February 2023 Chapter Luncheon

T408 on NCH-47D Demonstration Overview

11:30 AM on February 21, 2023 at
“County Grill & Smokehouse” in Yorktown

Mr. Kenneth Durbin, US Army DEVCOM AvMC Engines S&T SME , will give a presentation entitled, “T408 on NCH-47D Demonstration Overview.”
The Army, Boeing, and General Electric Aviation partnered to integrate and flight test two T408–GE–400/A1 turboshaft engines on a specially modified NCH–47D aircraft. This effort demonstrated the integration benefits and challenges associated with retrofitting a legacy airframe with new advanced technology, larger form factor, counter-rotating engines.

Free lunch for all active VFS members!

Please RSVP before February 17, 2023 using the following link: https://tinyurl.com/vfslunch23

Luncheon Flyer- T408- 02212023-Final

HELMOT XIX Dec. 7-8, 2022

The Southeast Region and Hampton Roads chapter are sponsoring the HELMOT meeting on December 7-8, 2022. The theme is Vertical Lift Capabilities for Multi-Domain Operations.

The conference will consist of 1.5 days of unclassified, unrestricted presentations held at the Newport News Marriott at City Center, Newport News, Virginia. HELMOT XIX will combine interest in manned and unmanned aircraft systems (UAS), vertical/rotorcraft research and development enabling increased warfighter capability.

Topics will focus on how advancement in vertical lift mission technologies will prepare the Department of Defense and Department of Homeland Security manned rotorcraft and UAS for the future multi-domain operational environment around the world and will include a review of how modernization will transition our current force to the next generation platforms.

US Army DEVCOM Classified Future Battlefield Briefs

US Army DEVCOM AvMC will host the Classified Informational Briefing on the “Future Battlefield Briefs (CFBB) and Air Launched Effects/Autonomous Teams (ALE/A-Team)” on Tues., December 6 and Wed. morning, December 7 at the Jacobs Conference Center, Ft. Eustis, VA. Please download the DEVCOM AvMC Classified Future Battlefield Briefs for all information, including security contact information to request attendance.

HELMOT Program

All meeting activities will take place at the Newport News Marriott at City Center in the Pearl Ballroom: there is plenty of free parking for attendees. The sessions will be a half-day on Wednesday, December 7 and a full-day on Thursday, December 8 -download the full agenda above.

Wed. Dec. 7: 12:00 to 5:00 pm
9:00 am – 4:00 pm: Registration Open
12:00 – 1:30 pm: Light Lunch for Attendees
1:30 – 2:00 pm Keynote Speaker: Multi-Domain Operations, COL Larry Geddings, US Army Futures Command G3, Futures and Concepts Center

1:30 – 5:00 pm: Session 1 – Modernization Updates

Refreshment Break @ 3:00 pm

6:00 pm: Social Networking Opportunity (Venue TBD)
Thurs. Dec. 8: 7:00 to 4:30 pm
7:00 – 8:00 am: Continental Breakfast

8:00 – 11:00 am: Session 2 – Modular Open Systems Approach (MOSA)

Refreshment Break @ 9:30

11:00 am – 1:00 pm: Lunch on your own

1:00 – 4:30 pm: Session 3 – Human Machine Interface

Refreshment Break @ 2:30


Exhibit Opportunities

Exhibit space is available for industry and military organizations. Each exhibit will be located in the Pearl Ballroom where the meeting will take place. The cost of 10’x’10 unit is $800 USD – download the HELMOT exhibit contract for more information. If you have questions, please contact David Meyer, Exhibit Chairman, VFS Hampton Roads Chapter.


Please register online, or submit completed registration form (PDF) to VFS HQ. Registration rates apply to Industry, Government/Military and Speakers and include lunch and social on Wednesday, continental breakfast on Thursday, and refreshment breaks. The rates are as follows:

VFS Member: $275 USD
Non-Member: $375 USD (includes 1-year of VFS membership)
VFS Student Member: $75 USD (Non-members must join first)
$50 cancellation fee – no refunds after Nov. 29, 2022

HELMOT Page on the VFS website: https://vtol.org/helmot

2023 VFS HRC Scholarship Application

The Hampton Roads Chapter (HRC) of the Vertical Flight Society International (VFS) sponsors an annual scholarship to recognize and assist high school seniors who wish to pursue a college education leading to a career in STEM related fields such as engineering, physics, mathematics, or computer science.

High school seniors within the Hampton Roads Chapter Area (entire state of Virginia except Washington, D.C. metro area) are encouraged to apply. This includes, but is not limited to:
Chesapeake, Gloucester, Hampton, Isle of Wright, James City County, Matthews, Newport News, Norfolk, Portsmouth, Poquoson, Suffolk, Virginia Beach, Williamsburg, York County. Private and homeschool seniors are also encouraged to apply.

Three scholarships, $1,000 each, will be awarded to qualified recipient(s).

