AHS Announces 2009 Award Recipients

For Immediate Release
April 3, 2009
L. Kim Smith


Alexandria, VAAHS International – The Vertical Flight Society Chairman Jeffrey Pino today announced the recipients of the Society’s 2009 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’s winners are John M. Davis, former Chief, Aviation Advanced Design Office, Aeroflightdynamics Directorate, US Army, and Kenneth L. Lauck, Lead Rotorcraft Head Design, Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation.

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 Robert F. Handschuh, Drive Team Leader, Mechanical Components Staff, US Army Research Laboratory; Robert Moffitt, Chief of Aerodynamics, Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation; David Matuska, Manager, Engineering System Safety, Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation; and Robert Flemming, Chief, Icing Technology, Systems Engineering, Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation.

Professor Inderjit Chopra, Director, Alfred Gessow Rotorcraft Center, 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 exceptional career-long leadership and technical contributions to understanding and advancing rotorcraft aeromechanics.  

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 Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 162 (VMM-162), US Marine Corps, which during  its seven-month deployment to Al Asad Air Base in the Anbar Province of Iraq in harsh summer conditions tested and showcased the V-22’s unique ability to fly at high speeds and high altitude with extended range in varied combat scenarios.  

Sikorsky Aerospace Services is this year’s recipient of the AHS Supplier Excellence Award, which is given in recognition of an outstanding improvement in fundamental helicopter technology brought to fruition during the preceding calendar year. From material distribution, field services, and overhaul and repair, to personalized fleet management solutions and customized training, SAS demonstrated in 2008 an ability to design a sophisticated life-cycle management solution that leverages its wide range of capabilities and specialties offered through its component companies, Helicopter Support Inc., Derco Aerospace, Composite Technology, Sikorsky-Helitech, and Sikorsky Aerospace Maintenance. 

Dr. Fredric H. Schmitz has been selected to receive the Alexander A. Nikolsky Honorary Lectureship.  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, Dr. Schmitz joins the ranks of previous distinguished Nikolsky recipients including Dr. David Peters, Dr. Ken 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 65thh AHS Annual Forum and Technology Display at the Gaylord Grapevine Resort and Conference Center in Grapevine, Texas  on Wednesday, May 27, 2009 at 4:00 p.m. 

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 Philip J. Dunford, Vice President and General Manager of Boeing Rotorcraft Systems.  He is recognized for leadership of the V-22 Osprey operations and flight test efforts at the Naval Air Station at Patuxent River, where he led a combined Government / Bell-Boeing Team which was instrumental in the V-22’s return to flight and the aircraft’s eventual deployment to Operation Iraqi Freedom.

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 Air Force/Arnold Engineering Development Center National Full-Scale Aerodynamics Complex (NFAC) Team which succeeded in restoring the NFAC to full operational status for rotorcraft testing in 2008.  The NFAC is the 40-by-80 Foot, 80-by-120 Foot large-scale wind tunnel located at NASA Ames Center at Moffett Field, California. 

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 Army / Industry Apache Health Monitoring Team. This team, led by Dr. Jon Keller of the US Army Aviation Engineering Directorate, developed an innovative condition indicator that detects faults in the AH-64 main transmission.  Additional members of the team include Jeremy Partain, also of the US Army Aviation Engineering Directorate; Damian Carr and Frances Love, both support contractors for the US Army at Redstone Arsenal; Paul Grabill of Honeywell; and Hieu Ngo and Perumal Shanthakumaran of The Boeing Company.  

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 Smart Rotor Team, consisting of the Boeing Company, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), NASA, the US Army, the US Air Force, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, University of California at Los Angeles, and the University of Maryland.  The Smart Rotor Team successfully tested the Boeing Smart Rotor (the Boeing Smart Materials Actuated Rotor Technology) during 2008 in the large-scale wind tunnel known as the NFAC, demonstrating the feasibility, robustness, authority, and aeromechanical benefits of one-blade, smart material actuation.

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 (AATD) / Sikorsky RDS-21 (Face Gear) Development Team.  The team is recognized for developing an additional gear concept that reduces the number of stages in transmission systems, reduces overall gearbox weight and height requirements, and significantly improves designs that require high ratio reductions in an individual stage.  This demonstration proved a 32 percent increase in power density and a noise reduction of 12 decibels.  

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 Sikorsky / PZL Mielect International Rotorcraft Capability, a collaboration that transformed the PZL Mielec, Poland factory from an airplane manufacturer into a state-of-the-art manufacturing center to build UH-60M Black Hawks and Black Hawk components.  

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 Crew of the Coast Guard Rescue Helicopter CGNR 6007 in recognition of their extraordinary rescue efforts to save crew members of the F/V ALASKA RANGER, a 200 foot trawler, which was sinking in the Bering Sea 120 nm west of Dutch Harbor, Alaska after losing its rudder. The crew of the CGNR 6007 JAYHAWK saved 15 lives while battling some of the most harrowing sea conditions.  Their actions coordinated were coordinated with four other air and surface assets which combined to save 42 lives in one of the largest cold water rescues in modern history. 

