2003 Student Design Competition


August 11, 2003 

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


The University of Maryland and the Pennsylvania State University Take Top Honors
in the 2003 20th 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 20th Student Design Competition graduate category and Georgia Institute of Technology captured second place honors. In the undergraduate category The Pennsylvania State University won first-place with Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute coming in a close second and Iowa State University placing third. Sikorsky Aircraft Corp. and NASA were the sponsors of the twentieth annual competition which rotates among Boeing - Philadelphia, Boeing - Mesa, Sikorsky and Bell Helicopter Textron, Inc. NASA is also a major underwriter of this program and AgustaWestland will be the first-time sponsor for the 21stcompetition.

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 Sikorsky Aircraft Corp. and NASA challenged participants to develop a VTOL Urban Disaster Response Vehicle that could perform high rise fire fighter deployment, rooftop occupant extraction, building face penetration and occupant recovery, ground pump water cannon fire fighting, self contained tank water cannon fire fighting and disaster command and control.

For those interested in more information about the AHS Student Design Competition please visit our web site at www.vtol.org. The web site also contains the Request for Proposal for the 2004 AHS Student Design Competition. AHS International - The Vertical Flight Society is a professional, technical society founded in 1943, that represents the interests of the worldwide vertical flight industry.