vertical Flight
Moderated by Frank Colucci, Senior Editor, Vertiflite magazine
  • "Rotors on the Rooftop: The 'I Want' Song of Vertical Flight," Roger D. Connor,
    Vertical Flight Curator, Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum
  • “Flying Igor’s Nightmare: The Early Years of USCG Helicopter Aviation,” Beth L. Crumley,
    Assistant Historian of the US Coast Guard
  • "Advancing Vertical Flight: The History of AHS/VFS," Mike Hirschberg (for Rhett Flater,
    Executive Director Emeritus, AHS International)

Memoirs of our Pioneers: A Celebration of Their Life and Times (Ticket required)
Held at the Franklin Institute: 222 N 20th St, Philadelphia, PA 19103
Sponsored by Piasecki Aircraft and the Pitcairn Family Foundation

Reception speaker: Neil Weaver, Executive Deputy Secretary
Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED)

A facilitated panel discussion featuring immediate family
and friends of the original helicopter industry pioneers:

  • Dan Kurkjian – Son of Haig Kurkjian, founder of Haig-K Aircraft and
    close friend of Arthur Young, founder of Bell Helicopter
  • Fred Piasecki, Chairman & CTO, Piasecki Aircraft Corporation – Son of Frank Piasecki,
    founder of Piasecki Aircraft Corporation
  • Duncan Pitcairn – Grandson of Harold Pitcairn, founder of Pitcairn Aircraft Company
  • Sergei Sikorsky – Son of Igor Sikorsky, founder of Sikorsky Aircraft
  • Dr. Allan Bleecker – Son of Maitland Bleeker, inventor, author and rotorcraft visionary
Tuesday, May 14, 2019
General Session Refreshment Break—Sponsored by GE Aviation 8:00am–8:30am

Opening General Session


  • Mike Hirschberg, Executive Director, Vertical Flight Society
  • Roberto Garavaglia, Chair of the VFS Board of Directors, and
    SVP of Strategy and Innovation, Leonardo Helicopters

FAA Address: James A. (Jim) Viola, Acting Director, General Aviation Safety Assurance,
AFG-1, US Federal Aviation Administration

Keynote Address: Major General Timothy E. Gowen, ARNG, Deputy 
Commanding General — National Guard, Army Futures Command

Straight Talk from the Top
Moderated by Dan Parsons, Executive Editor, Rotor & Wing International
  • Tomasz Krysinski, VP Research & Innovation, Airbus Helicopters
  • Vince Tobin, Executive VP Military Business, Bell
  • Dave Koopersmith, VP/GM, Boeing Vertical Lift
  • Roberto Garavaglia, Senior VP Strategy and Innovation, Leonardo Helicopters
  • Mike Ambrose, VP Engineering & Technology, Sikorsky, A Lockheed Martin Co.
Exhibit Hall Open 11:00am–6:00pm
Exhibit Hall Luncheon—Sponsored by Bell 12noon–1:30pm

VFS Legacy Panel: 75 Years of Advancing Vertical Flight
Moderated by Mike Hirschberg, VFS Executive Director

  • Dr. Bob Loewy
  • Phil Dunford, Boeing (retired)
  • John M. Davis, Dept. of US Army (retired)
  • John W. Piasecki, CEO of Piasecki Aircraft Corp.
  • Gwen Lighter, CEO of the GoFly Prize
39th Annual Alexander A. Nikolsky Honorary Lectureship

"Design Advantages of an Integrated Cyber-Physical Aircraft"
Nicholas (Nick) Lappos, Senior Fellow Emeritus, Sikorsky, a Lockheed Martin Company

