Originally Founded in 1943 as the American Helicopter Society
Fairfax, VA — The American Helicopter Society (AHS) International, Inc. today announced that it is changing its name to The Vertical Flight Society — the tagline that it has used in various forms for the past half-century.
Incorporated on June 25, 1943 as the “American Helicopter Society, Inc.” and known as “AHS International” since 1997, the Society is the world’s oldest body supporting innovation and technical collaboration in the helicopter and vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) aircraft industry, as well as the world’s only international vertical flight technical society.
“The helicopter has dominated vertical flight since 1943, but many of our members are now designing, developing, building and flying aircraft that are not conventional helicopters,” said Mike Hirschberg, Vertical Flight Society Executive Director. “We’re in an exciting period of transformation and disruption in the aerospace industry where helicopters are no longer the only VTOL aircraft in the skies.”
“In fact, each of the five major helicopter manufacturers has dropped the word ‘helicopter’ from its brand,” said Hirschberg. “And each is currently developing non-helicopter VTOL aircraft for the future, including advanced tiltrotors and advanced compounds for civil and military applications.”
For example, the Bell Boeing V-22 Osprey tiltrotor has been operational since 2007 and the Leonardo AW609 civil tiltrotor is nearing certification. Other types of VTOL aircraft — from quadcopters to innovative unmanned aircraft to the supersonic Lockheed Martin F-35B jump jet — are becoming increasingly successful. In addition, traditional aerospace companies and innovators in Silicon Valley and around the world are now working on more than 65 different electric and hybrid-electric powered VTOL aircraft, as categorized on the Vertical Flight Society’s Electric VTOL News website, www.evtol.news.
The name “Vertical Flight Society,” used in various forms as a descriptor of AHS since at least 1969, was chosen to be a more accurate reflection of the organization’s membership and its role in the world. “As innovation is expanding the realm of the possible, we’re expanding the scope of our Society to be inclusive of the exciting spectrum of future vertical flight technology,” said Hirschberg.
Next month, the Vertical Flight Society will host its 74th Annual Forum & Technology Display in Phoenix, Arizona. More than 1,200 of the world’s leading vertical flight engineers, scientists, academics, researchers and leaders will gather over the week of May 14 for nearly 300 presentations on advanced technology and innovation vertical flight developments, and honor the greatest achievements in vertical flight during its prestigious Grand Awards Banquet.
The organization will complete the transition to its new name, the Vertical Flight Society, by Jan. 1, 2019.
Since 1943, AHS International — The Vertical Flight Society has been the technical society for engineers, scientists, visionaries and leaders working to advance the state of the art of vertical flight technology. The charitable non-profit brings together individuals from industry, academia and government organizations to tackle the toughest challenges in vertical flight. For 75 years, AHS has been the leading organization that advocates, promotes and supports global vertical flight technology and professional development.