2016 Student Design Winners

August 12, 2016
Contact:
Julie M. Gibbs, Technical Programs Director
703-684-6777 x103

University of Maryland and Nanjing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics
Take Top Honors in AHS International’s 33rd Annual Student Design Competition

FAIRFAX, VA — AHS International today announces the winners of the 33rd Student Design Competition: University of Maryland won first place in the graduate category and Nanjing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics (NUAA) came in first in the undergraduate category. Bell Helicopter sponsored the competition with $10,000 in prize money plus $2,000 in travel stipends to the AHS Annual Forum.

Academic teams from around the world submitted entries in the year’s competition. The 2016 Student Design Competition, for an “Air Launched Unmanned Disaster Relief Delivery Vehicle,” challenged students to design an unmanned rotorcraft, capable of deployment from the ramp of a C-130J in flight cargo airplane. The rotorcraft needed to arrest its descent and transition into its own flight mode to deliver supplies to remote areas from a hover and subsequently return to a recovery base.

University of Maryland’s “Halcyon” winning entry in the graduate category was a quadrotor biplane tailsitter that combined efficient hover, precise control and low power cruising flight to meet mission requirements by means of an innovative vehicle configuration, and was designed for high performance, low maintenance, safety and mission flexibility. The winning teams for the graduate category are as follows:

Place

University (Graduate)

City, Country

Design Team

1st

University of Maryland

College Park, MD, USA

Halcyon

2nd

Georgia Institute of Technology

Atlanta, GA, USA

Angel

3rd

Politecnico di Milano

Milan, Italy

Fenix

Best New Entry

University of Liverpool

Liverpool, UK

Capstone

Nanjing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics team “Aurora” is the winning undergraduate design. The Aurora was evaluated to achieve all RFP mission objectives while achieving the lowest empty weight, lowest cost, lowest required power and highest Productivity Index. The winning vehicle concept relied on a coaxial, contra-rotating rotor design with tip jet drive. The winning teams for the undergraduate category are as follows:

Place

University (Undergraduate)

City, Country

Design Team

1st

NUAA

Nanjing, China

Aurora

2nd

Georgia Institute of Technology

Atlanta, GA, USA

Valkyrie

3rd

Pennsylvania State University

University Park, PA, USA

Droplet

Best New Entry

Alliance College of Engineering and Design

Bangalore, India

RAKSHAK

AHS International aims to encourage more universities from around the globe to take part in this exciting endeavor, and attract the best and brightest engineering students to the rotorcraft industry.

The design competition rotates between Bell Helicopter Textron, Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation, Airbus Helicopters, Leonardo Helicopters and The Boeing Company.

The AHS International Student Design Competition, which challenges students to design a vertical lift aircraft that meets specified requirements, provides a practical exercise for engineering students at colleges and universities around the globe and promotes student interest in vertical flight technology. Each of the winning teams is awarded a cash stipend, while two members of each of the first-place winning teams are invited to AHS International’s 73rd Annual Forum and Technology Display — being held May 9-11, 2017 in Fort Worth, Texas, USA — to present the details of their designs. Members of the teams receive complimentary registration to the Forum, the vertical flight industry’s principal professional technical event, which promotes vertical flight technology advancement.

For those interested in more information about the AHS Student Design Competition please visit our website at AHS SDC. The top-winning entries from the 33rd Student Design Competition are posted on the site, along with previous winners, and the Request for Proposal (RFP) for AHS International’s 34th Student Design Competition, sponsored by Sikorsky Aircraft. This new RFP, for the 2016-2017 school year, is for a “24 Hour Hovering Machine.”

The American Helicopter Society (AHS) International is the world's premier vertical flight technical society. Since its inception in 1943, AHS has been a major force in the advancement of vertical flight. The Society is the global resource for information on vertical flight technology. It provides global leadership for scientific, technical, educational and legislative initiatives that advance the state of the art of vertical flight.

This press release is also available as a pdf.

AHS International — The Vertical Flight Technical Society
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phone: (703) 684-6777; toll free: 855-AHS-INTL; fax: (703) 739-9279
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