AHS Announces 2012 Award Recipients

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March 23, 2012


Alexandria, VA —
Philip J. Dunford, the Chair of the Board of AHS International – The Vertical Flight Technical Society announced the recipients of the Society’s 2012 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 we recognize new individuals who further the relevance and importance behind each of these awards.

The Society's awards program recognizes extraordinary achievements and serves as a catalyst for stimulating technological advances in the vertical flight industry. Following are this year’s winners to be recognized at the 68th Annual Forum.

The title of Honorary Fellow is granted to Society members whose career-based leadership and innovation have 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 winners are Arthur Linden, Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation, Joint Program Office (JPO) Manager (Ret.), and Akira Azuma, Professor Emeritus, University of Tokyo (Ret.).

The title of Technical Fellow is granted to Society members whose career-based accomplishments towards the goals and objectives of the vertical flight industry constitute an outstanding technical achievement. This year’s recipients are Prof. Lakshmi N. Sankar, Regents Professor & Associate Chair, Georgia Institute of Technology; Wayne R. Mantay, Supervisory Aerospace Engineer/Chief Joint Research Programs, U.S. Army (Ret.); Martin Peryea, Vice President of Commercial Engineering, Canada, Bell Helicopter Textron, Inc; and Robert Blackwell, Aeromechanics Technical Fellow, Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation.

Steve D. Weiner, Director of Engineering Sciences, and  Chief Engineer for the X2 Technology Demonstrator, Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation 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 more than 33 year career of designing, building and flight testing aircraft. His leadership on numerous platforms such as the RAH-66 Comanche program, the S-76 and the X2 has been exemplary.

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 Award will be presented to the C Company 1-52nd Aviation Regiment, US Army. The regimentwas responsible for providing aerial medical evacuation across Regional Command-South in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. During the 12 month deployment the company logged 4,130 hours and evacuated 3,536 patients.

Garmin International, Inc. based in Olathe, Kansas, is this year’s recipient of the AHS Supplier Excellence Award. This award is given to a supplier who, through the quality, innovativeness and cost-effective technology of its products, has made a notable contribution to advance the state-of-the-art of vertical flight aircraft. The G1000H integrated flight deck was the first Garmin integrated avionics system to be modified, installed and certified to meet the helicopter environment and vibration requirements.

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 Apache Block III Technology Development Team, consisting of the U.S.Aviation Applied Technology Directorate (AATD); Aviation & Missile Research, Development & Engineering Center (AMRDEC); Northstar Aerospace; Lockheed Martin/Northrop Grumman Longbow Limited; Elbit Systems and The Boeing Company. The formal delivery ceremony of the first AH-64D Apache Longbow Block III helicopter to the U.S. Army was November 2, 2011. The team’s efforts  produced the Block III technical improvements, including Level IV Manned Unmanned Teaming, Open System Avionics architecture based on the highly advanced Block III Mission Processor, and significantly improved air vehicle operating performance due to the new Split Torque, Face Gear main transmission design and the new Composite Main Rotor Blades (CMRB).

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 Col. Greg Masiello, V-22 Program Manager, Naval Air System Command, U.S. Marine Corps. Col. Masiello is recognized for his efforts leading to outstanding reductions in operating costs, significant improvements in safety records and the exceedingly low mishap rate of a complex rotorcraft system.

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 theX3 Team lead by Jean-Jacques Ferrier, Innovation Vice President, Eurocopter. On May 12, 2011, the X3 surpassed its goal of 220 knots and reached a speed milestone. During stable, level flight, the hybrid demonstrator maintained a true airspeed of 232 kts or 430 km/hr for several minutes.

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 HART II International Workshop Team.Team members include Berend van der Wall, DLR; Joon Lim, U.S. Army, AFDD; Prof. Marilyn Smith, Georgia Institute of Technology, and Jean Prieur, ONERA (Ret.) The Team opened up data on higher harmonic control of rotors to a large community, encouraging analysis. The analysis was a world wide effort leading to numerous achievements such as validation of solvers and a deep understanding of BVI mechanisms and their impact on rotor noise and vibrations.

