Georgia Tech Teams Dominate AHS Design Competition

Photo of GTStork model
GTStork took home second place overall in the Graduate Division of the 32nd Annual AHS Student Design competition. Check out the 33rd Annual Student Design Competition challenge now.

AUGUST 2015 - The American Helicopter Society International recently announced that three Georgia Tech AE-based teams took home top honors and about $3,750 in prize money in the 32nd Annual Student Design Competition.

All three teams worked remotely with fellow students from the Middle Eastern Technical University (METU) to submit the winning proposals in May of this year.

“All together, we went up against 14 teams from around the world, all of them fierce competitors,” said Dr. Daniel Schrage, the director of Georgia Tech's Vertical Lift Research Center of Excellence (VLRCOE) and a mentor for the 2015 teams.

“We want to thank the Middle Eastern Technical University, in particular Dr. Ilkay Yavrucuk, for partnering with us. Their contributions were substantial.”

“Distributed Logistics in an Urban Setting Using Small Unmanned Aerial Vehicles” was the title of the 2015 AHS challenge, which tasked students to design a small, distributed logistics delivery vehicle and describe its role in a large logistics system concept. The Boeing Company provided $10,000 in prize money plus $2,000 in travel stipends.

Photo of AirBuzz
AirBuzz took home first place overall in the Undergraduate Division of the AHS competition.

In the Undergraduate Division, AirBuzz, a quad tilt-rotor UAV, and HARETC (High Aspect Ratio Electric Tandem Concept)  took home first and third place respectively. Working on Airbuzz were Georgia Tech undergraduates David Andersen, Caitlin Berrigan, Mitchell Coleman, Chelsea Fuller, Thaddeus Johnson, Ohutoyan Shodiya, Jared Smith, Sean Sweeny and Sean Zimmett, as well as METU student Ali Karakaya. The Georgia Tech students who worked on HARETC were Yuan Yao, Ben Grisel, James L. DeMaria, Norquata D. Allen, Charles Michael Ndonga, Asim Rahman, Tsu-way Tseng and Meet J. Patel. The METU students on this project were Ali Tevfik Buyukkocak, Emre Aksoy, and Ozgur Serin.


Photo of the High Aspect Ratio Electric Tandem Concept (HARETC) on the runway.
The High Aspect Ratio Electric Tandem Concept (HARETC) came in third, overall, in the Undergraduate Division.

The design for the GTStork finished second place overall in the Graduate Division, earning a $1,250 prize and bragging rights for METU student Feyez Guner and Georgia Tech graduate students Matthew Brown, Stephen Marone, Etienne Demers Bouchard, Akshay Pendharkar, Christopher Duffy, Benjamin England, Clifford Sircar, Atipat Wattanuntachai, Chong Zhou, and Zhihang Liu. It also won top honors in the optional Hardware Validation competition. 

The AHS Student Design Competition challenges students to design a vertical lift aircraft that meets specified requirements. 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 72nd Annual Forum and Technology Display – to be held May 17-19, 2016 in West Palm Beach, Florida.

"We are lucky to have someone like Dan Schrage putting Georgia Tech's aerospace engineering school in the forefront of rotorcraft R&D and student development," said Dr. Marilyn Smith, another faculty advisor to the design teams.

Smith also had praise for the following faculty and staff who worked with the Georgia Tech and METU teams: Lakshmi Sankar, J.V.R. Prasad, Mike Roberts, Markus Cueva, Daniel Prosser, Sylvester Ashok, Gonenc Gursoy, Frank Patterson, Apinut Sirirojvisuth, and Vitali Volovoi.