Helicopters Magazine

AHS International announces 2014 awards recipients

April 2, 2014  By Carey Fredericks

April 2, 2014, Alexandria, Va. - AHS International has announced the 2014 recipients of its prestigious awards program, which has, since its establishment in 1944, paid tribute to the outstanding leaders of vertical flight and served as a catalyst for stimulating technological advances. This year’s winners will be recognized at the 70th Annual Grand Awards Banquet on Wednesday, May 21, 2014 during AHS International’s 70th Annual Forum & Technology Display at the Palais des congrès de Montréal, Québec, Canada.

“Few things compare to the wonder of vertical flight. The passion of the engineers, scientists and leaders who advance vertical flight technology and the dedication of the skilled pilots and crews who operate these incredible aircraft is truly an inspiration,” said John Garrison, CEO of Bell Helicopter and this year’s Chair of the Board of AHS International. “The prestigious AHS International Awards Program pays tribute to the extraordinary achievements and contributions of the men and women who exemplify the very best of the technical and operating communities.”

AHS Honorary Fellow Awards are granted to Society members whose career-based leadership and innovation have significantly advanced the interests of the vertical flight community. Only two Honorary Fellowships are bestowed each year. Recipients receive lifetime membership in the Society. This year’s winners are L. Kim Smith, former AHS International Deputy Director, and Philip J. Dunford, The Boeing Company, Vice President/General Manager, Operating Executive, Boeing Military Aircraft.

The AHS Technical Fellow Awards are granted to Society members whose career-based accomplishments towards the goals and objectives of the vertical flight technical community constitute an outstanding technical achievement. This year’s recipients are Alphonse Lemanski, Retired; Dr. James Wang, AgustaWestland, Vice President for Research & Development; Dr. J.V.R. Prasad, Georgia Institute of Technology, Professor; Dr. Ram JanakiRam, The Boeing Company, Senior Manager Flight Technology and Boeing Technical Fellow, and Dr.-Ing. Wolfgang von Grünhagen, DLR, Research Engineer.

The Society’s Captain William J. Kossler Award is given for the greatest achievement in practical application or operation of rotary wing aircraft, the value of which has been demonstrated by actual service during the preceding year. This year, the Kossler Award is being presented to two groups for their life saving heroics. The first award goes to the Uttarakhand Disaster Relief Helicopter Operators in the Indian Himalayas. The pilots and crews are being recognized for their heroic efforts delivering lifesaving supplies and evacuating those in need due to catastrophic flooding and landslides in June 2013; within seven days of the disaster, helicopters had airlifted more than 20,000 people and delivered over 500 tons of aid. A second Kossler Award is being presented to the U.S. Marine Corps Medium Tiltrotor Squadrons VMM-262 and VMM-265. The squadron members are being recognized for their heroic efforts delivering lifesaving supplies and evacuating those in need during Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan) relief operations in the Philippines in November 2014, saving thousands of lives.


Taiwan-based Aerospace Industrial Development Corporation is this year’s recipient of the AHS Supplier Excellence Award. This award is given to a supplier who, through the quality, innovativeness and cost-effectiveness of its products, has made a notable contribution to improving the state-of-the-art of vertical flight aircraft. This year’s award is for the extraordinary performance in the fabrication and delivery execution of forty two S-92 helicopter cockpits in 2013.

The Grover E. Bell Award is given to the individual or organization that has fostered and encouraged research and experimentation in helicopter development. This year’s recipient is AgustaWestland’s Project Zero Team. The team successfully designed, built, and flew a highly innovative, one-ton, all-electric vertical flight aircraft in six months that established many world firsts, and worked as a lean and highly agile integrated team of 16 companies across three continents.

The Harry T. Jensen Award is given in recognition of an outstanding contribution to the improvement of helicopter reliability, maintainability, safety or logistics support through improved design or technical achievement brought to fruition during the preceding year. This year’s award is presented to the S-92A Main Rotor Hub Life Extension Team. The award was given for the team’s outstanding development and implementation of a methodology that extends component life through individual aircraft usage credits. Sikorsky successfully gained FAA approval of a methodology to accomplish this usage-based lifting concept approval for S-92A hub life extensions for both retired and in-service hubs.

This year’s recipient of the Howard Hughes Award, given in recognition of an outstanding improvement in fundamental helicopter technology brought to fruition in the previous year, is the NRTC/VLC High Fidelity Icing Analysis and Validation Team. The team is being recognized for the contributions towards the understanding of fundamental aspects of rotorcraft icing and for the validation of an icing analysis tool suite which will improve safety and reduce cost and schedule for certification and qualification of rotorcraft.

