Howard Hughes Award

Howard Hughes Award

The Howard Hughes Award is given for an outstanding improvement in fundamental vertical flight technology brought to fruition during the preceding 18 months. The award is intended to foster accomplishments in the basic science and technology disciplines of the vertical flight community, such as aerodynamics, dynamics, structures, propulsion, human factors, electronics, simulation, testing and systems integration. The award was established in 1977 by Hughes Helicopters to honor the memory of Howard Hughes and his pioneering accomplishments in aviation.

2018
  • The AACUS Development Team
  • The Office of Naval Research and Aurora Flight Sciences’ AACUS Team

The AACUS team developed and successfully demonstrated a fully autonomous helicopter flight capability. Over the course of ONR’s five-year long Innovative Naval Prototype (INP) project, the AACUS team designed a hardware and software applique “kit” that enables the host helicopter platform to interpret and execute high-level logistics mission tasks.
 
 
2017
  • CH-53K Heavy Lift Helicopter Development Team
  • NAVAIR; US Marine Corps; Sikorsky Aircraft

For bringing to fruition, through successful flight demonstration and USMC operational assessment, multiple integrated technologies that together establish an unprecedented vertical heavy lift capability for the US Marine Corps.
 
 
2016
  • Multi-Role Rotor-Adaptive Performance Team

For demonstrating a new active rotor design that would increase rotorcraft hover and cruise performance while simultaneously reducing vibration and noise for current and future rotorcraft
 
 
2015
  • MATRIX Technology Team
  • Sikorsky

For achieving completely autonomous flight with an S-76 helicopter, including takeoff, path planning, navigation to the objective, and landing zone selection
 
 
2014
  • High Fidelity Icing Analysis and Validation Team
  • NRTC/VLC

For the contributions towards the understanding of fundamental aspects of rotorcraft icing and for the validation of an icing analysis tool suite which will improve safety and reduce cost and schedule for certification and qualification of rotorcraft
 
 
2013
  • Active Ground Resonance Stability Augmentation Design & Test Team
  • Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation

For successfully demonstrating the ability of full-authority control systems to enhance aeromechanical stability in a safe and effective manner
 
 
2012
  • X3 Team
  • Eurocopter

On May 12, 2011, the X3 surpassed its goal of 220 knots and reached a speed milestone. During stable, level flight, the hybrid demonstrator maintained a true airspeed of 232 knots
 
 
2011
  • X2 Technology Demonstrator Team
  • Sikorsky

For marking the fastest airspeed ever achieved by a true helicopter in level flight, and expanding the operational flight envelope for future practical and producible helicopter designs. 
 
 
2010
  • AH-64D Apache Block III Development Team
  • US Army, the Boeing Company, and Northstar Aerospace Corporation

For the first time in aviation history, successfully demonstrated the Split-Torque Face Gear Technology in a rotorcraft transmission.
 
This represents a truly outstanding and innovative improvement in the fundamental technology of the rotorcraft drive system.
 
2009
  • Smart Rotor Team
 
The Smart Rotor Team successfully tested the Boeing Smart Rotor (the Boeing Smart Materials Actuated Rotor Technology) during 2008 in the large-scale wind tunnel known as the NFAC, demonstrating the feasibility, robustness, authority, and aeromechanical benefits of one-blade, smart material actuation.
 
2008
  • US Army Network Centric Operations (NCO) Technology Development Team
  • US Army Aviation Applied Technology Directorate (AATD), AMRDEC Aviation Systems Integration Facility (ASIF), The Boeing Company and Rockwell Collins.
 
The NCO Team during 2007 collaborated to develop and demonstrate substantial improvements in battlefield situational awareness and combat effectiveness that can be achieved via incorporation of advanced mission architectures, high bandwidth communications systems and advanced display systems.
 
