Forum 69 Media Advisory


For May 20 & May 21

Phoenix Event Features Top Student Researchers’ Pursuit
Of Milestones in Helicopter Technology

WHAT: Top aerospace student researchers will discuss their pioneering efforts to successfully fly the first human-powered helicopter and to demonstrate the next generation of micro air vehicles – which can safeguard troops in combat and aid post-disaster search and rescue efforts – during two events at the Phoenix Convention Center in Phoenix, Arizona.

WHEN: May 20 from 4p.m. to 6 p.m. and May 21 from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m., respectively.

WHERE: Phoenix Convention Center, South Building. Media must register in advance at or on site. There is no charge for media to attend the activities.

BACKGROUND: The American Helicopter Society (AHS) International, celebrating its 70th anniversary of fostering the next generation of technology for helicopters and other vertical-flight aircraft, will hold its Annual Forum and Technology Display at the Phoenix Convention Center. Two events there highlight the pioneering role of AHS International and its members in advancing vertical-flight technology.


The special session “Human Powered Helicopters” on May 20, from 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m., will feature members of three teams competing for the $250,000 prize offered by the AHS Igor I. Sikorsky Human Powered Helicopter Competition, which has been unclaimed for 33 years (see The teams are:
  • The University of Maryland Gamera II team
  • The AeroVelo Atlas team from Toronto, Ontario, Canada
  • The California State Polytechnic University San Luis Obispo Upturn II team
On May 21, “The Micro Air Vehicle Student Challenge” will pit five student-researcher teams in a competition for a total of $3,000 in prizes. The entrants are:
  • The University of Maryland Title Wing
  • The University of Texas Austin Phoenix V
  • The University of Maryland Cyclocopter
  • The Arizona State University Astro Wren
  • The Pennsylvania State University Gnittany Gnat

The micro air vehicle competition (see is restricted to electric-powered vertical takeoff and landing vehicles weighing less than 17.5 ounces, including batteries. The size of the vehicle is limited to 1.5 ft in any dimension.


Mike Hirschberg, Executive Director, AHS International,

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