Sikorsky AHS Award Winners Honored

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Sikorsky AHS Award Winners Honored

May 11, 2006

  Hartford, Connecticut - The Sikorsky Aircraft employees who developed the S-92ATM  helicopter's Rotor Ice Protection System, a Sikorsky senior avionics system engineer, and the group of dedicated Sikorsky retirees and volunteers who maintain the company's archives were honored for their contributions to the industry at today's American Helicopter Society (AHS) International Annual Forum Grand Awards banquet. Sikorsky Aircraft, based in Stratford, Conn., is a subsidiary of United Technologies Corp. (NYSE:UTX). 

Sikorsky AHS award winners include:

The Sikorsky S-92 Rotor Ice Protection System (RIPS) Development Team, which earned the Howard Hughes Award in recognition of an outstanding improvement in fundamental helicopter technology brought to fruition in the previous year.

Donald S. Anttila, a Sikorsky avionics system engineer, was given an AHS Technical Fellow Award for leading the transition into advanced avionics solutions for military and civil helicopter systems during his 39-year career at Sikorsky.

Igor I. Sikorsky Historical Archives (IISHA) was awarded the John J. Schneider Historical Achievement Award, established in memory of vertical flight historian John J. Schneider in recognition of distinguished achievement in encouraging appreciation of, and enhancing access to the history and legacy of vertical flight aircraft.


Additional details about the award winners follow.

The S-92 RIPS team: Over a seven year period the team developed technology, system logic, and test techniques to provide all-weather capabilities for the S-92, yielding significant improvements in passenger acceptance for helicopters, while improving helicopter productivity and safety.

Sikorsky was able to obtain this certification within 21 months of the first dry air flight of the system and the RIPS is now in use in customer revenue flight operations. This achievement is the result of 60 years of Sikorsky research and development into the effects of icing and the means to protect helicopters from these effects.

On Oct. 14, 2005, the Federal Aviation Administration certificated the S-92 RIPS for flight in icing conditions, the first helicopter directly certificated by the agency to the newest and most stringent all-weather flight safety standards. The RIPS certification was subsequently validated by Transport Canada and the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) and is being used by S-92 customers operating in icing conditions in both regions.

The members of the S-92 RIPS team are:

Robert J. Flemming, Jr., Technical Fellow, system engineering and icing technology

Philip J. Alldridge, flight test engineer

Antonio G. Daniele, electrical engineer

Anthony J. Herchenroder, electrical engineer

Joseph A. Silva, electrical engineer

Mark P. Eisenhauer, electrical engineer

John F. Groth, engineering test pilot

Daniel Dellaripa, electrical engineer


Donald S. Anttila, who is also a Sikorsky Technical Fellow, has been at the forefront of Sikorsky's efforts to transition from classic electromechanical cockpits into integrated electronic cockpit and mission systems. Examples of Anttila's assignments include resolution of performance issues in multiple modern navigation and guidance systems, design approaches for degraded visual flight operations, invention of techniques to resolve unique helicopter-related air data performance issues, tactical and civil flight director development, release of U.S. patent disclosures for safety-related solutions for improved helicopter obstacle sensing, and release of disclosures for innovative methods to control antenna-to-antenna interactions.

In the early 1970s Anttila was the avionics test engineer for the original HH-53B Night Recovery System (NRS) which included low light level television and CRT displays in the cockpit. In the 1980s he led the analysis and tradeoff process to compare the operational and overall system value of a hard-wired versus a new generation integrated, digital antisubmarine warfare solution for the Royal Australian Navy. As the leader of a small internal Sikorsky team, and collaborating with industry leaders in electronic subsystems, sensors, and modern avionics architectures, Sikorsky and Rockwell Collins defined a full glass cockpit" that balanced the delivery costs, technical features, and overall system architecture to achieve a glass cockpit solution that was highly cost effective when compared to legacy electromechanical configurations.

Igor I. Sikorsky Historical Archives (IISHA) is a non-profit organization comprised of volunteers who preserve valuable rotorcraft history and provide memorabilia for the creation of the Sikorsky Heritage Center where it can be viewed by visitors to Sikorsky Aircraft. Dan Libertino serves as IISHA president, Harry Hleva is the past Director and serves as senior advisor, and Sergei I. Sikorsky, son of Igor Sikorsky, is chairman emeritus.

Since 1994, the volunteers have inventoried 400,000 historical aviation documents, 150,000 original aviation photographs and negatives, 5,000 engineering drawings and countless other historical rotorcraft related items. Included in the collection are items as diverse as wind tunnel models from the earliest helicopter models to models currently in service. Other items managed include Mr. Sikorsky's famous fedora, Mr. Sikorsky's helicopter pilot's license #1, the log books for the VS-300 helicopter and Mr. Sikorsky's office as it was on his last day in 1972.

Recent initiatives include doing video interviews with retired Sikorsky management, test pilots and customers that were active during the formative years of the industry. DVDs of these interviews are made available to researchers. Volunteers also fully restored a Sikorsky VS-44A Flying Boat and an S-51 Helicopter to original condition (now on display at the New England Air Museum) and assisted in a refurbishment of the VS-300. For more information visit www.sikorskyarchives.com.

AHS International - The Vertical Flight Society, which has more than 6,000 members, is a professional society dedicated to the advancement of vertical flight technology and its applications.

Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation, based in Stratford, Conn., is a world leader in helicopter design, manufacturing and service. United Technologies Corp., based in Hartford, Conn., provides a broad range of high-technology products and support services to the aerospace and building systems industries.

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