AHS Announces 2008 Award Recipients

For Immediate Release
March 28, 2008
L. Kim Smith


Alexandria, VAAHS International – The Vertical Flight Society Chairman Richard Millman today announced the recipients of the Society’s 2008 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 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’s winners are Dr. Inderjit Chopra, Professor and Director of the Alfred Gessow Rotorcraft Center at the University of Maryland and Roy G. Fox, Chief of Flight Safety, Bell Helicopter Textron, Inc.

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 Mark Dreier, Staff Engineer/Simulation, Bell Helicopter Textron, Inc; Bernd Gmelin, Former Head of Rotorcraft Programs, German Aerospace Center (DLR); Sandra Marie Hoff, Deputy Commander, US Army Aviation Applied Technology Directorate; Dr. Edward Smith, Professor and Director of the Vertical Lift Center, Pennsylvania State University; and Dr. Michael S. Torok, Chief Engineer, Maritime Programs, Sikorsky Aircraft Corp.

Abraham Karem, Owner/Chief Engineer, Karem Aircraft, Inc. 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. Karem is the designer of the “Optimum Speed Rotor” concept, demonstrated by the A160 Hummingbird UAV and the Karem JHL Optimum Speed Tiltrotor conceptual design that greatly improves the efficiency of rotary wing aircraft.    

The Alexander A. Nikolsky Honorary 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. David A. Peters, McDonnell Douglas Professor of Engineering, Director, Washington University Center for Computational Mechanics, and an Associate Director, Georgia Tech Center of Excellence for Rotorcraft Technology. His lecture “How Dynamic Inflow Survives in the Competitive World of Rotorcraft Aerodynamics” will be presented Tuesday, April 29, 2008, from 4:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. at the AHS 64th Annual Forum and Technology Display, Palais des congrès de Montréal, Montréal (Quebéc), Canada. 

The Society’s Paul E. Haueter Award is presented each year to an individual or company that has made significant contributions to the development of vertical take-off and landing aircraft other than helicopters. This year, the Haueter Award will be given to the late Dr. John Zuk of NASA Ames Research Center. John was the former chief of NASA’s Advanced Tiltrotor Technology Office and Manager of the NASA Short Haul Civil Tiltrotor Project and studies focusing on “runway independent aircraft,” which provided the underpinnings for much of NASA’s tiltrotor research. John passed away in January 2008 and, accordingly, his wife Maureen will accept this award on his behalf.  

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 US Army / NASA / Sikorsky UH-60M Upgrade Flight Control Team.  The UH60M Upgrade Flight Control Team is comprised of the U.S. Army’s Utility Helicopter Program Office, AMRDEC / Aeroflightdynamics Directorate, NASA Ames Research Center, and Sikorsky Aircraft Corp. The team defined, developed and built the most advanced helicopter flight control system flying today establishing full-authority, fly-by-wire control performance with active collective and cyclic inceptors.  

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 Appareo Systems, LLC, and Bristow Group. This team has improved helicopter safety through a new product called ALERTS, Aircraft Logging and Event Recording for Safety and Training. The system helps operators minimize fleet risk levels by improving training and insuring compliance with standard operating procedures through flight data recording, monitoring, and 3D flight recreation. It represents an innovative and affordable way to perform flight data monitoring.  

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 Network Centric Operations (NCO) Technology Development Team, consisting of the US Army Aviation Applied Technology Directorate (AATD), AMRDEC Aviation Systems Integration Facility (ASIF), The Boeing Company and Rockwell Collins. The NCO Team during 2007 collaborated to develop and demonstrate substantial improvements in battlefield situational awareness and combat effectiveness that can be achieved via incorporation of advanced mission architectures, high bandwidth communications systems and advanced display systems.  

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 recipient is the US Army / Sikorsky Survivable Affordable Repairable Airframe Program (SARAP) Virtual Prototype and Validation Development Team.  The team is recognized for validating the innovative design and manufacture of advanced composite structures to achieve aggressive weight reduction and recurring and non-recurring cost reductions. These technologies, statically tested in 2007, are currently being incorporated into the Navy CH-53K and future upgrades to the Army UH-60 platform.  

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 Pietro Alli, Chief Technical Officer, AgustaWestland. During the past two years, Mr. Alli has been highly active in the design of the VH-71 Increment 1 and Increment 2 helicopter for the President of the United States. In addition, he united Agusta engineering in Cascina Costa and Westland Helicopters engineering in Yeovil into a single, integrated organizational unit.   

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 First Polar Team of Jennifer Murray and Colin Bodill in recognition of their extraordinary world record setting accomplishment on May 23, 2007 in flying around the world from the Arctic Pole to the Antarctic Pole in a Bell 407 helicopter.  

In addition, Bell Helicopter Textron won the Society’s Igor I. Sikorsky International Trophy for this mission. The Sikorsky Trophy is given to the company which is the designer and builder of a pure helicopter establishing an official world record during the preceding calendar year in the official class E-1 categories established by the rules of the Federation Aeronautique International for maximum speed, altitude, distance or payload, speed over a closed circuit distance (pole to pole) and or around the world speed.

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 US Coast Guard Crew of a HH-60 JAYHAWK for their outstanding achievement on December 4, 2007 in the rescue of 40 souls from severe flooding of Chehalis, Washington during the Great Coastal Gale of 2007. Crew members included LCDR Joseph McGilley, pilot in command; LCDR Eric Smith, co-pilot; AMT2 Adam Mayhugh (FM); and AST1 Michael Spencer (RS) of the U.S. Coast Guard Group at Air Station Astoria. Combined with other search and rescue helicopters from the Coast Guard, US Navy, as well as the King’s County Sheriff’s Office UH1E, helicopter aircrews saved a total of 120 people in hurricane-force winds in elevated terrain.

