2002 Student Design Competition

For release:  IMMEDIATE

Contact:   L. Kim Smith (703) 684-6777

The University of Maryland and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute Take Top Honors
in the 2002 19th Annual AHS/Industry/NASA Student Design Competition

ALEXANDRIA, VA - AHS Executive Director M. E. Rhett Flater announced that the University of Maryland came in first place in the graduate category in the 19th Student Design Competition and Georgia Institute of Technology captured second place honors. Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute won first place in the undergraduate category. Bell Helicopter Textron Inc. was the sponsor of the nineteenth annual competition which rotates sponsorship among Boeing - Philadelphia, Boeing - Mesa, Sikorsky and Bell Helicopter Textron, Inc. NASA is also a major underwriter of this program.

The AHS Student Design Competition, which challenges students to design a vertical lift aircraft which meets specified requirements, provides a practical exercise for engineering students at nationally accredited colleges and universities. The competition promotes student interest in vertical flight technology. The first- and second-place winning teams are awarded a cash stipend and the winning team is invited to the AHS Annual Forum and Technology Display to present their winning entry. Members of the teams receive one-day complimentary registration to the forum, the vertical flight industry's principal professional technical event.

This year Bell Helicopter Textron Inc. challenged participants to take existing 4-6 place aging light helicopters and upgrade them to increased performance, safety and reliability standards at a fraction of the cost of a newly manufactured helicopter. Teams needed to have the helicopters capable of 140 kt cruise and a 400 nm absolute (dry-tank) range at some altitude below 10,000ft. The winning University of Maryland team proposed an upgrade program for the Bell Model 206 JetRanger - the 406-UM TerpRanger.

For those interested in more information about the AHS Student Design Competition please visit our web site at www.vtol.org. AHS International - The Vertical Flight Society is a professional, technical society founded in 1943, that represents the interests of the worldwide vertical flight industry.