Exhibitor/Industry Reception—Sponsored by Sikorsky, A Lockheed Martin Company 4:00pm–6:00pm
Wednesday, May 15, 2019
Show Office 6:00am–5:00pm
Audio Visual Office 7:00am–5:00pm
Registration Open 7:00am–5:30pm
Speaker Ready Room 7:00am–5:00pm
Special Session 3: US Military Programs Flight Test Panel
Moderated by LT COL Rory Feely, USMC, Executive Officer, US Naval Test Pilot School
  • Mr. Bob Nantz, Technical Specialist for Performance & External Environment,
    Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) Program Office
  • LCDR Raymond Miller, US Navy, Small Tactical Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS)
    Program Office, Naval Air Systems Command
  • Mr Raymond Dagenhart, V-22 Lead Test Engineer,
    Air Test and Evaluation Squadron HX-21 “Blackjack”,
    Naval Air Warfare Center-Aircraft Division
  • LT Neil Whitesell, US Navy, Fire Scout Project Pilot,
    Air Test and Evaluation Squadron UX-24, Naval Air Warfare Center-Aircraft Division
  • Dr John “JT” Tritschler, Rotary Wing Instructor, US Naval Test Pilot School
Technical Session B
  • Aerodynamics II
  • Acoustics II
  • Aircraft Design I
  • Avionics & Systems
  • Dynamics I/ Test & Evaluation II
  • History
  • Modeling & Simulation I / Propulsion II
  • Structures & Materials I
VFS Board of Directors Meeting (By invitation only) 9:00am–12 noon
Exhibit Hall Open 9:00am–5:00pm
Technical Session B Refreshment Break—Sponsored by ATEC 9:30am–10:15am
Special Session 4: US Army Program Manager Briefings
Moderated by COL Robert Barrie, PEO Aviation Military Deputy
  • Mr. Rodney Davis, Deputy PM Cargo Helicopters
  • LTC Jeffrey Poquette, PM Apache Production and Fielding
  • MAJ Marshall Gray, APM H-60M Utility Helicopters
  • Mr. Bob Sheibley, Deputy PM Aviation Turbine Engines (ATE)
  • Dr. Wayne Hudry, Deputy PM Multi-National Special Project Office (MASPO)
Exhibit Hall Luncheon—Sponsored by Bell 12:15pm–1:45pm
Special Session 5: NATO Next Generation Rotorcraft Capabilities (NGRC)
Moderated by Dan Bailey, US Army Futures Command
  • NGRC Team of Experts (TOE), Dan Bailey, US Army Futures Command
  • Science & Technology Organization (STO), Pat Collins,
    UK Defence Equipment & Support
  • NATO Industry Advisory Group (NIAG) Sub Group Study SG-219: Next Generation
    Rotorcraft Capabilities, Dan Newman, The Boeing Company
  • NIAG Sub Group Study SG-239: Integrated Sustainability for the Next Generation
    Rotorcraft, Chris Lyman, US Army Aviation Development Directorate
  • NIAG Sub Group Study SG-167: Degraded Visual Environment, Ed Demas, BAE Systems
Technical Session C
  • Aerodynamics III
  • Aircraft Design II/Advanced Vertical Flight II
  • Dynamics II
  • Crew Stations & Human Factors
  • Handling Qualities I
  • Operations
  • Structures & Materials II
  • Unmanned VTOL I
Awards Recipient Orientation (By invitation only) 3:00pm–4:00pm
Technical Session C Refreshment Break—Sponsored by Liquid Measurement Systems 3:15pm–4:00pm
Special Session 6: US Navy/US Marine Corps Program Manager Briefings
Moderated by Timothy E. Gowen, Assistant Program Executive Officer Engineering, US Navy, PEO(A)
  • Col Scott Wallace and LtCol Matt Gidley, USMC PMA-275, V-22 Joint Program Office
  • Mr. Dave Baden, PMA-276, USMC Light/Attack Helicopter
  • Ms. Jaimie Grubb, PMA-261, H-53 Heavy Lift Helicopters
  • Mike Fallon, PEO(A) Science & Technology
Vertical Flight Foundation Cocktail Reception—Sponsored by Leonardo 6:00pm–7:00pm
Grand Awards Banquet—Sponsored by Leonardo 7:00pm–9:30pm
Thursday, May 16, 2019
Registration Opens 7:30am–1:00pm
Tech Committee Chair/Session Chair Meeting 7:00am–8:00am
Special Session 7: Urban Air Mobility (UAM) Innovations
Moderated by Dr Ken Rosen, Aero Science Technology Associates
  • Bill Goodwin, Head of Policy, Regulatory, and Legal, Skyryse 
  • Don Woodbury, Chief Technology Advisor, Skyworks Global
  • Kaydon Stanzione, Founder, Jaunt Air Mobility
Technical Session D
  • Aerodynamics IV
  • Acoustics III
  • Aircraft Design III
  • Dynamics III
  • Manufacturing Tech II/Structures & Materials III
  • Modeling & Simulation II
  • Safety
  • Unmanned VTOL II
Technical Session D Refreshment Break—Sponsored by Applied Avionics 9:30am–10:00am
Special Session 8: Challenges in Electric VTOL
Moderated by Chris Silva, NASA Ames Research Center
  • Chris Silva, NASA Revolutionary Vertical Lift Technology (RVLT)
  • Davis Hackenberg, NASA Urban Air Mobility (UAM) Grand Challenge
  • Parimal Kopardekar, NASA Unmanned Traffic Management (UTM) Project
  • Cliff Johnson, FAA Aviation Research Division, NextGen Tech Center Office
  • Gwen Lighter, CEO, The GoFly Prize
  • LTC Nathan Diller, USAF, J-8 Joint Staff
Lunch—Sponsored by Bell 12 noon–1:30pm
Special Session 9: UAM System Safety Panel
Moderated by Jonathan Hartman, Disruptive Technologies Lead, Sikorsky,
a Lockheed Martin Co.
  • Patrick Darmstadt, Drive Systems Engineer, Boeing Vertical Lift
  • Sean Redfern, Director, Sales and Business Development, Associated Aircraft Group
  • Brandon Keene, Chief Technology Officer, BLADE
  • Ife Ogunleye, Acting Manager, Regulations and Policy (AIR681),
    Rotorcraft Standards Branch, Policy and Innovation, FAA
Technical Session E
  • Aerodynamics V
  • Advanced Vertical Flight III
  • Crash Safety
  • Dynamics IV
  • Handling Qualities II
  • Modeling & Simulation III
  • Propulsion III
Technical Session E Refreshment Break—Sponsored by ITT, Inc. 3:00pm–3:30pm
Special Session 10: Progress in Development of Electric VTOL
Moderated by Jim Sherman, Vertical Flight Society
  • “Misconceptions of eVTOL Aircraft for UAM,” Mark Moore, Director of Aviation Engineering,
    Uber Technologies
  • “The Bell Nexus Air Taxi,” Scott Drennan, VP Innovation, Bell
  • “Electric VTOL at Airbus,” Tomasz Krysinski, VP Research & Innovation, Airbus Helicopters
  • “Boeing's Passenger Air Vehicle (PAV) and Cargo Air Vehicle (PAV) eVTOL demonstrators,”
    Brian Yutko, Aurora Flight Sciences, a Boeing Company
Friday, May 17, 2019
Industry Tours of Boeing and Leonardo Philadelphia plants
(Sold out — pre-registration required)

Thank you to our Forum 75 Sponsors!

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Updated 5-12-2019