The Vertical Flight Society (VFS), originally known as the American Helicopter Society, International, is the world’s premier professional society relating to helicopters, vertical takeoff and short landing (VSTOL) vehicles and drones. Since its inception in 1944, VFS has been a major force in the advancement of a global rotorcraft industry, marked by rapid technical developments and expanding military capabilities and commercial applications. The strength of VFS as a professional and technical society is its diverse international professional and corporate membership. The aim of the society is not only to emphasize and further engineering excellence in traditional rotorcraft platform disciplines, but to expand this focus to the multidisciplinary fields of vertical flight and the related support industries. By supporting the needs of today’s vertical flight industry and advocating the requirements for tomorrow’s industry, the VFS will benefit both military and commercial sectors of the rotorcraft industry.
The membership area for the Hampton Roads Chapter includes all of the state of Virginia except the portion of the state in the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area. The chapter is one of the society’s most active, annually holding a either a technical specialist’s symposium or a Helicopter Operations Technology (HELMOT) briefing, funding college scholarships to area students, and supporting high school science fairs. Chapter meetings provide opportunities for technical updates and networking. Chapter social events include a fall seafood feast and an annual awards banquet/ installation of new officers/holiday social.