75th Anniversary of the First Rotating Wing Aircraft Meeting

The AHS Philadelphia Chapter, in partnership with the Franklin Institute, the American Helicopter Museum and Education Center (AHM&EC), and the Philadelphia chapters of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) and the Army Aviation Association of America (AAAA), presents:

The 75th Anniversary of the 
First Rotating Wing Aircraft Meeting
The Franklin Institute, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
October 27, 2013 

Franklin Hall

The First Rotating Wing Aircraft Meeting was held by the Philadelphia Chapter of the Institute of Aeronautical Sciences (IAS, the forerunner of AIAA) at the Franklin Institute on October 27-29, 1938. It was the first international meeting on rotary-wing aircraft and marked a turning point from autogyros to helicopters. It was from this event that the American helicopter industry was born. AHS was founded less than five years later. 

This special event will be held where it all started! Top speakers from the U.S. Congress, DARPA, the FAA, and industry headline this exciting look at the past, present and future of vertical flight, capped by a banquet fundraiser dinner for the American Helicopter Museum & Education Center. 

Registration for the technical sessions is $100 for members/$125 non-members; full event including banquet is $175 for members/$200 non-members. Donations also accepted. 

Attention students: AHS Student Members can attend the technical presentations for free! Non-member students can join for $25. Please RSVP to Nancy Phelan at the American Helicopter Museum. 

Register today!

Preliminary schedule:

Sunday October 27, 2013 1:00 PM – 10:00 PM

1:00PM-2:00PM   “An Historic Gathering”    Dr. Bruce Charnov

2:00PM-5:30PM   Technical Session: The Future of Vertical Flight    Mr. Dan Newman

Regulatory and Acquisition Challenges    Moderator:  Mr. Rhett Flater
  • Rep Frank LoBiondo - U.S. Congress
  • Mr. Larry Kelly - FAA, Regulations and Policy, Rotorcraft
  • Mr. Lou Bartolotta - AgustaWestland
  • Mr. Edward DiCampli - Helicopter Association International
Future Configurations & Technologies    Moderator:  Mr. Fred Piasecki
  • Dr. Ashish Bagai - DARPA 
  • Mr. Michael Hirschberg - AHS International
  • Mr. Chris VanBuiten - Sikorsky Innovations
  • Mr. Dick Spivey - Bell Helicopter (retired)
Future Uses of Rotorcraft     Moderator:  Mr. Dave Wildes
  • Dr. James Wang - AgustaWestland
  • Mr. John Walker - The Padina Group
  • LTG Barclay (Invited) - U.S. Army 
  • Mr. Jim McCans  - Pennstar EMS

5:30PM-6:00PM    AHS Vertical Flight Heritage Site Ceremony in Aviation Hall

6:00PM-7:30PM    Cocktail Reception & Silent Auction

7:30PM-9:30PM    Gala Banquet in Franklin Hall
  • American Helicopter Museum & Education Center Achievement Award
  • Keynote: Christopher Clemens, Chief Pilot, Philadelphia Police
  • Concluding Remarks: Mr. John Piasecki, President & CEO, Piasecki Aircraft

9:30PM-10:00  Auction Claim

More about the significance of the First Rotating Wing Aircraft Meeting:
  • Amelia Earhart AutogiroA summary of the event was published in the Franklin Institute's "The Institute News" in 1938:
"In October, 1938, under the sponsorship of the Philadelphia Chapter of the Institute of Aeronautical Sciences, a three-day meeting was held at the Institute, October 27th, October 28th and October 29th, on the study of “rotating wing aircraft” in the Lecture Hall of the Institute. On Thursday, October 27th, those attending heard Dr. Alexander Klemin read a paper on “Rotating Wings.” On Friday, October 28th, Ralph McClarren, the Institute’s Assistant Associate Director of Aviation, presented a review of rotating wing air craft, with papers in the morning dealing with development and improvement of such aircraft and in the afternoon, sessions on application and uses. Finally, on Saturday, October 29th, the discussion centered around research facilities and programs."
  • A summary of the event was written by Raoul Hafner and published by Flight magazine, January 5, 1939. 

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