2007
  • QTR Aeroelastic Test Team
  • US Army, NASA, and Bell Helicopters
 
The test team consisted of five NASA engineers, eight Army engineers and 21 Bell personnel and the test spanned 59 days in the NASA Langley Transonic Dynamics Tunnel. The fundamental questions regarding the influence of aerodynamic interference of this configuration on both stability and rotor loads and vibrations were explored. This test produced data that defined the effect of the QTR aerodynamic interference on the whirl flutter stability of the configuration. No stability degradation was found due to the aerodynamic interference of the forward wing and proprotor. This test also produced data that quantified the effect of QTR aerodynamic interaction on the rotor loads and vibration. In airplane mode the rotor loads and vibration between the front and rear rotor are similar.
 
2006
  • Rotor Ice Protection System (RIPS) Development Team
  • Sikorsky

This team developed technology, system logic, and test techninques to provide all-weather capabilities for the S-92A, yielding significant improvements in passenger acceptance for helicopters, while improving helicopter productivity and safety.
 
 
2005
  • The Active Vibration Control Team
  • Sikorsky
 
 
 
2004
  • Higher Harmonic Control Aeroacoustic Rotor (HART II) Test and Analysis Team

In recognition of an outstanding improvement in fundamental helicopter technology.
 
The Team comprised of Deutsches Zentrum fur Luft-und Raumfahrt e.V(DLR), Duits-Nederlandse Windtunnel (DNW), Office National D'Etudes et de Rechersches Aerospatiales (ONERA), US Army Aeroflighdynamics Directorate (AFDD), and NASA Langley.
 
2003
  • Sikorsky S-92 Flaw-Tolerance Design and Test Team
  • Sikorsky Aircraft Corp.
 
 
 
2002
  • NASA Tiltrotor Aeroacoustic Code Team -TRAC Team
  • NASA

For completing a successful eight year effort to develop and validate the tiltrotor aeroacoustic code.
 
 
2001
  • The Sikorsky/ Honeywell S-76 Enhanced Ground Proximity Warning System Team
  • Honeywell, Sikorsky Aircraft and the FAA
 
 
 
2000
  • No Award Presented
 
 
 
1999
  • Dennis P. McGuire
 
 
 
1998
  • Japan OHX Engineering Team

For outstanding improvement in fundamental Helicopter Technology.
 
 
Accepting the award was Dr. Masahiro Yasue, Japan Defense Agency; Colonel Hitoshi Hirano; and Sun-Ichi Bandoh, Kawasaki Heavy Industries.
 
1997
  • Comanche Team
  • US Army/Boeing/Sikorsky

For its development, for the first time in twenty years, of an all-new helicopter for the US army.
 
 
 
1996
  • Advanced Technologies Inc.

For an outstanding improvement in fundamental helicopter technology. The kit-built, single- seat 254, with an empty weight of 254 lb. , is classed as an ultralight aircraft and therefore needs no pilot license to fly.
 
 
Its heavier derivatives, the single-seat 331 and two-seated 496, with empty weights above the ultralight limit, are classed experimental and, therefore, may be flown legally only by properly licensed pilots. However, because the 331 and 496 are not restricted by ultralight regs, they otfer larger fuel tanks and higher airspeeds.
 
1995
  • Aircraft Advanced Growth Blade Team
  • Sikorsky
 
 
 
1994
  • Special Operations Helicopter Design and Development Team
  • US Army
 
 
 
1993
  • AATD D/NAPS Team
  • AATD, McDonnell Douglas Helicopter Systems and Sikorsky Aircraft

In recognition of an outstanding improvement in fundamental helicopter technology.
 
 
Col. John O. Benson, Commander, AATD accepted the award on stage.
 
1992
  • Fantail Team
  • Boeing-Sikorsky
 
 
 
1991
  • Dr. W.J. McCroskey
  • The Aeroflightdynamics Directorate, US Army AVSCOM, Ames Research Center

For his quarter-century of work on computational fluid dynamics in helicopter analysis.
 
 
 
1990
  • Alan E. Staple and Stephen P. King
  • Engineer
  • Westland Helicopters

For their development of active vibration control systems.
 
