Military, Products

Top Rotorcraft Engineers Meet at AHS Forum

By By Ernie Stephens, Editor-at-Large | June 1, 2011
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Sikorsky S-97 Raider

The American Helicopter Society International (AHS), the Alexandria, Va.-based organization for professional helicopter engineers, held its 67th Forum from May 3–5 in Virginia Beach, Va. The combination technology forum, convention and exposition drew 1,200 members from around the world, plus a total of 69 service providers, aircraft manufacturers and component fabricators from all aspects of rotorcraft development.

Boeing A160T

This year, as in others, the highlight of the gathering was the daily technical sessions, which were separated into the following categories: aerodynamics, avionics, HUMS, modeling, operations, tests and evaluations, and structures and materials. It was there that top engineers and aerospace students shared technical papers entitled: Planetary Gearbox Fault Detection Using Vibration Separation Techniques, Tiltrotor Aircraft Floatation Stability Simulations, Rotorcraft Active Crash Protection Systems, plus hundreds more. One floor below the technology sessions was the exhibit hall, with several of today’s cutting-edge rotorcraft designs on display.

TBell OH-58 Block II

Included were mockups of the S-97 Raider, a militarized version of Sikorsky’s X2 compound helicopter design that flew 250-plus KIAS in 2010; and the Boeing A160T Hummingbird, an unmanned platform that can act autonomously on the battlefield. The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, in cooperation with the U.S. Army Special Operations Command and Boeing, developed the A160T. AHS will hold its next forum from May 1–3, 2012, in Fort Worth, Texas.

To see walk-around videos of the Raider and Hummingbird, go to:

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