AHS Announces 2007 Award Recipients

For Immediate Release
March 21, 2007
L. Kim Smith


Alexandria, VA —AHS International – The Vertical Flight Society Chairman Philip J. Dunford today announced the recipients of the Society’s 2007 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 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 Michael D. Blake, Executive Vice President, Programs, Bell Helicopter Textron, Inc. and Dr. E. Roberts Wood, Professor Emeritus, U.S. Naval Postgraduate School.

The AHS Technical Fellow Award recipients, who receive this honor because of their career-based accomplishments towards the goals and objectives of the vertical flight industry constitute an outstanding technical achievement, are MAJOR GENERAL Anthony P. Fraser, Head of the Australian Helicopter Systems Office, Australia Army Aviation; Dr. J. Gordon Leishman, Minta Martin Professor of Engineering, the University of Maryland; Dr. T. Kevin O’Brien, Senior Research Scientist, Vehicle Technology Directorate, U.S. Army Research Laboratory; and Dr. Mark Tischler, Army Senior Technologist, Aeroflightdynamics Directorate, U.S. Army Aviation & Missile Research, Development, and Engineering Center.

Andrew W. Kerr, Director, U.S. Army Aeroflightdynamics Directorate (AFDD), U.S. Army Aviation & Missile Research Development and Engineering Center (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.  Mr. Kerr began his career at Lockheed-California where he was a key individual in the development of the AH-56 Cheyenne compound helicopter.  Subsequently, as the Director of AFDD, Mr. Kerr was responsible for an extensive research program in the areas of aerodynamics, rotorcraft dynamics, handling qualities and flight controls, simulation and human-machine integration in programs performed independently by the Army and jointly with NASA at the Ames Research Center.  In 1998, Mr. Kerr was appointed to the additional position of Director, National Rotorcraft Technology Center (NRTC) at Ames Research Center.  His tireless and successful efforts to preserve the highly productive Army/NASA rotorcraft partnership, to resurrect the National Full-Scale Aerodynamics Complex, to support and promote the NRTC and the Rotorcraft Centers of Excellence, and to launch the High Performance Computing Institute for Advanced Rotorcraft Modeling and Simulation (HI-ARMS) are just a few of his accomplishments that will have long-lasting value, not just for the U.S. Army but for the entire rotorcraft community.

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 Dr. Kenneth M. Rosen, former Vice President of Research and Engineering, Sikorsky Aircraft Corp. (Ret.).  His lecture “A Prospective:  The Importance of Propulsion Technology to the Development of Helicopter Systems with a Vision for the Future” will be presented Tuesday, May 1, 2007, from 4:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. at the AHS 63rd Annual Forum and Technology Display, Virginia Beach Convention Center, Virginia Beach, VA.

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 Manned/Unmanned Common Architecture Program, Phase II, (MCAP II) Team.  The MCAP II Team is comprised of U.S. Army Aviation Applied Technology Directorate (AATD) members and industry teammates from The Boeing Company and EFW, Inc.  The advances demonstrated by the MCAP II team reduce the cost of maintaining and updating helicopter avionics systems while enabling helicopter platforms to become full participants in network centric operations on the modern asymmetric battlefield.

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 Army/NASA/Bell QTR Aeroelastic Test Team.  The test team consisted of five NASA engineers, eight Army engineers and 21 Bell personnel and the test spanned 59 days in the NASA Langley Transonic Dynamics Tunnel. The fundamental questions regarding the influence of aerodynamic interference of this configuration on both stability and rotor loads and vibrations were explored.  This test produced data that defined the effect of the QTR aerodynamic interference on the whirl flutter stability of the configuration.  No stability degradation was found due to the aerodynamic interference of the forward wing and proprotor.  This test also produced data that quantified the effect of QTR aerodynamic interaction on the rotor loads and vibration.  In airplane mode the rotor loads and vibration between the front and rear rotor are similar. 

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 MDS-Prad Technologies Corp.  This -Prince Edward Island, Canada-based corporation produces an ER-7 erosion resistant coating for the General Electric T-64 engine that powers the CH-53E Super Stallion, the MH-53E Sea Dragon and the CH-46 Sea Knight helicopters. The Naval Air Systems Command’s H-53 Program Office has estimated $8 million in cost savings per helicopter annually and a return-on-investment to date of 20 to 1.  This coating has increased the availability of the T-64 engines and the readiness of the CH-53E fleet.  At the end of 2006, with a significant number of ER-7 coated engines deployed in theatre, low power engine removal decreased to peace time rates.  These quantifiable improvements in fleet readiness and availability also translate to significant decreases in logistical support requirements and maintenance hours.

