Vertical Flight Foundation Scholarships

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Jared Soltis

Pennsylvania State University

Jared Soltis has received his BS and MS in Aerospace Engineering from Pennsylvania State University, where he is a current PhD candidate. After completing his bachelor’s degree, he worked as an R&D engineer for Goodrich at the icing wind tunnel in Uniontown, Ohio, as part of the Goodrich Undergraduate Fellowship. In 2012, he was awarded the Donald L. Toler VFF Scholarship as an MS student for his work on rotorcraft survivability in icing flight conditions and erosion. His research focused on fundamental ice adhesion physics for erosion resistant materials, and he designed and tested a novel low power ultrasonic de-icing system. As a PhD candidate, Jared continues to research rotorcraft and engine icing. In 2014, he became the AHS Penn State student chapter president. Jared developed Rotor Day, a STEM outreach program hosted by Penn State AHS for local grade school students. The students learn about science, engineering, and rotorcraft though hands-on demonstration including a wind tunnel, flight simulator, UAVs, K-MAX gears, gyroscopes, and tours of the research facilities.

How did you get interested in vertical flight?

"I grew up very close to the Willow Grove Naval Air Station, and the aircraft approach path ran directly over the house. As a child, I watched airplanes and helicopters fly over every day. The highlight of my year was the air show in the summer at the air station. Watching the unique abilities and wide range of capabilities of the helicopters was amazing. I realized how complicated helicopters are after seeing the helicopters on display and climbing in to the cockpits. I knew I wanted to design and test helicopters as a career, so toward the end of high school I looked for universities with strong aerospace engineering departments and opportunities to become involved in the rotorcraft community."

What impact has receiving the VFF scholarship had for you?

"Winning a VFF scholarship was a great experience for two main reasons. It gave me the chance to participate in the 68th Forum. That first Forum was an eye opening experience, seeing all of the exhibiters and watching the wide variety of technical proceedings. The scholarship also motivated me to continue to research rotorcraft safety and reliability."

What are some of your current projects or research interests?

"I am currently working on engine core icing and main rotor blade ice shed dynamics. Ice shed from the main rotor blades is a ballistic concern for the tail of conventional rotorcraft, the fuselage of tilt rotors, and other rotorcraft in the airspace. The high speed ice projectiles have the potential to damage the tail rotor and skin. High-speed photography is used to capture the ice shedding events and the shed ice length is measured. This data is necessary for impact modeling to predict the posable damage from the ice projectiles."

Testing of main rotor blade ice shedding

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