AHS Announces 2010 Award Recipients

For Immediate Release
March 12, 2010
L. Kim Smith


Alexandria, VAAHS International – The Vertical Flight Society Chairman Stephen Ramsey today announced the recipients of the Society’s 2010 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 the sole winner is Larry F. Plaster, Manager, Apache Modernization Programs, The Boeing Company, Mesa, Arizona.

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 Dr. Samuel T. Crews, Chief Engineer, Aeromechanics Division, Aviation Engineering Directorate, U.S. Army Aviation and Missile Research, Development, and Engineering Center; Dr. Peter F. Lorber, Flight Sciences Manager, Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation; Dr. Karen E. Jackson, Senior Aerospace Engineer, NASA Langley Research Center; Tom Wood, Director, Preliminary Design, Bell Helicopter Textron; and Dr. David Haas, Head, Rotorcraft Group, Naval Surface Warfare Center (Carderock).

Dr. Michael P. Scully, Senior Technologist/Chief Design Engineer, AMRDEC, U.S. Army Aeroflightdynamics Directorate, NASA Ames Research 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 advance rotorcraft design. He significantly influenced major DoD VTOL acquisition programs, and helped shape critical thinking of high-level DoD officials defining future rotorcraft.

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 the MH-60J JAYHAWK Aircrew Members of U.S. Coast Guard Air Station Kodiak who participated in the rescue of two men from the grounded F/V American Aghiyuk Island, Alaska on January 4, 2009; and the rescue of five crewmembers of the grounded vessel F/V MAR-GUN by the MH-60J ready crew deployed to St. Paul, Alaska, on March 5, 2009, near St. George Island, Alaska. The Kodiak crew includes Commander Shawn Trip (aircraft commander); Lt. David McCown (pilot); AMT2 Dennis Dewinter (flight mechanic); AST3 Eric Stoecker (rescue swimmer). The St. Paul USCG aircrew included Lt. John Bartel (aircraft commander); Lt. Commander Craig Neubecker (pilot); AMT3 Chad Redmond (flight mechanic); and AST3 Alexis Torres (rescue swimmer).

Aero Vodochody, based in Prague, Czech Republic, is this year’s recipient of the AHS Supplier Excellence Award, which is given to a supplier which, through the quality, innativeness and cost-effectiveness of its products, has made a notable contribution to the vertical flight industry. The company produces the complete S-76 helicopter for Sikorsky Aircraft Corp.applying lessons learned from lean technology and has a 100 percent on-time delivery rating for the S-76C++.

Dr. Wayne Johnson, Aerospace Engineer, NASA Ames Research Center, has been selected as this year’s Alexander A. Nikolsky Honorary Lectureship recipient. 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. Johnson 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 66thh AHS Annual Forum and Technology Display at the Phoenix Convention Center, in Phoenix, Arizona, on Tuesday, May 11, 2010 at 4:00 p.m. The title of the Lecture is “Milestones in Rotorcraft Aeromechanics.”

Bruce Tenney, Joint Heavy Lift Program Manager, U.S. Army AATD (Fort Eustis, VA), has been selected to receive the Society’s Exceptional Service Award in recognition of his untiring efforts over the past five years to develop the vision for the Joint Heavy Lift aircraft. He has assembled a team of industry, government and academic partners to investigate the effect of future technologies on the development of an aircraft system to meet the operational need for mounted vertical maneuver. This effort has stimulated a renewed interest in vertical lift technology and has progressed to being pursued as a joint program within the Department of Defense.

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 3D-LZ Team, comprised of engineers and pilots from the U.S. Air Force, H.N. Burns Engineering Corporation, the U.S. Army, the U.S. Marine Corps, L-3 – Vertex, University of California – Santa Cruz, Silicon Valley Simulations, NASA Ames, and Infoscitex. The system which they designed and tested provided landing zone situational awareness as well as aircraft guidance and obstacle avoidance information allowing pilots to safely and consistently land in severe brownout conditions.

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 AH-64D Apache Block III Development Team, consisting of the U.S. Army, The Boeing Company, and Northstar Aerospace Corporation. This work successfully demonstrated the Split-Torque Face Gear technology in a rotorcraft transmission. The Split-Torque process is the redistribution of engine input torque loads within the transmission that results in fewer reduction stages and a more durable and compact transmission.

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 BLACK HAWK Survivability Suite Team. This team successfully achieved an innovative solution that directly addresses the primary threats to safety and lives of U.S. warfighters in Afghanistan and Iraq. The two key survivability technologies that constitute the suite are (1) an Upward-Turned Exhaust System (UES) and (2) a Helicopter Alert and Threat Termination-Acoustic (HALTT-A). Both were brought to fruition with successful flight demonstrations in 2009 and both are now being transitioned to the fleet. UES team members include the Army Utility Program Office and Sikorsky Aircraft and HALTT-A Team Members include DARPA, BBN Technologies and Sikorsky Aircraft.