The Robert L. Pinckney Award is given in recognition of notable achievement in manufacturing research and development for rotorcraft or rotorcraft components brought to fruition in recent years.  The award was created by The Boeing Co. in 1995 to honor the memory of Robert L. Pinckney, an eminent manufacturing engineer.  This year’s recipients are Paul Oldroyd, Chief Manufacturing R & D and Tricia Hiros of Bell Helicopter Textron, Inc.  They led a process development team at the coupon level, sub-component level, and were key participants in the flight-demo yoke program which demonstrated the Fiber-Placed yoke concept and validated the benefit.  Subsequently, they were the principle drivers during the development and implementation of the Fiber-Placed yoke concept on the Bell Model 429.

The Gruppo Agusta 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/Agusta 609 Civil Tiltrotor Team represented by Ross Menger, BA609 Technical Director and Silvano Scorbati, BA609 Deputy Technical Director and Agusta Chief Project Engineer.  This award highlights the successful first flight of the second 609 prototype at the Agusta facility in Italy in 2006.  This unique program will have developmental and certification flight testing in both countries and involved real-time data sharing and vehicle configuration management on a concurrent basis. 

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 the Aircrew of Dustoff 57 – Operation Mountain Lion, which on April 23, 2006 rescued a soldier in Afghanistan who had lost his footing and fell over 30 feet down a mountainside.  Based on the crew’s meticulous flight planning and understanding of the aircraft, they were able to safely execute the dangerous hoist mission at 10,500 MSL and save their fallen comrade.

The Captain William J. Kossler , USCG 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 calendar year.  This year’s winner is the Hong Kong Government Flying Service (GFS).  During the course of Typhoon Prapiroon last August 3, 2006, the pilots and crews of the GFS carried out a major and heroic rescue operation in the South China Sea that saved 91 lives from two sinking barges.  The demonstrated professionalism and skill of the crews and their AS332 Super Puma L2 helicopters, in the face of extremely hazardous weather conditions, were truly remarkable.  Despite wind speeds of up to 100 knots, waves of close to 65 feet, turbulence, low visibility and the violent pitching and rolling of the foundering barges, the GFS crews were able to carry out this most challenging search and rescue (SAR) mission and bring 91 people safely back to land.

The Society's François-Xavier Bagnoud Award is given to William J. Eadie, Advanced Design 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 H-53 Engine Team, GE Aviation for distinguishing themselves by their efforts to deliver improved T64 engines components, establish improved T64 engine logistics support processes, and become the engine provider for the new CH-53K heavy lift helicopter.

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.  The fourth recipient of this award is Jean Boulet, a Flight Test Pilot from Eurocopter who learned to fly helicopters in the U.S. at the end of 1947, and was the pilot for the first post-war French helicopter to leave the ground, in June 1948.  Boulet was involved in testing of all of the Aerospatiale helicopters and was the company’s chief test pilot until 1975.  Boulet also wrote the seminal book, “History of the Helicopter as Told by its Pioneers – 1907 – 1956.” 

The Society’s Robert L. Lichten Award is given to Jonathan Mitchell, Bell Helicopter Textron, Inc. for his paper ”Suppressing Vibrations in the BA609 Tiltrotor:  Flight Testing and Innovative Solution.”  This paper will be presented in Dynamics II, Wednesday, May 2, 2007 from 1:30 p.m. – 2:00 p.m. The Robert L. Lichten Award is given to an AHS member who has not previously presented the results of their work at any national meeting.

In 2007, NASA, in collaboration with AHS announced its First Lichten Internship Award Winner – Mr. Eric Greenwood, II, University of Maryland.  Mr. Greenwood was selected based on his paper, “Helicopter External Noise Radiation in Turning Flight:  Theory and Experiment.”  As the winner of the NASA/AHS Lichten Internship Award, NASA will sponsor an 8-week internship for Mr. Greenwood at one of three NASA Centers executing the NASA Subsonic Rotary Wing Project within the Aeronautical Research Mission Directorate’s fundamental Aeronautics Program (Ames, Glenn and Langley Research Centers).  To be a qualified candidate for the NASA/AHS Lichten Internship Award, the candidate must be a finalist in the AHS International Robert L. Lichten Competition, be a currently registered student in an accredited undergraduate or graduate engineering program, and be a United States citizen.

The Society also wishes to recognize the Cheeseman Award winner, Dr. Uwe T. P. Arnold, Director of Research and Development, ZF Luftfahrttechnik GmbH.  Her paper was selected as the “best paper” presented at the European Rotorcraft Forum at The Netherlands in 2006.  He will present his paper, “Development of an Integrated Electrical Swashplateless Primary and Individual Blade Control System” in Dynamics I, on Tuesday, May 1, 2007 from 8:30 a.m. – 9:00 a.m.

All other recipients are honored at the AHS International Annual Forum Grand Awards Banquet on Wednesday, May 2, from 7:00 p.m. – 9:30 p.m. at the Virginia Beach Convention Center.

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 log onto the Society’s home page at http://www.vtol.org

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