2010 Student Design Competition


July 19, 2010

Contact: Kay Brackins (703) 684-6777

The University of Maryland and The Pennsylvania State University Take Top Honors
in the 27th Annual AHS/Industry Student Design Competition 

ALEXANDRIA, VA – AHS Executive Director M. E. Rhett Flater announced that The University of Maryland came in first-place in the 27th Student Design Competition graduate category with “Goliath”and Georgia Institute of Technology’s “Thor” captured second-place honors. 

In the undergraduate category, The Pennsylvania State University’s “SPARCL” won first-place and the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute with “GunSmash and the Atlas”came in second.  M. S. Ramaiah Institute of Technology (India) captured the prize for the best new entry with “Silver.”

The Boeing Company was the sponsor of the 27th annual competition which rotates among AgustaWestland, Bell Helicopter Textron, The Boeing Company, Sikorsky Aircraft Corp., and Eurocopter. 

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 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 two members of the winning team are invited to the AHS Annual Forum and Technology Display to present the details of their proposal.  Members of the teams receive one-day complimentary registration to the Forum, the vertical flight industry’s principal professional technical event, promoting vertical flight technology. 

Boeing challenged participants with two tasks as part of this year’s competition – a design task for both undergraduate and graduate teams, and an experimentation task for graduate teams only. For the design task, a technology demonstrator multi-lift system was to be designed so that two rotorcraft could be cooperatively operated to lift 75% more Payload than either aircraft alone. Enough fuel needs to be aboard at takeoff for a 100nm delivery distance, mid-point hover capability for 10 minutes, and return without the payload. The focus was to be on the system concept. For the experimental task, the teams were asked to explore the conduct of their Technology Demonstration Multi-lift Load Handling System which would involve design and conduct of a flight test program. To demonstrate an understanding of some of the needs of such a test program, graduate teams would design and conduct a hover lift test and analysis effort with a remote control helicopter.

For those interested in more information about the AHS Student Design Competition please visit our web site at www.vtol.org. The web site will also contain the Request for Proposal for the 2011 AHS Student Design Competition which is due out in early August 2010, as well as the top winning entries from 2010. For videos on the graduate teams’ flight portion of the competition, visit http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lBYcSuB06us for University of Maryland and http://www.prism.gatech.edu/~gth854c/ for Georgia Institute of Technology.

AHS International – The Vertical Flight Society is a professional, technical society founded in 1943 that represents the interests of the worldwide vertical flight industry.