Over the years, it has been an honor for the Company to have as consultants many renowned rotorcraft experts, including seven recipients of the American Helicopter Society (AHS) Alexander A. Nikolsky Honorary Lectureship Award, the premier annual award for achievement in the field of helicopter and V/STOL aircraft engineering and development. Some of these consultants have been working with the Company for over a decade, most were involved in the DARPA Heliplane project. This group of current and past consultants includes:
Walter Sonneborn – GAC Chief Engineer Heliplane Project and currently Part-time Consultant
Formerly Head of Research and Development at Bell Helicopter, he retired following a distinguished career of 40 years at Bell. Mr. Sonneborn currently holds the record for having developed the fastest rotor wing aircraft in history. Mr. Sonneborn is the recipient of the 2005 American Helicopter Society (AHS) Alexander A. Nikolsky Honorary Lectureship award.
Dr. Ken Rosen – External DARPA Consultant on Heliplane Project
Formerly Chief Engineer and Head of Research and Development at Sikorsky Helicopters. Dr. Rosen retired following a distinguished career of 40 years at Sikorsky, having led the development of Sikorsky’s most advanced rotor wing aircraft projects. Mr. Rosen is the recipient of the 2007 American Helicopter Society (AHS) Alexander A. Nikolsky Honorary Lectureship award.
Dr. Daniel Schrage – Director, NASA Center of Excellence in Rotorcraft Technology, Georgia Institute of Technology
One of the most highly regarded rotary wing aircraft scientists in the United States. A graduate of the US Military Academy at West Point, Dr. Schrage led for the US Army many of the Pentagon’s most advanced rotor-wing programs for 35 years, both before and after retiring from active duty. Dr. Schrage led the Company’s Georgia Tech Heliplane scientific and analysis teams and functioned as an outside consultant for the Company on its other advanced gyroplane programs. Dr. Schrage is the recipient of the 1999 American Helicopter Society (AHS) Alexander A. Nikolsky Honorary Lectureship award.
Dr. Barnes McCormick – GAC Consultant
Boeing Professor Emeritus of Aerospace Engineering at Pennsylvania State University. Dr. McCormick is the recipient of the 2004 American Helicopter Society (AHS) Alexander A. Nikolsky Honorary Lectureship award.
Dr. J. Gordon Leishman – GAC Consultant
D.Sc. (Engineering), Ph.D., F.R.Ae.S. Minta Martin Professor of Engineering, University of Maryland. Rotor Systems Research, LLC. Research in experimental and theoretical aerodynamics and aeroacoustics, with a specialty in helicopter and wind tunnel aerodynamics. Author of the book “Principles of Helicopter Aerodynamics.”
Dr. Krish Ahuja – GAC Consultant for the DARPA Program
Dr. Ahuja is the head of Georgia Tech Research Institute and world’s leading expert in sound engineering.
Dr. David Peters – GAC Consultant
Washington University. Widely recognized as an expert in design and analysis of rotary-wing aircraft. His theory of dynamic inflow is the world standard for wake modeling in rotorcraft dynamics and simulation. Dr. Peters is the recipient of the 2008 American Helicopter Society (AHS) Alexander A. Nikolsky Honorary Lectureship award.
David Gibbings – GAC Consultant
Retired RAF engineer/navigator and chief flight test engineer for Westland Helicopters, Ltd. in the UK, including the test bed facility for the Fairey Rotodyne. Awarded the Kelly Johnson award for outstanding achievement in his field by the Society of Flight Test Engineers, he was the first recipient of the award outside the US. Awarded an MBE (member of the Order of the British Empire) in homage to his services to aviation heritage and defense. Fellow of the Royal Aeronautical Society and Fellow of the Society of Flight Test Engineers. Recognized flight historian, author and aviation artist.
Lowell Larson – GAC Consultant
For many years, a central interest of Lowell Larson has been the development and production of gyroplanes in the medium-to-large size range. Along with other investors, he formed Aero-Gyro Associates of Seattle and, as President, he directed market research and preliminary design. Mr. Larson previously served the Boeing Co. as Manager of the “second generation” Boeing Supersonic Transport evaluation program. In other assignments Mr. Larson managed Boeing operations at NASA, Langley Field, The Air Force Tactical Air Command, and was the Boeing legislative liaison with NASA, the FAA, Congressional Committees and the Departments of Defense, State and Commerce. Mr. Larson also managed the research department at Boeing with an annual budget in excess of $100 million.