Dr. Richard M. "Dick" Carlson is Awarded the AHS Alexander A. Nikolsky Honorary Lectureship



For Immediate Release
February 14, 2001

L. Kim Smith

Dr. Richard M. "Dick" Carlson is Awarded the AHS Alexander A. Nikolsky Honorary Lectureship

Alexandria, VA -- AHS Executive Director M. E. Rhett Flater announced today that Richard M. "Dick" Carlson has been selected for this prestigious honor. The Lecture will be delivered at the 57th AHS Annual Forum and Technology Display in Washington, D.C. on Thursday, May 10th from 1:00 - 2:00 p.m.

The Lectureship is awarded to "an individual who reflects the highest ideals, goals and achievements in the field of helicopter and V/STOL aircraft engineering and development." In winning the award, Carlson joins the ranks of previous distinguished Nikolsky recipients including Howard C. Curtiss, Jr., Daniel P. Schrage, David Jenney, Evan Fradenburgh, Kenneth I. Grina, Robert R. Lynn, Rene Mouille, Alfred Gessow, Bartram Kelley, Robert Huston and Bruno Lovera.

Dr. Carlson is uniquely qualified to present this lecture. In a lifetime of technical achievement, he has significantly contributed to the aerospace field in the technology triad of industry, government and academia. After graduating from the University of Washington and completing Naval service, Dr. Carlson worked at Convair and Douglas Aircraft as well as engaging in exploratory research at NASA Ames. In 1950 he joined Hiller Aircraft Corp. and in the ensuing years through 1964 was promoted to Manager, Aerostructures Dept. Concurrently, he attended Stanford University where he received his PhD in Engineering Mechanics in 1960. He was instrumental in providing technology and design contributions to a generation of helicopters including the UH-12B, the Hiller Hornet (HJ-1), the Navy One-Man Helicopter (XROE), the H-23D, the UH-12E, the X-18 Tilt Wing, the OH-5A, and the XC-142 Tilt Wing.

In 1964, he joined Lockheed-California Company where he served as Advanced Design Division Engineer, responsible for aerodynamics, dynamics, structures and weights development analyses for the AH-56 Compound Helicopter design, development and qualification project. While continuing to encourage development and use of composites in VTOL aircraft (e.g., AH-56 propeller, tail rotor, and structural panels), Dr. Carlson was assigned by Lockheed to support on-going fixed wing projects (C-5A wing problems, L-1011 empennage and SST development), and as a consultant to the Advanced Development Projects activity. He directed the pre-design activities on the Canadian "Bush Pilot" and Dutch Naval ASW versions of the Model 286 Helicopter, the U.S. Army Composite Aircraft Program (CAP), the U.S. Air Force Combat Aircrew Rescue Aircraft (CARA), and the Light Intra-Theater Transport (LIT).

In 1972, he left industry for government service and began working for the U.S. Army as Chief, Advanced Systems Research Office (AVSCOM). Four years later he became the Director of the U.S. Army Air Mobility Research and Development Laboratories, managing all rotorcraft research activities for the Army. Dr. Carlson was an acknowledged leader and force behind such development programs as the Advanced Digital Optical Control System (ADOCS) and the Advanced Rotorcraft Transmission (ART). Dr. Carlson's personal expertise and experience motivated him to obtain the funding and formulate and guide the R&D of three major innovative programs - The XV-15 Tilt Rotor Program, the Advanced Composite Airframe Program (ACAP), and the Crew Station Research and Development Facility (CSRDF).

The contributions to the third leg of the triad began in 1958 when he served as a Lecturer at Stanford University and taught a full helicopter curriculum, at the undergraduate and graduate levels, covering VTOL Aerodynamics, Dynamics, Aeroelasticity, and Design.

Dr. Carlson's lecture will be featured in an upcoming edition of the Journal of the American Helicopter Society and he will be honored at FORUM 57 with the presentation of a certificate and a medallion.

AHS International -- The Vertical Flight Society is a technical and professional organization which promotes vertical flight technologies and their applications around the world.

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