Student Design Competition

GT-SDC-2013-UG.JPGThe AHS International annual Student Design Competition challenges students to design a vertical lift aircraft that meets specified requirements, provides a practical exercise for engineering students at colleges and universities around the world and promotes student interest in vertical flight technology. Each of the winning teams is awarded a cash stipend, while each of the first-place winning teams are invited to AHS International’s Annual Forum and Technology Display to present the details of their designs. Members of the teams receive complimentary registration to the Forum, the vertical flight industry’s principal professional technical event, which promotes vertical flight technology advancement.

The AHS Student Design Competition sponsorship rotates between AgustaWestland, Airbus Helicopters, The Boeing Company, Bell Helicopter Textron and Sikorsky Aircraft Corp. Through this partnership, AHS International is able to reach the best and brightest students in the world and encourage them to pursue education and careers in vertical flight. AHS is grateful for the continual support that industry provides for its annual Student Design Competition, and proud of all students who elect to participate. Information is available on past winners.

Rotating Sponsors

2013 – Eurocopter
2014 – 
AgustaWestland
2015 – 
The Boeing Company
2016 –
 Bell Helicopter
2017 – Sikorsky Aircraft
2018 – Airbus Helicopters
2019 – Leonardo Helicopters
2020 – The Boeing Company 

The Student Design Competition Letter of Intent (LOI) process is now CLOSED

Final Proposals and Executive Summaries due May 31, 2017

34th Annual Student Design Competition

"24 Hour Hovering Machine Conceptual Design"

Sponsored by Sikorsky Aircraft

Da Vinci's Aerial Screw (b&w)


33rd Annual Student Design Competition

"Air Launched Unmanned Disaster Relief Delivery Vehicle"

Sponsored by Bell Helicopter

Halcyon 1st UnderGrad Nanjing Univ

32nd Annual Student Design Competition

"Distributed Logistics in an Urban Setting Using
Small Unmanned Aerial Vehicles"

Sponsored by The Boeing Company

2015 SDC Entries Summary


31st Annual Student Design Competition

X-VTOL Logo

Sponsored by AgustaWestland (now Leonardo Helicopters)

Georgia Tech XV-58 Manta First Place Graduate St. Louis University Heli-Fast 1st Place Undergraduate


30th Annual Student Design Competition

"The HealCopter"

Sponsored by Eurocopter (now Airbus Helicopters)

1st Place Graduate Winner - UMD HeliX   1st Place Undergrad Winner - Penn State Griffin

29th Annual Student Design Competition

"Rotary Wing Pylon Racer"

Sponsored by Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation

1st Place Grad Winner - UMD    1st Place Undergrad Winner - Ga Tech Badger 2012

Read more about all 30+ years of competitions and past winners!

Update July 27, 2015