The AgustaWestland International Helicopter Fellowship Award recognizes the most significant contribution to international vertical flight cooperation by an individual or group. This year’s winner is the participants in the US/France Project Agreement on Helicopter Aeromechanics and Human Factors Integration Research: the French DGA, ONERA, U.S. Army, NASA and Georgia Institute of Technology. Established in 1971, the international collaboration is heralded as the longest-running, continuous scientific cooperation in rotorcraft for both the US and France. Its goal has been to tackle difficult and complex scientific research problems, to advance basic fundamental knowledge, and to perform pre-competitive technology development, all to the benefit of the rotorcraft research and development community.

The Robert L. Pinckney Award is given in recognition of notable achievement in manufacturing research and development for rotorcraft or rotorcraft components brought to fruition in recent years. This year’s recipient is the H-1 Pourable Foam Stiffened Structure (PFSS) Team, including Bell Helicopter and the US Navy’s Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR), for the development of a unique elevator design utilizing carbon/epoxy skin laminates and urethane foam core. Overall, this process reduces part count by 92%, weight by 31% and overall cost by 80%, as well as cutting maintenance time to 13% of previous levels.

The Society’s Paul E. Haueter Award is presented each year to an individual or company that has made significant contributions to the development of vertical take-off and landing aircraft (VTOL) other than helicopters. This year, the Haueter Award will be given to Jay Carter, Jr., President, Chief Executive Officer and Principal Design Engineer, Carter Aviation Technologies, LLC, for his achievements in slowed-rotor compound aircraft designs capable of providing unprecedented improvements in rotorcraft operational flexibility, efficiency, speed and safety. Mr. Carter’s contributions culminated during flight testing in 2013 when Carter’s 4‐place second generation Slowed‐Rotor/Compound (SR/C) VTOL demonstrator consistently achieved level flight lift-to-draft values of nearly 12, exceeding values of conventional helicopters by a factor of 2.5.

This year’s François-Xavier Bagnoud Award is given to Eric Sinusas, Drive Systems Engineer, Bell Helicopter Textron, Inc. This award, established in 1992 to recognize outstanding contributions to vertical flight technology by a Society member under the age of 35, honours Mr. Sinusas’s already significant technical contributions to the design of gearboxes and drive systems, development of a laser hardening method to improve wear characteristics of a rotorcraft drive spline, and to the manufacturing, lubrication, protection and repair of rotorcraft drive systems.

The John J. Schneider Historical Achievement Award is given in recognition of distinguished achievement by an individual in encouraging appreciation of, and enhancing access to, the history and legacy of vertical flight aircraft. This year’s recipient is Peter J. Papadakos, Executive Director, Gyrodyne Helicopter Historical Foundation. The US Navy’s Gyrodyne QH-50 first flew in 1959; it was the world’s first operational unmanned helicopter and continued flying until 2006. Mr. Papadakos has invested decades of his personal time and wealth in enhancing access to and encouraging the appreciation of the history and legacy of vertical flight. Through his actions, he has saved and restored many QH-50 drones as historic aircraft.

Dr. Wayne Johnson, Research Engineer, NASA Ames Research Centre, is this year's honoured recipient of the Dr. Alexander Klemin Award. This prestigious award is presented for recognition of notable achievement in the advancement of rotary wing aeronautics. He is honoured for his role as an eminent aeronautical engineer, educator, and author in his 40-plus year career in rotorcraft. Dr. Johnson's seminal contributions to aeromechanics analyses, comprehensive modelling, design tools and wind tunnel testing of full-scale helicopters have had a major influence on the understanding of aeromechanical behaviour and the design of modern rotorcraft systems.

The Frederick L. Feinberg Award is presented to the helicopter pilot(s) who have made the most outstanding achievement in the previous year. This year’s award is given to the daring Pilots and Crew of RESCUE118, Irish Coast Guard Search and Rescue Base at Sligo Airport, located in Strandhill, County Sligo, Ireland. The Sikorsky S-61N crew made a heroic nighttime rescue on May 15, 2013, saving the life of an injured climber above a 1,200 ft (365 m) sheer drop in the Bluestack Mountains in severe weather, hovering a half-rotor diameter’s distance from the cliff face for 20 minutes.

New to the AHS Annual Award Program this year is the Vertical Flight Heritage Site Award. The Vertical Flight Heritage Sites program is intended to recognize and help preserve locations with the most noteworthy and significant contributions made in both the theory and practice of helicopter and other VTOL aircraft technology. This year the committee has selected two sites to recognize for their historic significance. The Bell Helicopter Gardenville Site in Cheektowaga, New York was the site of Bell’s initial helicopter developments, including construction and first flights of the three Model 30 prototypes, which would lead to more than 6,000 Bell Model 47s over four decades. Also honoured is Pratt & Whitney Canada’s Plant 1 in Longueuil, Québec, where the iconic PT6 helicopter engine was developed and is still produced today a half-century later, powering more than 25 different types of rotorcraft.

The AeroVelo Team, who won the AHS International Igor I. Sikorsky Human Powered Helicopter Competition last year, will also be fêted at the Banquet.

No award is being given this year for the Igor I. Sikorsky International Trophy, as there were no submissions in this category.


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