AHS Announces 2017 Award Recipients

AHS Press Release

Contact: Valerie Sheehan

AHS International Announces 2017 Recipients of Its Prestigious Awards

Fairfax, VA, March 27, 2017 — AHS International, The Vertical Flight Technical Society, today announced the 2017 recipients of its prestigious awards program. Since its establishment in 1944, AHS Awards have paid tribute to the outstanding leaders of vertical flight and served as a catalyst for stimulating technological advances. This year’s winners will be recognized at the Grand Awards Banquet on Wednesday, May 10, 2017, during AHS International’s 73rd Annual Forum and Technology Display in Fort Worth, Texas, USA.

“For 73 years, AHS International has been recognizing the most significant accomplishments around the world,” said AHS Executive Director Mike Hirschberg. “This year’s winners highlight the incredible advances in vertical flight: engineers and scientists developing new technologies, innovative companies, career accomplishments, and pilots using vertical flight aircraft to save lives and demonstrate new capabilities.”

Prof. Peretz P. Friedmann, the François-Xavier Bagnoud Professor at the University of Michigan, is this year’s honored recipient of the Dr. Alexander Klemin Award, the highest honor the AHS International bestows on an individual for notable achievement in advancing the field of vertical flight aeronautics. In a career that spans 45 years, Friedmann has made outstanding and lasting original contributions to rotary-wing aeroelasticity, on-blade control of vibration and noise, optimum design of low vibration helicopter rotors, rotorcraft aeromechanics and unsteady aerodynamics. These contributions have advanced the understanding of rotorcraft aeromechanical behavior and have had a major impact on modern helicopter design.

The title of Honorary Fellow is granted to highly distinguished Society members who have made exceptional leadership, innovative or other meritorious contributions that have significantly advanced AHS International and the vertical flight community during their career. The 2017 Honorary Fellows are:

  • Mr. Mark F. Miller, Vice President of Research and Engineering at Sikorsky, a Lockheed Martin Company: For 15 years, Miller has spearheaded Sikorsky’s “Three Pillars” vision for practical, next-generation vertical lift aircraft: speed, vehicle autonomy and system intelligence. Miller has consistently devoted the resources and nurtured the talent to lead the industry in these fields and drive key technologies into production. In addition, Miller serves on the AHS International Board of Directors, through local AHS chapters, leadership on two Igor I. Sikorsky Challenges, and through encouraging and supporting active participation by Sikorsky’s global engineering workforce. 

  • Prof. David A. Peters, McDonnell Douglas Professor of Engineering at Washington University in St. Louis: Over five decades, Peters has made outstanding contributions in advancing rotorcraft technology, specifically in aeromechanics. His breakthrough theories have transcended academia and greatly influenced practicing rotor designers throughout the world. In addition to being an outstanding researcher, and a mentor to many Ph.D. students, Peters has also given generously of his time to serve AHS, including as a member of the AHS International Board of Directors, and as a past AHS Technical Director and Editor-in-Chief of the AHS International Journal.

The title of Technical Fellow is granted to Society members whose career-based accomplishments towards the goals and objectives of the vertical flight technical community constitute an outstanding technical achievement. The 2017 Technical Fellows are:

  • Mr. David G. Miller, Technical Fellow, The Boeing Company 

  • Mr. Thomas R. Norman, Aerospace Engineer, NASA Ames Research Center 

  • Dr. Todd R. Quackenbush, Senior Associate, Continuum Dynamics, Inc. 

  • Dr. Brian E. Wake, Research Fellow and Project Leader, United Technologies Research Center

The Society’s Captain William J. Kossler, USCG Award is given for the greatest achievement in the practical application or operation of vertical flight aircraft, the value of which has been demonstrated by actual service during the preceding year. This year, the Kossler Award is being presented to the Brazil Navy HS-1 Squadron Guerreiro 34 (“Warrior 34”) for its extraordinary accomplishments during the nighttime rescue of the crew of the fishing vessel Beira Mar XXV on August 11-12, 2016. Aircrew from HS-1 Squadron flew their Sikorsky S-70B Seahawk helicopters from Naval Air Base São Pedro da Aldeia for more than 36 continuous hours, rotating crews and aircraft, until finally locating the capsized vessel and saving the lives of the three fisherman, who had been in the water for a day and a half without food or drinkable water.

The Society’s Paul E. Haueter Award is given for an outstanding technical contribution to the field of vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) aircraft development other than a helicopter or an operational vertical flight aircraft. The 2017 Haueter Award is being awarded to Mark D. Moore. During a 30-year career at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), Moore was a driving force in transformative VTOL aviation research and electric propulsion. He continues to champion a future of on-demand urban air transportation as Engineering Director of Aviation at Uber Technologies.

This year’s François-Xavier Bagnoud Award is given to an individual Society member under the age of 35 for their career-to-date outstanding contributions to vertical flight technology. This year’s winner is Mr. Carl Russell, NASA Ames Research Center, for unique rotorcraft experimentation, and innovative applications of design and analysis modeling tools to environmentally-friendly, electric VTOL and unmanned rotorcraft.

