Two Georgia Tech School of Aerospace Engineering teams have earned honors in the 34th Annual American Helicopter Society (AHS) Student Design Competition (SDC). The graduate team entry, SWARM”, placed second in the graduate division, while the GT undergraduate entry, “24 Hour Buzz”, placed third. Since the AHS SDC started in 1984 GT teams have captured first or second place in the graduate category 35 times and first or second place in the undergraduate category 22 times.
This year’s competition featured a design that would hover for twenty-four hours continuously, while also completing two tasks during that period. The team designs, which were developed over the 2016-2017 academic year as part of the rotorcraft design sequence, were submitted at the end of May. Competition details can be found on AHS website.
The SWARM graduate entry was an international collaborative effort with the Universitė de Sherbrooke in Canada. This marks the second winning international collaboration effort that Georgia Tech has fielded. Dr. Daniel Schrage, the GT VLRCOE Director extended his streak of accolades, teaming with Dr. David Rancourt at Universitė de Sherbrooke as team advisors. But this international collaboration is not the only milestone for this entry. The SWARM entry was a highly innovative concept that involved a “flying rotor” designed from individual flight vehicles, as pictured here. This daring concept exploded the traditional helicopter design types that are usually submitted. The highly innovative graduate student team members include Andrew Bellocchio (team lead, GT), Étienne Demers Bouchard, Michel Lacerda, and Arthur Murphy from Georgia Tech, and John Bass (team lead, Sherbrooke), Nicolas Courtois, Frédéric Ebacher, Cédrick Landry, Francis Marois, Dino Mehanovic, and Richard-Alexandre Peloquin. This impressive feat was accomplished completely via virtual interaction between the international partners, a paradigm that is often touted as the future of aerospace design.
The undergraduate team entry marks the Dr. Sylvester Ashok’s first year as an independent advisor for the SDC. He is no stranger to the SDC, having worked with his advisor and mentor, Dr. Schrage, for numerous prior competitions. The undergraduate team, 24 Hour Buzz, featured a compound rotor design, as shown here. The team consisted of some of GTAE’s finest seniors: Joseph Robinson (team lead), Max-Daniel Sokollek, Natchanon Amore, Kristofer Krauth, Richard Craig III, Evan Fredericksen, Andres Blanco, and Jared Churchwell. Several members of this team will be joining GT in the fall as graduate students.
Georgia Tech’s School of Aerospace Engineering includes both an undergraduate and graduate capstone design sequence for rotorcraft. Interested students can also join the GT Student AHS Chapter to gain insight and experience in rotorcraft at both matriculation levels. The GT Vertical Lift Research Center of Excellence (VLRCOE) is the oldest continuous COE, funded by the US Army, US Navy, and NASA offers research opportunities in rotorcraft and related fields. See the GT AE website for more details.