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

2016 – Bell Helicopter
2017 – Sikorsky Aircraft 
2018 – U.S. Army Research Lab 
2019 – Airbus Helicopters
2020 – Leonardo Helicopters
2021 – The Boeing Company
2022 – Bell Helicopter
2023 – Sikorsky Aircraft

Requests for Information (RFIs) due Feb. 23, 2018!

35th Annual Student Design Competition

"A Reconfigurable VTOL Aircraft"

Sponsored by the U.S. Army Research Lab

Da Vinci's Aerial Screw (b&w)

Winners Announced!

34th Annual Student Design Competition

"24 Hour Hovering Machine Conceptual Design"

2017 SDC Winning Entries

  • University of Maryland takes top honors in the 34th Annual AHS Student Design Competition, AHS Press Release, August 11, 2017
  • Executive Summaries of the winning entries are available:
Graduate Winners
Place University City, Country Design Team
1st and 
Best Hardware
University of Maryland College Park, Maryland, USA Elysium
2nd Georgia Institute of Technology and
Université de Sherbrooke
Atlanta, Georgia, USA and
Sherbrooke, Québec, Canada
3rd Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur Kanpur, Uttar Pradesh, India Vibhram


Undergraduate Winners
Place University City, Country Design Team
1st  University of Maryland College Park, Maryland, USA Chezoia
2nd PFH Private University of Applied Sciences Stade, Lower Saxony, Germany Ephemeron
3rd Georgia Institute of Technology Atlanta, Georgia, USA 24 Hour Buzz
Best New Entry Polytechnic University of Puerto Rico San Juan, Puerto Rico, USA Godwit Helicopter

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


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