Press Release: Forum 77 Gessow Best Paper Winner


July 21, 2021 


Julie M. Gibbs

(703) 684-6777

The Vertical Flight Society Announces Winner of 
2021 Alfred Gessow Best Paper Award 

Selected from 21 Finalists for Best Paper from Forum 77

Fairfax, Virginia — The Vertical Flight Society (VFS) announced today the winner of the Society’s prestigious Alfred Gessow Award for the best technical paper at the 77th Annual Forum and Technology Display. This year’s winning paper is from the Aerodynamics session entitled, “Does Scatter Matter? Improved Understanding of UH-60A Wind Tunnel Rotor Measurements Using Data-Driven Clustering and CREATE™-AV Helios,” by Dr. Manikandan Ramasamy and Mr. Rohit Jain of the US Army Combat Capability Development Command (DEVCOM), Aviation & Missile Center (AvMC); and Mr. Thomas R. Norman, NASA Ames Research Center. Dr. Manikandan Ramasamy is a senior research scientist at the US Army DEVCOM AvMC at Moffett Field, California. He has been working with the Army for the past 13 years. His interests are in measurements and data analysis, in general, and anything that improves the understanding rotor characteristics. He acquired his PhD from the University of Maryland in 2004. It and all of the best papers are available for purchase in the Vertical Flight Library & Online Store (

The selection process, which began in October 2020, was very rigorous. Out of 285 abstracts received, Forum 77 committee chairs selected 252 papers for publication. During the Forum, the session and technical committee chairs selected the best papers from each of the 21 technical papers for final consideration. Then the Society’s Deputy Technical Directors for Aeromechanics, Vehicle Design, Vehicle Integrity, System Integration, Systems Engineering, and Operations and Product Support winnowed that number down to seven finalists. Following that, the VFS Technical Director and a committee of technical experts reviewed and ranked the papers, and in that ranking, determined that the selected paper was the best of the best.

This year’s Forum 77 was held virtually from May 10-14, 2021. Next year, the Society’s 78th Annual Forum & Technology Display will be held May 10-12, 2022, and is planned to be an in-person event in Fort Worth, Texas, USA.

Dr. Ramasamy will receive complimentary registration to the 2021 European Rotorcraft Forum (ERF), which will take place virtually from Sept. 6-8, 2021, where he will present his paper. The award is named after the renowned helicopter pioneer, researcher, author, professor and founder of the vertical lift research center at the University of Maryland now named for him (learn more at

The full list of all Forum 77 best papers (with links):

In addition, the History Committee recognized Floyd Carlson: The Legacy and Contributions of One of America’s Greatest Rotary Wing Test Pilots by Paul J. Fardink as the winner of the Bernard Lindenbaum Best Historical Paper. 

Founded in 1943 as the American Helicopter Society, the Vertical Flight Society today is the international organization that advocates, promotes and supports global vertical flight technology and professional development. For 78 years, the Society has provided global leadership for the advancement of vertical flight. 

This press release is also available as a pdf.

The Vertical Flight Society
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