UMD Submissions to the
VFS Student Design Competition

Every year since 1984, a student helicopter design competition has been co-sponsored by the American Helicopter Society, International, and the rotorcraft industry. Students from the University of Maryland first took part in 1988, placing third, but remained absent from the competition for 10 years until, in 1998, Andy Bernhard and a group of other graduate students of the Alfred Gessow Rotorcraft Center revived interest in it. Since then, Maryland teams have participated every year, winning first place in fifteen out of the nineteen competitions, over universities such as the Georgia Institute of Technology, the U.S. Naval Postgraduate School, and the U.S Air Force Institute of Technology. The students develop the design during a one-semester class in Helicopter Design (ENAE 634) offered by the Department of Aerospace Engineering in the spring of each year. The class is co-taught by Professor Inderjit Chopra and Senior Research Scientist Vengalattore Nagaraj.