 
 
1989
  • Rotorcraft Noise Reduction Team
  • AHS/NASA

For the NASA/ AHS National Rotorcraft Noise Reduction Program.
 
Accepted by Robert J. Huston of NASA Langley
 
1988
  • 360 Team
  • Boeing Helicopters
 
 
1987
  • NOTAR Team
  • McDonnell Douglas
 
 
1986
  • Dennis R. Halwes
 
 
1985
  • Michael E. Tauber
  • Aerospace Engineer
  • NASA Ames Research Center

For his contributions to the development and application of ROT22, the first three dimensional full potential computer code capable of predicting the transonic flow around helicopter rotor blades.
 
 
1984
  • Tommie L. Wood and Donald L. Bloom
  • Bell Helicopter

For their work in developing a new understanding of the fundamental aerodynamic interaction between a main rotor and tail rotor during low speed flight.
 
 
Wood- Chief of Aerodynamics at Bell Helicopter, and Bloom - a Test Pilot for Bell.
 
1983
  • Dr. C. Eugene Hammond
  • Chief of the Aeromechanics Technical Area
  • The Applied Technology Laboratory (ATL) of AVRADCOM

Hammond was honoured in recognition of the successful development and flight test of the Higher Harmonic Control (HHC) system by the AVRADCOM/ NASA/ Hughes team he led.
 
The HHC system demonstrated the feasibility of a concept to reduce the vibration levels in a helicopter's airframe by as much as 80 percent.
 
1982
  • Dr. Fredric H. Schmitz

For his innovative developments in experimental techniques and analytical procedures that have led, for the first time, to an understanding of the physical phenomena associated with the aerodynamically generated noise from helicopter rotors.
 
As a result of this research by a small team led by Dr. Schmitz over the past four years, the scaling laws for the impulsive noise have been validated, the fundamental mechanisms have been identified, and predictive mathematical models have been developed. These new understandings, will result in the capability to design helicopter rotor blades for minimum impulsive noise without penalizing their performance.
 
1981
  • Robert A. Ormiston
  • Chief Rotorcraft Dynamics Division, Aeromechanics Laboratory
  • U.S. Army Research & Technology Laboratories

For his outstanding contributions to the establishment and improvement of the fundamental technology of rotorcaft dynamics.
 
He has been instrumental in stressing the industry's need to understand the fundamentals of rotarcraft dynamics by direct association with others on his staff and through challenging the entire industry as he did at the 1974 NASA/AHS Specialists Meeting on Rotorcraft Dynamics.
 
1980
  • Leone U. Dadone
  • Senior Engineer
  • Boeing Vertol Company

In recognition of his outstanding achievements in helicopter airfoil research.
 
Dadone, an airfoil specialist with Boeing Vertol for more than ten years, was the principal researcher responsible for the definition of the VR-7 and VR-8 airfoils which are being used on the fiberglass rotor blades on the Boeing Vertol CH-47C and CH-47D, as well as on the Bell Cobra. In addition, Dadone has designed a new generation of airfoils, designated the VR-12 through VR-15, which have been successfully demonstrated in wind tunnel tests
 
1979
  • Anton J. Landgrebe
 
 
 
1978
  • John F. Ward
  • NASA Headquarters

For his original research on the effects of tip vortices on rotor loads, vibration, and acoustics, and contributions to the rotor blade tip vortex studies, and his continued devotion and leadership which made possible the design, fabrication, and successful flight testing of the OGEE tip.
 
 
Ward began his career with NACA (now NASA) in 1952 as an aerospace research scientist at Langley Research Center. From August 1957 to June 1958 he worked for the CAA in New York, then returned to Langley. Hie research work since has been related to rotary-wing aircraft. In 1972, Ward was named assistant chief of the Lengley Flight Research Branch and given the responsibiTity for developing a broad program in rotorcraft technology and for coordinating joint aerodynamic and structural activities with the Anny Air Mobility R&D Laboratory at Langley. In 1974, he was transferred to his present assignment.