Vertical flight technology leaders to attend 74th Annual Forum & Technology Display

An entirely new generation of vertical flight aircraft are now in development that will radically transform the air transportation and defense sectors in the years ahead.

From May 14 to 17, 2018, more than 1,200 technology leaders of the transformation in helicopters and other vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) aircraft will be attending the Vertical Flight Society’s 74th Annual Forum & Technology Display in Phoenix, Arizona.


“The Annual Forum is the world’s largest technical event for engineers, scientists, researchers, academics and aerospace experts developing innovative technology for VTOL aircraft,” said Mike Hirschberg, executive director of AHS — The Vertical Flight Society.

“The Annual Forum is the longest running and most established vertical flight technical event in the world. It’s the best way to interact and share ideas with the world’s leading VTOL professionals,” Hirschberg said. “Anyone engaged in helicopter and VTOL technology — whether a new student or a world expert — will benefit from attending.”

Forum 74 will include more than 250 technical paper presentations, as well as nearly 50 invited VIP presentations, from civil and military experts and leaders, covering all aspects of vertical flight and related technologies. Highlights include talks by executives of the world’s leading rotorcraft manufacturers and military leaders from the U.S. Army, U.S. Navy/Marine Corps and U.S. Special Operations Command.

This year’s Annual Forum will once again have a strong emphasis on the emerging electric-powered VTOL aircraft (eVTOL) industry, including a full day of sessions on eVTOL technology on Thursday, May 17.

More than $1 billion has been invested in eVTOL aircraft development over the past few years, and 65 eVTOL innovative programs are now being tracked on the Vertical Flight Society’s website.

In addition, the Vertical Flight Society is holding what is likely the world’s first “Short Course on Electric VTOL Technology” in conjunction with the Forum on Monday, May 14, given by leading technical experts in VTOL and electric power. The course sold out quickly and will likely become a mainstay of future Vertical Flight Society conferences.

At the Society’s 74th Annual Grand Awards Banquet, more than 20 individual and group awards will be presented to recognize the vertical flight community’s greatest accomplishments. At the Banquet, the Society is presenting 25 scholarships totaling $90,000 as part of its educational mission; in addition, some 75 student volunteers are attending the forum at no charge by assisting in running the massive technical conference.


This year, the Vertical Flight Society celebrates its 75th anniversary. It was incorporated as the “American Helicopter Society” (AHS) on June 25, 1943, by the early pioneers of the helicopter industry to advance vertical flight through technical collaboration and knowledge sharing.

The Society has a proud legacy of advocating for issues of importance to vertical flight. This includes successfully advocacy of funding of advanced VTOL research and development for civil and military applications, as well as inspiring the next generation of helicopter and VTOL engineers through a wide range of student programs, including scholarships, design competitions and other leadership and technical opportunities.

For more information on the annual forum or to register to attend, go to Commentary press passes are available in advance to credentialed media.

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