2011 AHS Student Design Competition Winners

July 22, 2011

Contact: The Vertical Flight Society
(703) 684-6777

The University of Maryland and Georgia Institute of Technology Take Top Honors
in the 28th Annual AHS/Industry Student Design Competition

ALEXANDRIA, VA – AHS Executive Director Michael J. Hirschberg announced that The University of Maryland came in first-place in the 28th Student Design Competition graduate category with “Excalibur,” a variable diameter tiltrotor, and Georgia Institute of Technology’s coaxial compound with ducted auxiliary propulsion titled “Odyssey” captured second-place honors.

In the undergraduate category, Georgia Institute of Technology's “Golden Retriever,” a coaxial compound with auxiliary propulsion won first-place and The Pennsylvania State University came in second with its entrant “Phoenix,” also a coaxial compound with auxiliary power. The Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur captured the prize for the best new entry with its reconfigurable compound helicopter the “RC2.”

Bell Helicopter Textron Inc. was the sponsor of the 28th 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 around the world. The competition promotes student interest in vertical flight technology. Each of the first- and second-place winning teams are awarded a cash stipend and two members of the first-place winning teams 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 advancement.

Bell challenged participants to design a multi-mission vertical lift system that blends the competing requirements of three very different missions – search and rescue, insertion and resupply – all driven by the needs of current events. The search and rescue mission requires the aircraft to carry a crew of four, and additional six passengers or carry two litters and two medical personnel plus equipment for a radius of 225 nautical miles. The insertion mission requires the aircraft to carry a crew of four and six additional persons plus equipment totaling a minimum payload of 4000 pounds for a minimum distance of 250 nautical miles. The resupply mission requires the aircraft to carry a crew of four and carry/deliver a minimum payload of 3000 pounds for a minimum distance of 350 nm, and then return to the starting point with an alternate payload of 3000 pounds internal. This challenging RFP attracted 14 participants which ultimately resulted in eight proposals being submitted with 30 judges participating in the review process.

For those interested in more information about the AHS Student Design Competition please visit our web site at www.vtol.org/education/student-design-competition. The web site will also contain the Request for Proposal for the 2012 AHS Student Design Competition, sponsored by Sikorsky Aircraft Corp., which is due out in early August 2011. You will also find the top-winning entries from the 28th Student Design Competition posted on the site.

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