COMPETITION: The Vertical Flight Society’s 38th Annual Student Design Competition

The Vertical Flight Society's annual Student Design Competition challenges students to design a vertical lift aircraft that meets specified requirements, provides a practical exercise for engineering students at colleges and universities around the world and promotes student interest in vertical flight technology. Each of the winning teams is awarded a cash stipend, while each of the first-place winning teams are invited to the Vertical Flight Society's Annual Forum and Technology Display to present the details of their designs. Members of the teams receive complimentary registration to the Forum, the vertical flight industry’s principal professional technical event, which promotes vertical flight technology advancement. The Student Design Competition sponsorship rotates between Airbus, The Boeing Company, Bell, Leonardo Helicopters, Sikorsky, a Lockheed Martin Co.; and US Army Research Lab. Through this partnership, VFS is able to reach the best and brightest students in the world and encourage them to pursue education and careers in vertical flight. VFS is grateful for the continual support that industry provides for its annual Student Design Competition, and proud of all students who elect to participate. Information is available on past winners. Rotating Sponsors 2016 – Bell Helicopter 2017 – Sikorsky Aircraft 2018 – U.S. Army Research Lab 2019 – Airbus 2020 – Leonardo Helicopters 2021 – The Boeing Company 2022 – Bell Helicopter 2023 – Sikorsky Aircraft 38th Annual Student Design Competition 2025 Unmanned Vertical Lift for Medical Equipment Distribution RFP Now Available Sponsored by The Boeing Company Da Vinci's Aerial Screw (b&w) Letters of Intent due by February 1, 2021. Now Available: the 2020-2021 Request for Proposal (RFP) and Invitation Letter to Participate. VFS recommends that you read the white paper Student Design Competition on Judging. 37th Annual Student Design Competition "Leonardo's Aerial Screw: 500 Years Later" Sponsored by Leonardo Helicopters VFS SDC 2020 Winner Graduate Category Elico UMDVFS SDC 2020 Winner Undergraduate Category SolidityOne - Delft University of Technology The University of Maryland team takes top honors in the graduate category. Delft University of Technology takes first place and new entrant in the undergraduate category. VFS Press Release, August 13, 2020. Executive Summaries of the winning proposals available on the SDC Past Winners page. Download the 2019-2020 Request for Proposal (RFP). 36th Annual Student Design Competition "Extreme Altitude Mountain Rescue Vehicle" Sponsored by Airbus UMD Caladrius 2010UMD/Universidad Carlos III Tahr 2019 University of Maryland takes first place in the graduate category. The joint University of Maryland/Universidad de Carlos III (Spain) collaborative team also takes top honors in the undergraduate category. VFS press release, August 21, 2019 Executive Summaries of the winning proposals available on the SDC Past Winners page. Download the Airbus 2018-2019 Request for Proposal. 35th Annual Student Design Competition "A Reconfigurable VTOL Aircraft" Sponsored by the U.S. Army Research Lab UMD Kwatee 2018UMD MetalTail 2018 The joint University of Maryland/Nanjing University of Aeronautics & Astronautics collaborative team takes first place in the graduate category. The University of Maryland also takes top honors in the undergraduate category. VFS press release, August 15, 2018. Executive Summaries of the winning proposals available on the SDC Past Winners page. Download the AHS-US Army 2017-2018 Request for Proposal. 34th Annual Student Design Competition "24 Hour Hovering Machine Conceptual Design" Sponsored by Sikorsky, a Lockheed Martin Co. 2017 SDC Winning Entries University of Maryland takes top honors in the 34th Annual VFS Student Design Competition, AHS Press Release, August 11, 2017 Photos of each winning team's design are available on the Facebook page Executive Summaries of the winning proposals available on the SDC Past Winners page. Download the AHS-Sikorsky Aircraft 2016-2017 Request for Proposal, Released August 11, 2016 33rd Annual Student Design Competition "Air Launched Unmanned Disaster Relief Delivery Vehicle" Sponsored by Bell Helicopter Halcyon 1st UnderGrad Nanjing Univ University of Maryland and Nanjing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics Take Top Honors in the 33rd Annual AHS International Student Design Competition. VFS Press Release, August 10, 2016 Executive Summaries of the winning entries are available, plus a list of other past winners Download the Bell Helicopter 2015-2016 Request for Proposal, Released July 27, 2015 32nd Annual Student Design Competition "Distributed Logistics in an Urban Setting Using Small Unmanned Aerial Vehicles" Sponsored by The Boeing Company 2015 SDC Entries Summary University of Maryland and Georgia Tech/METU Take Top Honors in the 32nd Annual AHS International Student Design Competition. VFS Press Release, August 20, 2015 Executive Summary of the winning entries is available for this and other past winners 32nd Annual Student Design Competition Request for Proposals 2014-2015 - Released August 25, 2014 31st Annual Student Design Competition X-VTOL Logo Sponsored by AgustaWestland (now Leonardo Helicopters) Georgia Tech XV-58 Manta First Place Graduate St. Louis University Heli-Fast 1st Place Undergraduate Georgia Institute of Technology and St. Louis University Take Top Honors in the 31st Annual AHS International Student Design Competition. VFS Press Release, August 11, 2014 Executive Summary of the winning entries is available for this and other past winners 31st Annual Student Design Competition RFP 2013-2014 – Released August 2013 30th Annual Student Design Competition "The HealCopter" Sponsored by Eurocopter (now Airbus Helicopters) 1st Place Graduate Winner - UMD HeliX 1st Place Undergrad Winner - Penn State Griffin The University of Maryland and Pennsylvania State University Take Top Honors in the 30th Annual AHS International Student Design Competition, VFS Press Release, August 20, 2013 More information and graphics of the winners, plus executive summaries of the winning entries is available for this and other past winners 2013-2014 Request for Proposal for "The HealCopter" 29th Annual Student Design Competition "Rotary Wing Pylon Racer" Sponsored by Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation 1st Place Grad Winner - UMD 1st Place Undergrad Winner - Ga Tech Badger 2012 The University of Maryland and Georgia Institute of Technology/University of Liverpool Take Top Honors in the 29th Annual AHS/Industry Student Design Competition, VFS Press Release, August 7, 2012 Check out the winning design proposals! 2012-2013 Request for Proposal (RFP) For "Rotary Winged Pylon Racer" Read more about our 35+ years of competitions and past winners!