AHS Announces 2005 Award Recipients

For Immediate Release
March 10, 2005
L. Kim Smith


Alexandria, VA - AHS International – The Vertical Flight Society Chairman Paul Martin today announced the recipients of the Society’s 2005 awards program. This prestigious awards 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 prestige 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 Fellow Award recipients, who receive this honor because of their outstanding work towards the interests of the industry, are David. O. Adams, Test Engineering – Technical Fellow, Sikorsky Aircraft Corp.; Professor Gopal Gaonkar, Mechanical Engineering Dept., Florida Atlantic University; Dr. Richard Bennett, Staff Engineer, Bell Helicopter Textron, Inc. (Ret.) and Lecturer; and Dr. Arvind Sinha, Director, Wackett Aerospace Centre; RMIT University.

The AHS Honorary Fellow Awards are given to Society members who have made an outstanding contribution to the interests of the Society. Only two Honorary Fellowships are bestowed per year and recipients receive lifetime membership in the Society. This year’s winners are Somen Chowdhury, Manager, International Research, Bell Helicopter Textron Canada, Inc. and Edwin W. Aiken, Chief, Army/NASA Rotorcraft Div. (Ret.).

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 Unmanned Little Bird Team comprised of The Boeing Co. and L-3 Communications. The team took on the challenge of developing a performance competitive and versatile UAV from a design concept to a fully functional autonomous aircraft in less than 12 months.

This year's honoree for the Howard Hughes Award is the Sikorsky Aircraft Active Vibration Control (AVC) Development team comprised of Hamilton Sundstrand, Moog and Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation. This team developed and gained FAA certification of a robust self-adaptive AVC system on the S-92 helicopter that also led to incorporation of the AVC into the U.S. Army UH-60M Black Hawk. The Howard Hughes Award is given in recognition of an outstanding improvement in fundamental helicopter technology brought to fruition in the previous year.

Harry Parkinson, founder and president, Advanced Technologies, Inc. (Ret.) 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. Harry Parkinson has more than 44 years experience in the design, execution, and management of rotorcraft research programs. 

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 Sikorsky UH-60 M Automatic Flight Control Team for their significant team contribution to the advancement of rotorcraft safety through development of improved coupled flight director functions and pilot interface for the hover degraded visual environment.

The Frederick L. Feinberg Award is presented to the helicopter pilot or pilots that have made the most outstanding achievement in the previous year. This year’s award is given to Army Captain Ryan Welch and CW2 Justin Taylor who performed a dangerous nighttime extraction in their Apache helicopter of two injured U.S. Army Kiowa helicopter pilots who were shot down in Iraq in October 2004.

The Gruppo Agusta International Helicopter Fellowship Award recognizes the most significant contributions 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 Sikorsky – Canada National Research Council (NRC) Fly-by-Wire Research Team for their significant achievements in developing advanced Fly-by-Wire flight control laws.

Tommie L. Wood, Bell Helicopter Textron is the recipient of the Paul E. Haueter Award, which is given to an individual, or group who makes a significant contribution to the development of VTOL aircraft other than helicopters. Mr. Wood over the span of his career has played a leading role in the development of the tiltrotor, including the XV-15, the V-22, the BA-609 and more recently the conceptual design of the Quad tiltrotor.

The Captain William J. Kossler, USCG Award, which is given to the individual or organization that demonstrates the greatest achievement in practical application of the helicopter, is given to the aircrew of a Norrlandsflyg S-76C SAR helicopter who rescued a tug boat captain and the rescue swimmer of another SAR helicopter during a horrendous storm in the Baltic Sea.

The Robert L. Pinckney Award honors the memory of an eminent manufacturing engineer from Boeing Helicopters. This award is given in recognition of notable achievement in manufacturing research and development for rotorcraft or rotorcraft components brought to fruition in recent years. This year’s recipient is the Sikorsky Composite Tailcone/Stabilator Development Team comprised of Sikorsky Aircraft, Israeli Aircraft Industries, GKN Aerospace, and the Army ManTech organization. This team is recognized for demonstrating the economic viability of incorporating composite structures on mature production helicopter airframes.

The Alexander A. Nikolsky Lectureship is awarded to the individual who reflects the highest ideals, goals and achievements in the field of helicopter and V/STOL aircraft engineering and development. This year's recipient is Walter Sonneborn of Bell Helicopter Textron (Ret.). His lecture “Quo Vadis Helicopter Community? A Highly Opinionated Outlook in Three Parts – Technology, Management and Operations” will be presented Wednesday, June 1, 2005, from 4:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. at the AHS 61st Annual Forum and Technology Display, Gaylord Texan Resort, Grapevine, TX.

The Society's François-Xavier Bagnoud Award is given to Vineet Sahasrabudhe, Principle Engineer, Sikorsky Aircraft Corp. This award, which was established in 1992, recognizes outstanding contributions to vertical flight technology by a Society member under the age of thirty. The award honors the memory of a young helicopter engineer, Swiss citizen, author and rescue pilot who founded the AHS student chapter at the University of Michigan. 

The AHS Supplier Excellence Award, created in 1995, is given to a supplier, which, through the quality, innovativeness and cost-effectiveness of its products, has made notable contributions within the vertical flight industry. This year the distinction goes to The Protective Materials Company for developing and supplying the Marine Corps with protective armor kits for H-53 helicopters supporting combat operations in Iraq, Afghanistan, and elsewhere throughout the world.

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 in encouraging appreciation of, and enhancing access to the history and legacy of vertical flight aircraft. The second recipient of this award is John M. “Slats” Slattery who has dedicated his past fifty years to the preservation of helicopter history.

Recipients are honored at the AHS International Annual Forum Grand Awards Banquet on Thursday, June 2, 2005, from 7:00 p.m. – 9:30 p.m. at the Texan Gaylord Resort, Grapevine, Texas.

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.


AHS International, 217 N. Washington St., Alexandria, VA 22314-2538; (703) 684-6777; Fax (703) 739-9279; e-mail: Staff@vtol.org; Web Site: www.vtol.org 

Past award recipients