Students Apply Science and Imagination In NASA Tilt-Rotor Design Contest

WASHINGTON -- Some helicopters of the future will look very different
from today's, at least as imagined by high school students for a NASA
aeronautics competition.

NASA challenged students to write a paper about a civilian aircraft
that could hover, rescue up to 50 survivors of a disaster, land on
ground or water, travel at least 920 miles and cruise at speeds up to
345 mph. If that wasn't enough of a challenge, the amphibious tilt-
rotor vehicle had to be able to fight fires by siphoning water into
an internal tank, and dump it while airborne.

The winners were announced Tuesday. For a complete list and links to
their rotorcraft designs, visit:


The competition was sponsored by the Subsonic Rotary Wing Project in
the Fundamental Aeronautics Program of NASA's Aeronautics Research
Mission Directorate in Washington. More than 100 teens entered the
contest in teams or as individuals. They represented the United
States, China, India, Pakistan, Romania, Singapore and Turkey.

Susan Gorton, principal investigator for the Subsonic Rotary Wing
Project, led the review panel. She said reading the high school
papers showed her how students perceive the future of aviation and
NASA's leadership role.

"They think anything can be done, and that's refreshing," she said.

The most striking design looks like a flying wing with rotor
assemblies on top of the nose and between two tail fins. This
top-scoring team entry came from two high school seniors at Norfolk
Technical Center in Norfolk, Va. Seniors Edric San Miguel and Vito
Morlino offered a design called the "Versatile Emergency Landing
Aircraft." This is the third year in a row that San Miguel has placed
in a NASA aeronautics student contest and the second time he has won
first prize.

The second and third place U.S. teams were from Linwood Holton
Governor's School in Abingdon, Va. The second place individual award
went to a junior at Bishop Hendricken High School in North Kingstown,
R.I. Sharing third place for individual entries were a sophomore from
Young Academy in Sidney, Neb., and a sophomore from Virginia's
Linwood Holton Governor's School.

A trio of juniors from Chung International Secondary School in Hong
Kong took top international honors. Two groups of students from Tudor
Vianu National High School of Computer Science in Bucharest, Romania,
earned the second and third place awards for international teams. A
senior from Anderson Junior College in Singapore, earned the top
score for individuals in the international category with a design
titled "Salvager-7 Pelican." And a freshman from Hilton Head Island
High School in Hilton Head, S.C., submitted the top scoring U.S.
individual entry titled "An Angel in the Sky."

NASA hopes to interest students in pursuing careers in aeronautics and
engineering by sponsoring design contests. U.S. winners receive cash
awards from Christopher Newport University, in Newport News, Va.,
through a NASA education grant and cooperative agreement.
International winners receive a trophy and certificate of
achievement. All student participants receive a certificate of
participation and a letter from NASA commending them for their work
and encouraging them to continue their study of math, science and

For more about NASA and other agency programs, visit:


Source: NASA

◄ Share this news!

Bookmark and Share


The Manhattan Reporter

Recently Added

Recently Commented