The Grover E. Bell Award is given for an outstanding research and experimentation contribution to the field of vertical flight development. This year’s recipient is the Leonardo Helicopters AW189 FIPS Interdisciplinary Team. In only four years from program start, the AW189 Full Ice Protection System (FIPS) was integrated on prototypes and tested to complete all the activities needed for certification, achieved in June 2016. The team performed test campaigns in Denmark, Sweden and the US — in Minnesota, Michigan, Indiana and Alaska.

LORD Corporation is this year’s recipient of the AHS International 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 improving the state of the art of vertical flight aircraft. LORD Corporation is world-renowned for providing high quality and high performance damping and anti-vibration solutions to the helicopter industry. In 2016, engineers from LORD Corporation were an integral part of a team effort with Sikorsky Aircraft and the US Army’s Aviation Development Directorate–Aviation Applied Technology Directorate (ADD–AATD) to flight-demonstrate the Zero-Vibe system on an AATD UH-60M Black Hawk.

The Leonardo International Fellowship Award recognizes significant contributions to international vertical flight cooperation. This year’s winner is the NH90 Program. The NHIndustries NH90 industry team — comprising Airbus Helicopters, Leonardo Helicopters and Fokker Technologies — has final assembly lines in six countries and has confirmed orders for well over 500 helicopters, received from 17 armed forces of 13 countries. More than 300 NH90 helicopters have already been delivered in naval and tactical transport variants, having exceeded 127,000 cumulative flying hours.

The Robert L. Pinckney Award is given in recognition of notable achievement in manufacturing research and development for vertical flight aircraft or components. This year’s recipient is the Advanced Blade Erosion Program Team, with Bell Helicopter, The Boeing Company and the US Navy’s Office of Naval Research (ONR). Tests on the V-22 Osprey with the RotorShield flame spray coating showed a 2x improvement in erosion performance; this coating is now planned to be incorporated into V-22 blade production starting in 2019.

The Harry T. Jensen Award is given for an outstanding contribution to the improvement of reliability, maintainability, safety or logistics support through improved design or technical achievement. This year’s award is given for the Sikorsky-Army-Navy Operations & Sustainment (O&S) Technology Development Team.Sikorsky Aircraft, the US Army’s ADD and the US Navy’s NAVAIR and ONR are receiving the recognition for their outstanding synergistic and collaborative efforts to research, develop and demonstrate high-value diagnostics, prognostics and system health management technologies that will enable a paradigm shift in O&S processes, such as comprehensive condition-based maintenance (CBM), radical reductions in maintenance burden and O&S costs, and enhanced safety.

This year’s recipient of the Howard Hughes Award, given in recognition of an outstanding improvement in fundamental helicopter technology brought to fruition in the previous year, is the CH-53K Heavy Lift Helicopter Development Team, includingNAVAIR, the US Marine Corps and Sikorsky Aircraft, as well as dozens of suppliers. The CH-53K King Stallion has brought to fruition, through successful flight demonstration and USMC operational assessment, multiple integrated technologies that together establish an unprecedented vertical heavy lift capability for the US Marine Corps. The CH-53K heavy lift team has demonstrated integrated state-of-the-art functionality through a highly successful flight test program that achieved 337 flight hours over 197 flights across four Engineering Development Model (EDM) aircraft.

The Frederick L. Feinberg Award is presented to the pilot or crew of a vertical flight aircraft who demonstrated outstanding skills or achievement during the preceding year. This year’s award is given to 8th Special Operations Squadron, US Air Force, whose members distinguished themselves by performing conspicuous acts of valor during flight while deployed in support of both ongoing combat and humanitarian assistance operations in a CV-22B Osprey three-ship formation assigned to Joint Special Operations Command – Central, October 13-23, 2015, as part of “Advise, Assist and Accompany” operations for African Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) forces.

The John J. Schneider Historical Achievement 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 Mr. Christopher Soltis, the museum curator of the non-profit Connecticut Air and Space Center (CASC). The museum staff is completely volunteer-based; Soltis serves as head display designer, marketing manager, advertising consultant, model display builder, restoration aid, public relations representative and period living history re-enactor, along with a host of other responsibilities.

The Vertical Flight Heritage Sites Program is intended to recognize and help preserve locations with the most noteworthy and significant contributions made in both the theory and practice of helicopter and other VTOL aircraft technology. This year, the Bell Helicopter Fort Worth Plant in Fort Worth, Texas, USA was selected for its historic significance. Since 1951, Bell Helicopter’s Fort Worth campus has been the source of some of the most iconic, reliable, enduring and recognizable helicopters in the world.

AHS International previously announced in October 2016 that Dr. Karen E. Jackson, a senior aerospace engineer for the Structural Dynamics Branch at NASA Langley Research Center in Hampton, Virginiawas selected for the 2017 Alexander A. Nikolsky Honorary Lectureship; this award will also be presented at the AHS Annual Awards Banquet.

Founded as the American Helicopter Society in 1943, AHS International is the global resource for information on vertical flight technology. The Society advocates, promotes and supports global vertical flight technology and professional development. Descriptions of the awards and past recipients are available at www.vtol.org/awards.

This press release is also available as a PDF.

AHS International — The Vertical Flight Technical Society
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phone: (703) 684-6777; toll free: 855-AHS-INTL; fax: (703) 739-9279
email: staff@vtol.org; website: www.vtol.org