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A Little Bit of VFS in Ingenuity
  • 28 Apr 2021 01:45 AM
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A Little Bit of VFS in Ingenuity

Sidebar to Ingenuity Takes Off On Mars, Vertiflite, May/June, 2021

Much has been written about the plans and development progress for Ingenuity; see "Red Planet Rotorcraft," Vertiflite, July/August 2018 and "NASA Mars Helicopter Team Striving for a 'Kitty Hawk' Moment," Vertiflite, May/June 2020.

VFS even played a small part in early studies, with the Society's 2000-2001 Student Design Competition — sponsored that year by Sikorsky and NASA (led by Larry Young of NASA Ames) — focusing on Mars rotorcraft. The winning University of Maryland design, led by then-graduate student Anubhav Datta, is nearly identical in basic appearance to Ingenuity (see "Martian VTOL Research Studies," Vertiflite, July/August 2018).

Datta stated that the Society's 2000 Student Design Competition "established the feasibility of a Mars Helicopter and generated the first serious detailed designs" of aircraft that were capable of vertical flight in the thin atmosphere of Mars. After working as a researcher at the NASA Ames Research Center (2007-2015), Datta continued supporting the NASA Mars Helicopter development (2015-2017). "I certainly credit my expertise on Mars and my involvement in this project to that VFS design."

See www.vtol.org/mars for more on early research on Mars rotorcraft from the past several decades.


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