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AHS International Celebrates 70 Years of Advancing Vertical Flight Technologies

ANAHEIM, CA -- (Marketwired) -- 02/26/14 -- AHS International, the world's premier professional vertical flight technical society, is celebrating 70 years of advancing the state of the art of rotary wing technology and promoting its application around the globe.

In 1943 -- before a single helicopter was operational in the United States -- a group of engineers and managers banded together with military and civilian operators, mechanics, pilots and enthusiasts to form the American Helicopter Society. Today, AHS International has 6,500 members in more than 40 countries. They include engineers, scientists, corporate executives, civilian and military program managers, pilots, safety specialists, students, and leaders in manufacturing, production, purchasing, procurement and maintenance.

The Society's First Annual Dinner Meeting was held on October 7, 1944, featuring the leaders of the American helicopter industry. This event has since grown into the AHS Annual Forum and Technology Display, the world's longest running and largest vertical flight technology conference in the world. Forum 70 will be the biggest ever, featuring some 300 technical presentations on vertical flight research and advanced technology initiatives, in disciplines from acoustics to unmanned systems. The Forum also includes special panel sessions, the Vertical Flight Foundation (VFF) Reception, the Grand Awards Banquet, and the Technology Display -- the most extensive exposition of cutting-edge vertical flight technologies in the world. More than 1200 participants are expected.

AHS International's 70th Annual Forum and Technology Display will be held May 20-22, 2014 at the Palais des congrès de Montréal in Montréal, Québec. This year's theme is "Celebrating International Cooperation in Vertical Flight Technology," considers the productive partnerships between industry, academia and governments around the world that are advancing the state of the art of vertical flight.

"For seven decades, the AHS International Annual Forum and Technology Display has brought together representatives from industry, academia and governments around the world to tackle the toughest challenges in vertical flight," said Mike Hirschberg, AHS International Executive Director. "With some 300 technical papers presented over three days, more than 30 panelists, two industry tours and two short courses, the 70th Annual Forum is setting new records. The Annual Forum continues its long heritage as the Biggest and Best Vertical Flight Technology Conference in the World."

A full day of activities precedes the Forum on Monday, May 19. This year, AHS features two short courses, taught by industry experts: "The Aerodynamics of Helicopter Accidents," presented by Jack Cress, and "Rotorcraft Technology," presented by Dr. Dick Bennett. Alternatively, Monday morning also includes industry tours of Bell Helicopter Canada and CAE. Finally, the 2nd Annual Micro Air Vehicle Student Challenge will see AHS student members compete in a head-to-head MAV fly-off for up to $10,000 in prizes.

Forum 70 will continue with its interactive CEO Panel with the chief executives of the international helicopter industry. Moderated by Kenneth Swartz -- an award-winning communicator and contributing editor at Canada's Vertical, Vertical 911 and Canadian Skies magazines -- the panel will explore how to enhance continued "International Cooperation in Vertical Flight Technology." The CEO or senior Vice President of Airbus Helicopters, Agusta Westland, Bell Helicopter, The Boeing Company and Sikorsky Aircraft will participate in our annual discussion panel.

The CEO Panel will be followed by this year's esteemed Alexander A. Nikolsky Honorary Lecture, delivered by Prof. Dewey H. Hodges, Georgia Institute of Technology. The title of his lecture is "A Unified Approach for Accurate and Efficient Dynamic Modeling of Composite Rotor Blades."

In keeping with the long tradition, the US Navy and US Army Program Executive Officers (PEOs) for rotorcraft acquisition and their program managers will brief attendees on the latest developments and plans for modernization. Brigadier General Robert Marion, Army PEO for Aviation will lead the US Army program manager briefings, and Rear Admiral Cindy "CJ" Jaynes, Navy PEO for Air ASW, Assault & Special Mission Programs, will moderate the US Navy/Marine Corps program manager panel. These sessions have always been found to be extremely insightful regarding future US military rotorcraft development needs.

In addition, two special session panels this year spotlight Canada's vertical flight capabilities and opportunities. The Suppliers and Subsystems Technology Panel features leaders in the Québec rotorcraft industry. Canadian Rotorcraft: From Research to Operations features leaders from Canadian agencies and associations covering rotorcraft. Québec represents 70% of Canada's aerospace R&D spending, produces more than $12 billion in sales annually, 80% from exports. Collectively, Québec's aerospace community is comprised of 200+ firms employing more than 42,500 engineers, technicians and other skilled aerospace workers.

For 70 years, the AHS Forum has been the premier event for government, industry and academia to exchange ideas, discuss the latest breakthroughs in theory and technology, and work together to tackle the toughest challenges in vertical flight. Since its inception, the Annual Forum has brought together the best technical minds with the world's leading vertical flight developers. This tradition and legacy is still unmatched today by any other event in the world. For more information, go to

About AHS International

The American Helicopter Society (AHS) International, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) educational charity. Based in Alexandria, Va., AHS International is the world's premier professional vertical flight technical society. The First Annual Forum was held on April 3, 1945. This year will mark our 70th year of advancing vertical flight technologies through the AHS Annual Forum and Technology Display. Forum 70 will be held May 20-22, 2014 at the Palais des congrès de Montréal in Montréal, Québec, bringing together industry, academia and governments to tackle the toughest challenges in vertical flight.

AHS International has 6,500 members in more than 40 countries, including the world's leading vertical flight manufacturers, suppliers and education and research institutions. Among the Society's members are engineers, scientists, corporate executives, civilian and military program managers, pilots, safety specialists, students, and leaders in manufacturing, production, purchasing, procurement and maintenance.

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