“Seeing the Unseen: A Smart Image-Based Framework for In-Flight Long-Range Atmospheric Visibility Estimation” and “The FAA Perspective on eVTOL”

VFS Philly hosted another great dinner meeting near Rowan University in Glassboro New Jersey on September 19th, 2023 with two impressive presentations! We were very excited to host the dinner meeting at a new location, as well as had the opportunity to interact with one of our newest student chapters of Rowan University.

Both presenters gave impressive discussions, with Dr. Giuseppina Carannante’s topic of “Seeing the Unseen: A Smart Image-Based Framework for In-Flight Long-Range Atmospheric Visibility Estimation”, and Cliff Johnson presenting on “The FAA Perspective on eVTOL”.

VFS Philly at Wings N’ Wheels!

Wings ‘N Wheels is a long-running outdoor, family focused community event which attracts adults and children for a lively display of vintage and antique cars and aircraft. The Wings N’ Wheels community event benefits Angel Flight East, whose mission is to provide free flights for children and adults in need of medical treatment far from their home. To read more about their mission please check out their website (https://angelflighteast.org/who-we-are/).
The event was held on Saturday, September 9th, 2023 in Blue Bell, PA! 

On Saturday, September 9th, 2023, Philly VFS set up a booth to engage the community, taught them about Vertical Flight, and promoted VFS.

“A New Taxonomy for Vertical Lift Aircraft: Reinventing the VSTOL Wheel” with Dan Newman, Boeing

VFS Philly hosted a virtual Lunch N’ Learn presentation featuring a talk by Boeing Senior Technical Fellow and VFS Philadelphia Board Member Dan Newman!

Since the successful fielding of Vertical Takeoff and Landing (VTOL) aircraft, there has been a strong desire for such runway independent aircraft that are also capable of very high speed cruising flight.  There has been a lot of time and treasure invested in developing and demonstrating these VSTOL aircraft, and several attempts to characterize them culminating in the VSTOL Wheel, but each exhibits specific drawbacks in practice. The current approach is inadvertently limiting the capability for regulatory agencies to review and approve new concepts. A new, simple taxonomy has been developed by the presenter and is proposed that is suitably broad to characterize every VSTOL concept suggested, and sufficiently robust to include any in the future. And the approach offers a means to leverage each new aircraft certification, to reduce the subsequent workload and uncertainty.

American Helicopter Museum hosted their annual FamilyFest!

The American Helicopter Museum and Education Center (AHMEC) offered a day of fun during its FamilyFest on Saturday, June 24, from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. The annual event loaded with activities galore aims to delight visitors of all ages.

Highlighting FamilyFest was a presentation and demonstration by Torque, a Belgian Malinois who holds the world’s record as “The Dog with the Most Flights in a Huey Helicopter.” The hour-long talk by Torque’s personal assistant will begin at noon and include the history of dogs in helicopters, information about K-9 Torque, Torque’s world-record achievement, the training and equipment involved, and a book reading and signing of her new children’s book. Paul Kahan, AHMEC’s Executive Director, presented Torque with a plaque honoring her accomplishments.

“We’re thrilled to welcome this extraordinary animal to our museum. She flies with the Huey Vets in the San Francisco Bay Area and works with various charitable organizations, including the Tug McGraw Foundation,” explained Kahan. “Additionally, she is a highly regarded crime fighter, so come and meet Torque and hear her incredible story.”

AHMEC wishes to thank its FamilyFest sponsors: A Storage Depot, Brandywine Aviation and Maintenance, Brandywine Regional Airport, Brandywine Valley Heating and Air Conditioning, First Bank, First Resource Bank, Fastener Systems, Inc., Greg A. Vietri, Inc., MBA Advisors, Metro Aviation, Pillar Real Estate Advisors, Team Toyota, and the Vertical Flight Society.

The American Helicopter Museum and Education Center, located at 1220 American Boulevard, West Chester, is the nation’s premier aviation museum devoted exclusively to helicopters. Established in 1996, the nonprofit organization collects, restores, and displays rotary-wing aircraft, including over 35 civilian and military helicopters, autogyros, and convertiplanes.

“The Current State of Powered-Lift Training and the Implications for Advanced Air Mobility” at Leonardo Helicopters

VFS Philadelphia Chapter had a very special dinner meeting at Leonardo Helicopters in Northeast Philadelphia on April 19, 2023 that included a presentation by Kevin Semler, Leonardo Instructor Pilot, and included tours of the Leonardo Helicopters facility. The presentation discussed the implications of the new Powered-Lift category and how it effects operator training, especially in relation to Advanced Air Mobility (AAM). The tours included Leonardo’s production and flight lines, including AW119s, TH-73As, AW139s, and static displays of the AW609 and MH139. No photos were allowed inside the facility, so be sure not to miss out next time!

AIAA Hosted a Guest Speaker

AIAA GPS welcomed Jim Cavera, Senior Engineer with Blue Origin, as he presented: “Future Propulsion: Nuclear Fission, Fusion, and Beyond”. In his talk, the theoretical underpinnings of nuclear propulsion, the historical experiments, and the prospects for the future were discussed.

When: April 12th, 6 PM EST

Where: Zoom, Register HERE

US Naval Academy Midshipmen “AURORA – Vertical Lift Student Design Project” and “Investigation of Helicopter Performance in Confined Areas”

VFS Philly had the opportunity to hear from US Naval Academy midshipmen as they presented two of their capstone projects. The presentations were about AURORA, Arctic Unmanned Rapid Oil Response Aircraft, a design, build, and fly project to help track oil spills in Alaska, and Investigation of Helicopter Performance in Confined Areas, a further analysis of recent flight test activity completed at Pax River Test Pilot School to analyze the impact of confined spaces on operational safety.

The midshipmen traveled to Piasecki Aircraft and Boeing earlier in the day to tour the facilities and hear more about the history of vertical flight in Philadelphia.

The dinner also had a special guest, Angelo Collins, Vertical Flight Society’s new CEO, to replace Mike Hirschberg officially in May at the Forum.

A big thank you to Piasecki Aircraft for sponsoring the dinner meeting, as well!