2011 AHS Award Winners

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April 4, 2011

Contact: Vertical Flight Society
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Alexandria, VA — AHS International – The Vertical Flight Society Chairman Philip J. Dunford today announced the recipients of the Society’s 2011 awards program. This prestigious program was initiated in 1944 and over the years has paid tribute to the outstanding leaders of the vertical flight industry. Each year the awards grow steadily in relevance and importance.

The Society's awards program recognizes extraordinary achievements and serves as a catalyst for stimulating technological advances in the vertical flight industry. The winners include:

The AHS Honorary Fellow Awards are granted to Society members whose career-based leadership and innovation has advanced significantly the interests of the vertical flight community. Only two Honorary Fellowships are bestowed per year and recipients receive lifetime membership in the Society. This year the winners are Albert Winn, former Vice President Attack Helicopter Programs, Boeing Military Aircraft Division (Ret.), and David Matuska, CH-53K Chief of Test, Sikorsky Aircraft Corp.

The AHS Technical Fellow Award recipients receive this honor because of their career-based accomplishments towards the goals and objectives of the vertical flight industry constitute an outstanding technical achievement. The recipients are Harold Rosenstein, Chief Engineer, Advanced Mobility, Phantom Works, The Boeing Company; James Howlett, Chief Handling Qualities and Control Laws, Sikorsky Aircraft Corp; Dr. Feridoun Farassat, Senior Theoretical Aeroacoustician, NASA Langley Research Center; and David Popelka, Manager Dyn-Aeromech & Loads, Bell Helicopter Textron. 

Tom Wood, Senior Technical Fellow, Flight Technology & Advanced Design, Bell Helicopter Textron is this year's honored recipient of the Dr. Alexander Klemin Award. This prestigious award is presented for recognition of notable achievement in the advancement of rotary wing aeronautics.  He is recognized for his more than 40-year career dedicated to the design, development, and flight test of new vertical lift solutions.

The Society’s Captain William J. Kossler Award is given for the greatest achievement in practical application or operation of rotary wing aircraft, the value of which has been demonstrated by actual service during the preceding year.  This year the Kossler will be presented to the Bravo Company 1-52nd Aviation Regiment, US Army which provided emergency relief in “Operation Denali” (Pakistan) using the CH 47 Chinook aircraft.  During their deployment the unit transported more than 19,000 individuals and moved more than 10,000,000 pounds of cargo during major flooding in Pakistan.

GKN Aerospace, based in St. Louis, Missouri, is this year’s recipient of the AHS  Supplier Excellence Award, which is given to a supplier which, through the quality, innovativeness and cost-effectiveness of its products, has made a notable contribution to the vertical
flight industry. The company displayed “best in class” performance on the Sikorsky Aircraft CH-53K program as Airframe Supplier Lead. 

William Bousman,
Aerospace Engineer, Army Aeroflightdynamics Directorate, NASA Ames Research Center (Ret.), has been selected as this year’s Alexander A. Nikolsky Honorary Lectureship recipient.  The Lectureship is awarded to “an individual who has a highly distinguished career in vertical flight aircraft research and development and is skilled at communicating their technical knowledge and experience.”  In winning the award, Mr. Bousman joins the ranks of previous distinguished Nikolsky recipients including Dr. Wayne Johnson, Dr. David Peters, Dr. Kenneth Rosen, Troy Gaffey, Dr. Richard M. Carlson, Professor Howard C. Curtiss, Jr., Dr. Daniel P. Schrage, David Jenney, Evan Fradenburgh, Kenneth I. Grina, Robert R. Lynn, Rene Mouille, Professor Alfred Gessow, Bartram Kelley, Robert Huston, Bruno Lovera and Professor Barnes McCormick, Jr.  The Lecture will be delivered at the 67th AHS Annual Forum and Technology Display at the Virginia Beach Convention Center, in Virginia Beach, Virginia, on Tuesday, May 3, 2010 at 4:00 p.m.  The title of the Lecture is “Full-Scale Airloads Measurements – Extraordinary Costs, Extraordinary Benefits.”

