Invitation to Participate in the SDC

August 21, 2020

To Interested University Students & Faculty:

The Request for Proposal for the 38th Annual (2020-2021) Vertical Flight Society’s (VFS) Student Design Competition, sponsored by The Boeing Co., is now posted at www/ Boeing and VFS encourages universities from around the world to form teams and take part in this exciting vertical flight endeavor.

The design competition sponsorship rotates between Airbus, Leonardo Helicopters, The Boeing Company, Bell, Sikorsky Aircraft, a Lockheed Martin Co., and the US Army Research Laboratory.

This year’s Student Design Competition is "2025 Unmanned Vertical Lift for Medical Equipment Distribution." Student teams are challenged to develop a vertical lift concept that can deliver, at high speed, up to 50 kg (110 lb) payloads to end-user customer sites up to a 50 km (31 mile) radius, and to logistics centers up to a 200 km (124 mile) range. The sizing is such that the vehicle could make a difference in a future pandemic or natural disaster.

In addition, Altair are sponsoring an optional bonus task for this year. Refer to the RFP for detailed information.

The sponsors will provide the funds for the awards through the Society and final submissions are judged in four (4) categories:

Undergraduate category:                                                                                                                            

  • 1st place: $2,000

  • 2nd place: $1,200

  • 3rd place: $750

Graduate category:

  • 1st place: $2,500

  • 2nd place: $1,800

  • 3rd place: $1,000

Best first time entrant:

  • $500 (Undergraduate)

  • $750 (Graduate)

Weight Optimization Bonus Sponsored by Altair (Optional):

  • $1000 (awarded to one graduate team successfully completing the task, judged independent from the design portion)

  • $1000 (awarded to one undergraduate team successfully completing the  task, judged independent from the design portion)

•    Letter of Intent to participate must be received no later than February 1, 2021 and must include the team members, whether it is a graduate or undergraduate team, their faculty sponsor and email addresses for all participants.
•    Requests for Information and clarification must be received no later than February 25, 2021.
•    Responses will be circulated by March 28, 2021 to all participating teams.
•    Final Proposals must be submitted no later than May 31, 2021.

The Society recommends that you read the white paper Student Design Competition on Judging.  Please address all correspondence to or through my contact information below.

Good luck,

Julie M. Gibbs
Technical Programs Director
The Vertical Flight Society
2700 Prosperity Ave., Suite 275
Fairfax, VA 22031 USA
1-703-684-6777 Ext. 103