The Anglo-Italian airframe manufacturer AgustaWestland won the Society’s Igor I. Sikorsky International Trophy, which 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 and or around the world speed.  On August 18, 2008, a factory standard AgustaWestland Grand helicopter, flown by pilots Scott Kasprowicz and Steve Sheik, set a new world speed record for circling the globe in only 11 days and seven hours.  

The Society's François-Xavier Bagnoud Award is given to Andrew Elliot Augenstein,  Design and Analysis Engineer 3, Boeing Rotorcraft Division, 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 thirty-five. Mr. Augenstein, an avionics integration engineer, has made significant contributions to the development and implementation of a new Open Systems Architecture (OSA) for the avionics system on the Block III AH-64D Apache helicopter.  As part of this effort, he led the development of a new subsystem called Mission System Management, responsible for managing the control and health monitoring of the avionics system and the interface with all other systems.

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 Ray D. Leoni, former Senior Vice President, Engineering and Advanced Programs, Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation, who is recognized for his recent book, “BLACK HAWK: The Story of a World-Class Helicopter.”  This is one of the few published books that preserves in great detail the entire design, production and service history of a new helicopter.  Mr. Leoni holds the design patent for the BLACK HAWK.  His book will serve as a guide to design engineers with regard to the importance of employing the right technologies and winning strategies for new programs.

The AHS Individual Member Sponsorship Award winner is Mr. Jeffrey A. Pino, CEO, Sikorsky Aircraft Corp.  The AHS Empire Chapter is the winner of this year’s Chapter Member Percent Increase Contest.  The AHS Southwest Chapter once again distinguished itself as the winner of the AHS Chapter Member Increase Award as well as winning the Every-Member-Get-a-Member contest.  We want to thank all of our dedicated members and chapter leadership for their continued quest to increase the membership in the only Society wholly dedicated to the advancement of vertical flight technology.

The Society also wishes to recognize the 2008 Cheeseman Award winner, Dr. Pierre Spiegel of DLR, Institute of Aerodynamics and Flow Technology, Technical Acoustics Division, whose paper was selected as the “best paper” presented at the European Rotorcraft Forum at Liverpool, England in 2008.  Dr. Spiegel will present his paper, “Aeroacoustic Flight Test Data Analysis and Guidelines for Noise Abatement-Procedure Design and Piloting, ” authored by Dr. Spiegel with Frédéric Guntzer, Anne Le Duc, and Heino Buchholz, at the AHS 65th Annual Forum, May 27, 2009, at the Gaylord Grapevine Resort and Conference Center.  

The 2009 recipients of the Vertical Flight Foundation Scholarship awards are as follows:  In the B.S. category Kevin Lee Rankin, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and Kelly Cheng of Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo.  In the M.S. category award recipients include Bethany Davis and Jessica Newman of Georgia Institute of Technology; Stanton Sollenberger and William Kong of The Pennsylvania State University; and Louise Aminata Ahure of the University of Maryland.  The PhD candidates include Mihir Mistry, Chandrashekhar Tiwari and Seongkyu Lee, The Pennsylvania State University; Benjamin King Sutton Woods and Monica Syal, The University of Maryland and Axel Schauenburg, Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology.  Congratulations to all!

Laura Buck, The Boeing Co. has won the 2009 Robert L. Lichten Award with her paper titled, “CFD Investigation of Engine Exhaust Swirling Flow in High Aspect Ratio Rectangular Ducts.”  The Robert L. Lichten Award was established to encourage AHS members who have not previously presented the results of their work at a national forum to begin through presentations at local and regional AHS meetings.

The NASA Aeronautics Research Mission Directorate announced the winner of the 2009 AHS/NASA Summer Internship Award – Stanton Sollenberger, The Pennsylvania State University for his Lichten paper titled, “Effect of Stress Concentrations in Flexible Matrix Composite Driveshafts.”  Since 2007, NASA has sponsored one summer intern at one of three NASA Aeronautics Centers selected from the winner, or if not a US citizen or not interested, from the finalists for the AHS International Robert L. Lichten Competition.  The award is intended to further foster the NASA Aeronautics 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.

Finally, the Society announces the winners of its 2008 Student Design Competition, sponsored this year by Eurocopter. The University of Maryland and Konkuk University came in first place in the 25th Student Design Competition graduate category and Georgia Institute of Technology captured second place honors.  Turkey’s Middle East Technical University won the Best New Entrant honors.  In the undergraduate category, Pennsylvania State University won first-place and Georgia Institute of Technology came in second.  The sponsorship of the annual competition rotates among AgustaWestland, Bell Helicopter Textron, Boeing, Eurocopter, and Sikorsky.  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.  Eurocopter challenged participants to design a multi-mission, short range, medium speed aircraft with innovative technologies to minimize energy consumption.

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

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