The Grover E. Bell Award is given to the individual or organization that has fostered and encouraged research and experimentation in helicopter development. This year's honored recipient is the UH-60 Airloads Wind Tunnel Test Team, consisting of the U.S. Army, U.S. Air Force, NASA, and the National Full-Scale Aerodynamics Complex (NFAC).  Team leaders included Thomas Norman, NASA Ames Research Center, and Patrick Shinoda, U.S. Army Aeroflightdynamics Directorate.  The team includes over 130 individuals, composed of dedicated engineers, aircraft and wind tunnel mechanics, technicians, managers, data system and instrumentation specialists, and programmers.  The dataset they created will enable new understandings and knowledge of rotor performance, aerodynamics, dynamics, and load.  In May 2010, the UH-60 Airloads Wind Tunnel Test Team successfully completed the most intricate and extensive testing ever performed on a full-scale rotor system. 

The Harry T. Jensen Award is given in recognition of an outstanding contribution to the improvement of helicopter reliability, maintainability, safety or logistics support through improved design or technical achievement brought to fruition during the preceding year. This year the award is presented to the Boeing Active Crash Protection System Development Team, consisting of The Boeing Company, the U.S. Army Aviation Applied Technology Directorate, Honeywell, General Dynamics Ordnance and the University of Maryland.  The team developed new technologies which greatly increase the effectiveness of rotorcraft crash protection systems and significantly improve rotorcraft crash survivability.

This year’s honoree for the Howard Hughes Award, given in recognition of an outstanding improvement in fundamental helicopter technology brought to fruition in the previous year, is the Sikorsky X2 Technology Demonstrator Team.  On September 15, 2010, the Sikorsky X2 Technology Demonstrator accelerated to 253 knots, marking the fastest airspeed ever achieved by a true helicopter in level flight.  This event marked not only the fastest airspeed ever achieved by a true helicopter in level flight, but it also signified a quantum leap in expanding the operational flight envelope for future practical and producible helicopter designs.  The X2 was made possible through the use of an advanced coaxial rotor design that is able to achieve an 80% to100% increase in helicopter cruise speed while retaining desireable attributes such as excellent low-speed handling qualities, efficient hovering, and simple transition to high speed.

The AgustaWestland International Helicopter Fellowship Award
recognizes the most significant contribution to international vertical flight cooperation by an individual or group. Established in 1989, the award honors the memory of Paolo Bellavita whose career at Gruppo Agusta was marked by his dedication to furthering international cooperation in the world of vertical flight. This year’s winner is the Bell 429 CertificationTeam, including certification specialists at Bell Helicopter’s Mirabel (Canada) and Fort Worth (Texas) facilities, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Transport Canada, and the European Aeronautics and Space Agency (EASA).  The Team succeeded in certifying the Bell 429 for Day/Night VFR, Single and Dual Pilot  IFR, and Category A by all three of the regulatory agencies involved during 2010.

The Frederick L. Feinberg Award is presented to the helicopter pilot or pilots who have made the most outstanding achievement in the previous year. This year’s award is given to Kevin L. Bredenbeck, X2 Technology Demonstrator, Director Flight Operations, Chief Test Pilot and Project Test Pilot, Sikorsky Aircraft Corp.  Mr. Bredenbeck, the only person to ever fly the X2 Technology Demonstrator aircraft, was a principal contributor to the September 2010 successful achievement of the program’s primary performance objective of reaching 250 knots and thus exceeding the previous speed record for helicopters in the X2’s weight class.  He was the primary contributor to the aircraft’s cockpit design and control system and a key part of the design team throughout the conceptualization, detail design, build and test phases of the program.

The Society's François-Xavier Bagnoud Award is given to Joseph G. Irwin, Senior Manager, Flying Qualities, The Boeing Company.  This award, which was established in 1992, recognizes outstanding contributions to vertical flight technology by a Society member under the age of 35.  His career accomplishments include major contributions to the advancement of control law technology for vertical take off and landing aircraft.  He recently published three widely referenced AHS technical papers on H-47 Digital Automatic Flight Control System (DAFCS) development.  The papers document vehicle management and control technology that he developed and incorporated into production helicopters to improve flight safety, decrease aircraft cost and weight, and expand mission capability and effectiveness.  One of these papers was recognized as the Alfred Gessow Forum Best Paper in handling qualities at the 2007 AHS Annual Forum.