2023 VFS Scholarship Application

Education Outreach – Sound and Vibration Class

Dr. James Stephenson, VFS Education Chair, engaged with a local elementary school during the last week of classes, teaching a lesson on Sound and Vibration. The students learned about vibration first using a 1-dimensional vibrating string, then they saw it using a 2-dimensional Chladni plate, and finally experienced it in 3 dimensions as sound in the room. This hands-on lesson instructs students on what a vibration is, how sound is a vibration we hear with our ears, instead of see with our eyes, and gets them to experience and create various sounds using instructional aids.

2022 Engineer of the Year Nominations

Hampton Roads Chapter of the VFS Engineer of the Year 2022

The Hampton Roads Chapter of the Vertical Flight Society (HRC of the VFS) is looking to recognize Hampton Roads Area individuals for their contributions to the rotary-wing engineering profession, significant technical accomplishments, and community involvement. As such, the HRC of the VFS is soliciting nominations for the Engineer of the Year (EOY) award. The HRC of the VFS offers two EOY awards:

· The John White Award – for recognition of the nominee’s career

· The Bob Huston Award – for recognition in the early phase of the nominee’s career

Applications must be received by July 15th, 2022. More details on qualifications and nomination instructions can be found here.


2022 VFS HRC Scholarship Winners


The Robert Powell Scholarship 

The Robert Powell Scholarship was established to honor the long-time treasurer of the Hampton Roads Chapter whose stewardship of the chapter’s financial assets originally enabled the chapter’s STEM outreach program, including its scholarship fund. The 2022 Robert Powell scholarship has been awarded to Leo Annett, the son of Mary and Martin Annett. Leo attends a York County Public School and is an exemplary scholar and leader. He has earned an excellent SAT score and GPA, while also continuing to work and volunteer. His documented perseverance has earned Leo the Robert Powell Scholarship for 2022. Leo plans to pursue a degree in Computer Science.  

The Edward ‘Ed’ Austin Scholarship 

This Edward ‘Ed’ Austin Scholarship was established to honor Ed’s many years as a chapter board member in various positions from treasurer to education director. In his retirement, Ed continued to support the chapter through staffing multiple events, encouraged the public outreach of our chapter by maintaining our website, and was a huge and continued proponent of our STEM outreach program including the scholarship program. The inaugural Edward ‘Ed’ Austin scholarship has been awarded to Juan Martinez-Medina, the son of Ana and Pedro Martinez. Juan attends a Chesapeake Public School and is an exemplary scholar who’s achieved much despite adversity. Juan intends to pursue a degree in computer engineering, where his impressive work ethic will pay off in spades. 

The Christopher Gavora Scholarship 

The Christopher Gavora Scholarship was established to honor the son of COL William Gavora, former Commander of the Aviation Applied Technology Directorate.  Chris was killed in a tragic high school baseball practice accident shortly after his family relocated from Hampton Roads to Texas.  The 2022 Christopher Gavora Scholarship has been awarded to Logan Richardson, a student in the York County Public School system.  Logan, the son of Channing and Don Richardson, is a proven scholar and school leader. As captain of 3 varsity teams, Logan has proven his leadership, while maintaining exemplary grades and scoring very well on the SAT. Logan plans to pursue a degree in Electrical Engineering. 



2022 TSEF Award Winners Announced

As it has for many years in the past, this year the VFS Hampton Roads Chapter presented multiple special awards at the Tidewater Science & Engineering Fair (TSEF). The Junior Division (Middle School) award winners received $200 for first place, and $100 for second place. The Senior Division (High School) award winners received $250 for first place, and $200 for second place. These awards are given to the students with the best projects supporting “the multidisciplinary fields of vertical flight, traditional rotorcraft platforms disciplines, and related support industries.”  The winners were judged to be the best versed with their work and performed the most unique experiments. Their teachers have also received a $100 award for supporting the STEM community and leading their students to these great achievements. Finally, the Tidewater Science Congress was also gifted $1000 to continue TSEF and help continue it well into the future. 

The Junior Division first place award winner was Nathan Shaw for his work on optical sensor performance under degraded visual environments. The second-place award winner was Gavin Fitzgerald, who investigated the performance effects of linear magnetic actuator arrangement. 

The Senior Division first place award winner was Erin Jones for her work studying the long-term effects of cognitive training. Her work investigated whether mental training tasks could improve cognitive performance in high schoolers. This work could lead to improved training for pilot focus and performance. Second place award winner in the senior division was Jack Shoemaker who investigated machine learning in weather forecasting. 

The awards were presented by the Chapter’s Education Director Dr. James Stephenson. 

Penn State Rotary Wing Short Course

The 52nd Annual Pennylvania State University Comprehensive Short Course in Rotary Wing Technology will be held August 5 – 9, 2019, in State College, Pennsylvania.  It is a 5-day course covering aerodynamics, dynamics, stability and control, structures, acoustics, propulsion and drive trains of vertical flight vehicles. Many chapter members have attended over the years and have found the course to be excellent.

If you are interested in more information click here.