The Society's François-Xavier Bagnoud Award is given to Ryan Ehinger, Senior Engineer, Bell Helicopter Textron. This award, which was established in 1992, recognizes outstanding contributions to vertical flight technology by a Society member under the age of thirty-five. Mr. Ehinger, who is currently the Principal Area Lead for drive system research programs at Bell, has, in a few short years, developed a comprehensive technology development plan which includes a technology path forward for the V-22, H1, and Bell’s Joint Heavy Lift program. 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 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 recipients is Elfan ap Rees, publisher and editor of Helicopter International and the founder and executive director of The Helicopter Museum at Weston-super-Mare, Somerset, on the west coast of England. The museum, which preserves and restores full-scale helicopters to pristine condition, is believed to be the largest helicopter museum in the world. 

The Society’s Robert L. Lichten Award recipient is Yvonne T. Fuchs of NASA Langley Research Center for her paper ”Vertical Drop Testing and Analysis of the WASP Helicopter Skid Gear.” This paper will be presented during Forum 64, Thursday, May 1, 2008, in Test & Evaluation II from 8:30 a.m. – 9:00 a.m. The Lichten Award is given to an AHS member who has not previously presented the results of their work at any national or international meeting.

In 2007, NASA, in collaboration with AHS announced the establishment of the Lichten Internship Award winner.  This year’s lucky recipient is Conor Marr of Pennsylvania State University and his winning paper, “Nonlinear, Temperature Dependent, Fluidlastic Lead-Lag Damper Modeling.”  This award is intended to further foster the NASA Aeronautics Research Mission Directorate (AMRD) interest in enhancing the educational experiences of a highly qualified U.S. engineering student in fields of direct interest to the NASA Aeronautics program in fundamental research, particularly in subsonic rotary wing technologies.  As the 2008 winner, Mr. Marr is entitled to a paid internship at one of three NASA Centers during Summer 2008.  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 2007 Cheeseman Award winners, Marc Gervais, Henri Marze, Pierre Martin and Pierre Dupont of Eurocopter. Their paper was selected as the “best paper” presented at the European Rotorcraft Forum at Kazan, Russia in 2007.  Dr. Marc Gervais will present their award-winning paper, “Acoustic Flight Test of the EC130 B4 in the Scope of the Friendcopter Project” on Thursday, May 1, 2008, in Acoustics II from 3:30 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Finally, the Society announces that the winner of its Undergraduate Division 2007 Student Design Competition, and New Entrant Category, is Pennsylvania State University and Technion – Israel Institute of Technology for its “Waterspout” design for the Advanced Deployable Compact Rotorcraft in Support of Special Operation Forces Request for Proposal sponsored by Sikorsky Aircraft Corp. Participants include Paul Branson, Dan Leonard, Mihir Mistry and Alex Razzanno, all of Penn State; and Avida Schneller, Igor Teller, Elad Sinai, Ronny Henchman, Liar Shane, Avoca Elimelech and Mor Gilad, all of Technion.  Faculty advisors were Chen Friedman, Technion; and Dr. Edward Smith and Dr. Edward Bill, Penn State. This presentation will be provided to attendees on Thursday, May 1, 2008, in Aircraft Design III from 11:30 a.m. – 12 noon.

The Graduate 2007 Student Design Competition Winner was the Georgia Institute of Technology Team for its “Cyphir, Dragon, and Barracuda” design for the Advanced Deployable Compact Rotorcraft in Support of Special Operation Forces RFP sponsored by Sikorsky Aircraft Corp. Team members include Joseph Davis, Jeremy Bain, Mark Moore, Mike Duffy, Tim Mosig, Cedric Justin Wei-En Li, Jeff Staub, Doug Smith, and David Whyte. This presentation will be provided to attendees on Thursday, May 1, 2008, in Aircraft Design III from 11:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.  

The AHS Individual Member Sponsor contest winner is Mr. Richard J. Millman, CEO, Bell Helicopter Textron, Inc. The AHS Southwest Chapter is the winner of this year’s Chapter Member Increase Contest.  The AHS Southwest Chapter distinguished itself as the winner of the AHS Chapter Percent Increase Contest and the AHS Southwest Chapter, sweeping in all categories, also won the Every-Member-Get-a-Member Contest.  We congratulate all of the individuals in this chapter and the prescience of Bell Helicopter Textron, Inc., Mr. Richard Millman, AHS Chairman and Jon Tatro, AHS Director of Membership for conceiving of, and putting into place this highly successful membership enrollment plan using employee payroll deduction which began on May 21, 2007.

The 2008 Vertical Flight Foundation Scholarship winners include the following gifted individuals:  in the B.S. category Abhizna Butchibabu, Georgia Institute of Technology;

Ryan James Meritt, Virginia Tech; and Ryan Robinson, University of Maryland.  In the M.S. category the awardees are Edward Brouwers, Pennsylvania State University; Edward Bubert, University of Maryland; James P. Erwin, Pennsylvania State University; Timothy Lee, University of Maryland; and Chandrashekhar Tiwari, Pennsylvania State University. Awardees in the PhD category include:  Abhishek Abhishek, University of Maryland; Michael David Abraham, Georgia Institute of Technology; Loren Adrian Ahaus, Washington University at St. Louis; Brandon L. Bush, University of Maryland; Christopher Ignatius, Georgia Institute of Technology; Conor Marr, Pennsylvania State University; Bryan Glaz, Michigan University; Daniel Caleb Sargent, University of Maryland; and Richard Sickenberger, University of Maryland.

All recipients are honored at the AHS International Annual Forum Grand Awards Banquet on Wednesday, April 30, from 7:00 p.m. – 9:30 p.m. at the Palais des congrès de Montréal, Montréal (Quebéc), Canada.

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