Invitation to Participate in the SDC

August 14, 2017

To All Interested Parties:

The Request for Proposals for the 35th Annual AHS International Student Design Competition, sponsored by the U.S. Army Research Lab, is now posted at www.vtol.org/sdc. The 2017-2018 challenge has been developed by the AHS International Student Design Steering Committee and is sponsored by the U.S. Army Research Lab, a new sponsor of the Competition.

The 35th Annual Student Design Competition, requesting proposals for A Reconfigurable VTOL Aircraft, the goal of this year’s competition is to design a Group 3 size unmanned VTOL aircraft that achieves high-speed forward flight (relative to current VTOL aircraft) and efficient hover through the use of novel reconfigurable propulsive and lifting devices. The aircraft should have superior performance over a comparably-sized aircraft that does not have reconfigurable systems.

The sponsor, U.S. Army Research Lab, will provide the funds for the awards through AHS International. All award monies will be provided in US Dollars. Submittals are judged in four (4) categories:

Undergraduate category:                                                                                                                            

  • 1st place: $1,850

  • 2nd place: $1,200

  • 3rd place: $500

Graduate category:

  • 1st place: $2,500

  • 2nd place: $1,750

  • 3rd place: $950

Best first time entrant:

  • $500 (Undergraduate)

  • $750 (Graduate)

FLIGHTLAB Model Bonus (Optional)

  • $500 (awarded to one graduate team successfully completing the FLIGHTLAB Model task, judged independent from the design portion)

  • $500 (awarded to one undergraduate team successfully completing the FLIGHTLAB Model task, judged independent from the design portion)

Certificates of achievement will be presented to each member of the winning teams and to their faculty advisors for display at their school.  The first place winner team representative for the graduate and undergraduate categories will be expected to present a technical summary of their design at the AHS International 75th Annual Forum, May 13-16, 2019 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA.  Presenters receive complimentary registration and each team will be provided with $1,000 for reimbursement of expenses to help defray the cost of attendance.

A Letter of Intent to participate must be received no later than February 5, 2018 and must include the team members, whether it is a graduate or undergraduate team, their faculty sponsor and email addresses for all participants. Requests for information and clarification must be received no later than February 23, 2018 and all responses will be circulated by March 23, 2018 to all participating teamsProposals must be submitted no later than May 31, 2018. AHS Headquarters will notify the winners in August 2017. 

AHS recommends that you read the white paper Student Design Competition on Judging.

Please address all correspondence to me via email or through my contact information below.

Kind Regards,

Julie M. Gibbs
Technical Programs Director
AHS International — The Vertical Flight Technical Society
2701 Prosperity Ave., Suite 210
Fairfax, VA 22031 USA
1-703-684-6777 Ext. 103