The John J. Schneider Historical Achievement Award was established in 2003, in memory of vertical flight historian John J. Schneider. The award is given in recognition of distinguished achievement by an individual in encouraging appreciation of, and enhancing access to the history and legacy of vertical flight aircraft. This year’s recipient is Robert M. Beggs, Production Support Logistics Supervisor, The Boeing Co..  He is recognized for his enthusiastic and effective leadership of the American Helicopter Museum and Education Center in West Chester, PA.  With a group of visionaries including Peter Wright and John Schneider, Mr. Beggs conceived and created the museum in the early 1990’s and has been a key leader of the museum’s operation since it opened in 1996.  He has served both as vice president and, for the last seven years, president of the museum’s Board of Trustees.  He is also Chairman of the AHS History Committee which further demonstrates his commitment to the preservation and documentation of vertical flight.

The Society also wishes to recognize the 2010 Cheeseman Award winner, Yuri Nikishkov, Georgia Institute of Technology, whose paper, “Finite Elment-Based Tolerance Methods for Aircraft Composites,” was selected as the “best paper” at the European Rotorcraft Forum in Paris, France, in September 2010.  He will present his paper on Wednesday, May 4, 2011 in Structures & Materials II at 11:45 a.m. in the Virginia Beach Convention Center, Virginia Beach, VA.

The hard working Vertical Flight Foundation (VFF) Committee has made its selection of candidates for VFF scholarships and they include, in the Bachelor of Science category, Juan Pablo Afman, Georgia Institute of Technology; Daniel Landers, Northeastern University; Elena Shrestha, University of Maryland; Sean Pearson Symon, University of Maryland and Nathan Wukie, University of Cincinnati.  In the M.S. category the winners include Graham Bowen-Davies, University of Maryland; Erica Grace Hocking, University of Maryland, Austin Overmeyer, The Pennsylvania State University, Rajiv Shenoy, Georgia Institute of Technology; Elizabeth Alice Weiner, University of Maryland and Jonathan Z. Yong, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.  In the PhD category the winners included:  Andrew Becnel, University of Maryland; Benjamin Otto Berry, University of Maryland; Chen Friedman, University of Maryland; Eliot Quon, Georgia Institute of Technology; Ryan Michael Robinson, University of Maryland; Jason Carl Slaby, The Pennsylvania State University; and Anish Sydney, University of Maryland.

The winner of the Robert L. Lichten Award is Gregory M. Neiswander, San Jose State University Research Associate, U.S. Army Aeroflightdynamics Directorate and he will present his paper, “Improving Deceleration Guidance for Rotorcraft Brownour Landing” in Crew Stations & Human Factors on Thursday, May 5, 2011 at 9:00 a.m.  The runner-up in this competiton is Austin Overmeyer, The Pennsylvania State University with his paper, “Rotating Testing of a Low-Power, Non-Thermal Ultrasonic Deicing System for Helicopter Rotor Blades.”

Finally, the Society announces the winners of its 2010 27th AHS/Industry Student Design Competition, sponsored this year by The Boeing Co.  The RFP was titled “LIFT! More LIFT! and the Graduate winner was the University of Maryland with their Goliath entry and Georgia Institute of Technology came in second place with their Thor concept.  In the undergraduate category Pennsylvania State University won first-place honors in the 27th Student Design Competition with its SPARCL entry and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute captured second place with its GunSmach and Atlas offerings.  The Best New Entrant was MSRIT from India with its Silver competitor.Team representatives of the graduate and undergraduate winners will present their respective team’s proposals on Thursday, May 5, 2011 in Aircraft Design II beginning at 11:15 a.m.  The sponsorship of the annual competition rotates among AgustaWestland, Bell Helicopter Textron, Boeing, Eurocopter, and Sikorsky Aircraft Corp.  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. 

AHS International – The Vertical Flight Society, which has more than 6,000 members, is the world's leading technical, professional society dedicated to the advancement of vertical flight technology and its applications.

For further information on the Society and its programs as well as past award recipients please visit the Society’s home page at
http://www.vtol.org. A PDF of this press release is also available.