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 LT Scott F. Chirgwin, U.S. Navy. LT Chirgwin is being recognized for his actions during Operation Tomodachi, the disaster relief mission after the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami in Japan. Despite the unknown radiological risks, LT Chirgwin assisted in delivering 440,500 pounds of materials such as food, water and medical supplies to over 34,000 people. On March 17, 2011, after a 7.8 hour disaster mission, he executed an unplanned medical emergency rescue through hazardous flying conditions such as below freezing temperatures and degraded visibility. Despite the severe weather and low fuel levels, the patient was safely transported to a Japanese warship with the necessary medical facilities.

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 CH-53K Virtual Design Team for its use of virtual design tools to improve design and manufacturing efficiencies.  The team successfully implemented and used the system to vastly reduce design and manufacturing costs during preliminary and critical design phases.

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 Ross Menger, 609 Program Director, Bell Helicopter Textron, Inc.  His leadership was instrumental in implementing aerodynamic and performance solutions to the V-22 and development of the 609. He is recognized for his work to develop and implement technology into the rotorcraft industry.

The University of Maryland’s Gamera Team won the Society’s Igor I. Sikorsky International Trophy, which is given to the company or consortium 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 Fédération Aéronautique Internationale for maximum speed, altitude, distance or payload, speed over a closed circuit distance and/or around the world.  On July 13, 2011, the human powered helicopter Gamera achieved lift-off and hovered for 11.4 seconds, setting a new U.S. National duration record. Additionally the flight was also a record for duration of a human powered helicopter flown by a woman. Both records were certified by the National Aeronautic Association (NAA) on August 18, 2011 and have been submitted to the Fédération Aéronautique International for consideration as a world record.

The Society's François-Xavier Bagnoud Award is given to Dr. Jose Palacios, Research Associate, Pennsylvania State University.This award, which was established in 1992, recognizes outstanding contributions to vertical flight technology by a Society member under the age of 35. Dr. Palacios’s reception of this award stems from his research specialized in rotorcraft icing, smart structures and experimental mechanics. He has secured approximately $2.5 million for research work from a wide variety of sponsors such as the US Army, US Navy and industry. By the conclusion of Forum 67, Dr. Palacios had contributed to 12 technical papers and two Journal papers with more pending.

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 Sergei I. Sikorsky, Consultant, Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation. Mr. Sikorsky has written a number of books specializing on the helicopter pioneers, and has traveled the world giving a series of lectures on the subject, and has appeared on documentaries aired by the Discovery and History channels. From a young age, Mr. Sikorsky’s lineage allowed him very unique experiences and opportunities to meet many key persons in the aviation industry. His experiences during World War II and later through employment by United Aircraft in foreign locations further developed his broad knowledge of the industry and its past.

The winner of the Robert L. Lichten Award is Erez Eller, Staff Engineer, Loads and Survivability, Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation, for his paper, “X2 Load Alleviating Controls.” The runner-up in this competition is Anand Karpatne, The University of Texas at Austin, “Investigation of Tip Vortex Aperiodicity in Hover.” The Lichten Award was established to encourage AHS members – who had not previously presented the results of their work at a technical forum – to begin presenting their work at local and regional AHS meetings.

As was previously announced, the Forum will also feature the Alexander A. Nikolsky Honorary Lectureship by Professor Gareth Padfield, Chief Scientific Officer, Virtual Engineering Centre,the University of Liverpool – and the first place winners of the annual AHS Student Design Competition: the University of Maryland in the graduate category and the Georgia Institute of Technology in the undergraduate category.

AHS International – The Vertical Flight Technical 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 Award Programs, as well as past award recipients, please visit the Society’s home page at http://www.vtol.org/awards.

Liz Malleck
Director of Membership
(703) 684-6777 Ext. 107