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 Company in 1995 to honor the memory of Robert L. Pinckney, an eminent manufacturing engineer. This year’s recipient is the PROMETAL RCT/Sikorsky Digital Casting Team. The team is recognized for developing and producing defect-free magnesium sand castings from digital molds with a 50 percent reduction in lead time. PROMETAL RCT, with funding provided by Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation, developed a process to produce sand casting molds directly from digital data on automated machinery.

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 International Helicopter Safety Team, created in 2006, with the goal of reducing the civil and miilitary helicopter accident rate by 80 percent within 10 years or by 2016. The team now represents the leading worldwide government/industry/operator safety initiative to reduce helicopter accidents. The team is led by the Federal Aviation Administration, associations such as the American Helicopter Society and Helicopter Association International, major airframe manufacturers including AgustaWestland, Bell Helicopter, Eurocopter, and Sikorsky Aircraft, and all major engine OEMs, systems houses and suppliers, and the civil/commercial operator community worldwide. IHST efforts have led to the formation of similar safety initiatives in the European Union (EHEST), Brazil, Canada, and Australia.

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 Bell Helicopter experimental test pilots Roy Hopkins and Jeff Greenwood for completing a crucial milestone during 2009 including a reconversion test of the BellAgusta BA-609 illustrating the tiltrotors’ ability to land safely following an all-engines inoperative emergency.

The Society's François-Xavier Bagnoud Award is given to Jeffrey D. Sinsay, Aerospace Engineer, U.S. Army Aeroflightdynamics Directorate, AMRDEC, at NASA Ames Research Center. This award, which was established in 1992, recognizes outstanding contributions to vertical flight technology by a Society member under the age of 35. Since joining the Army’s Aeroflightdynamics Directorate in 2003, Mr. Sinsay has demonstrated exceptional technical competence and ability to formulate, analyze and critique numerous proposed Department of Defense and NASA vertical lift aircraft designs. His technical skills and ability have enabled him to achieve a leadership role in national DoD initiatives for future vertical lift.

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 J.J. Janovetz who led XV-3 Restoration Team at Bell Helicopter Textron. Mr. Janovetz, a pilot-mechanic, served with distinction as the full-time leader of the restoration project. The XV-3 tiltrotor, a joint project by Bell Helicopter Textron and NASA, was the first aircraft to demonstrate a successful transition from hover to horizontal flight and back. The aircraft created the foundation for the XV-15, which later led to the development of the V-22 Osprey.

The Society also wishes to recognize the 2009 Cheeseman Award winner, Dipl. Ing. Manfred Imiela, German Aerospace Center (DLR), Institute of Aerodynamics and Flow Technology whose paper, “High Fidelity Optimization Framework for Helicopter Rotor Aerodynamics” was selected as the “best paper” presented at the European Rotorcraft Forum at Hamburg, Germany in 2009. He will present his paper on Thursday, May 13, 2010, in the Aircraft Design II session at the AHS 66th Annual Forum in the Phoenix Convention Center.

The hard working Vertical Flight Foundation (VFF) Committee has made its selection of candidates for VFF scholarships and they include, in the Bachelor of Science category, Natasha Barbely, Georgia Institute of Technology; Shane Boyer, University of Maryland; Jessica Jones, University of Maryland; Silvio Mario Lopez, Georgia Institute of Techology; and Tejaswi Jarugumilli, University of Maryland. In the Masters of Science category Eliot Quon, Georgia Institute of Technology; Robert D. Vocke, III, University of Maryland; Harinder Jit Singh, University of Maryland; Nicolas Reveles, Georgia Institute of Technoloyg; John G. Mooney, Georgia Institute of Technology; and Anna Tatum Winslow, North Carolina State University/The Pennsylvania State University all won these prestigious scholarships. In the PhD category the winners included Nicholas L. Wilson, University of Maryland; John G. Tritschler, University of Maryland; David Benjamin Mayo, University of Maryland and Vrishank Raghav Shankare Gowda, Georgia Institute of Technology.

This year’s Robert L. Lichten Award was bestowed upon Mohammed A. Rafiee, Graduate Research Assistant, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute for his paper “Next Generation Graphene Nanocomposites for Rotorcraft Stucutural Applications.” Mr. Rafiee will present his award winning paper on Wednesday, May 12, 2010 in Technical Session C, Strucutres & Materials III, Paper #5.

Finally, the Society announces the winners of its 2009 26th AHS/Industry Student Design Competition, sponsored this year by AgustaWestland. AgustaWestland challenged participants to design a rotor/drive system which could include NOTAR, or Fenestron, tandem rotor or coaxial rotor or even an intermeshing rotor (synchropter) configuration. The Georgia Institute of Technology won first-place honors in the 26th Student Design Competition graduate category and the University of Maryland captured second place honors. Georgia Institute of Technology Blue Team won first-place in the undergraduate category while Penn State University captured second-place. Best New Entrant honors were bestowed on Nanjing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics. Team representatives of the graduate and undergraduate winners will present their respective team’s proposals on Thursday, May 13, 2010 in Aircraft Design III. The sponsorship of the annual competition rotates among AgustaWestland, Bell Helicopter Textron, Boeing, Eurocopter, and Sikorsky Aircraft Corp. 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.

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 – 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