Winners of the 2nd Annual Helicopter 2050 Challenge!

Ethan C. - Grand Prize Winner

Winning Idea: AH-9 Diamondback

Grand Prize Winner:

Ethan C., Age: 16; Idea: AH-9 Diamondback

The AH-9 Diamondback is a round shaped helicopter that utilizes the "Coanda" effect phenomena. A fan pushes the air down and out at high speed around the body creating a low pressure area around the top of the helicopter, which then creates an extra lift. Two turbofans power the aircraft and two stub wings under the cockpit enhance control and stability at high speed. A four-bladed rotor on top provides the main lift. The blades have symmetrical airfoil cross-sections, allowing for less drag. The aircraft uses carbon nanotubes resulting in a very light design, which reflects high fuel efficiency and improved load-carrying capacity. The design also includes a "med-vac" for evacuating wounded troops which includes space for a medic and two patients.

Check out photos of the winner celebration event held on December 13, 2012 at the Sikorsky headquarters in Stratford, CT.

Ethan Chu Ethan Chu
(left) Sikorsky's Vern Van Fleet (Chief Test Engineer) and Judy Bankowski (VP and Chief Information Officer) with Norm Goldstein (By Kids For Kids Chairman) award Ethan Chu the $1,000 grand prize for his design of a circular-shaped environmentally friendly helicopter. Indiana teen wins Igor Sikorsky Youth Innovator Award for his conceptual design of a circular-shaped environmentally friendly helicopter. Ethan Chu, 16, toured the BLACK HAWK helicopter production line Dec. 13 with Sikorsky Chief Test Engineer Vern Van Fleet.


Shelby D., Age: 15 ; Idea: Ground2Cloud

Ground2Cloud (G2C) is an all-terrain driving system with a full cloud mode. It changes from a tri-motorcycle on the ground to a medical/search team helicopter in the air. It includes a shifting gear to switch from ground to cloud. G2C has four tires - each tire has five blades and a cage around the rotors to protect them. The blades move back and forth inside the fan. When driving, the wheels move to look like spokes on a car and while flying the blades move to look like four rotors all together. G2C uses a hydrogen fuel cell engine. The back of the helicopter includes a solar panel which is used to separate water into hydrogen for the fuel cell and oxygen for the medical or elevation oxygen tank.

Lillith B., Age: 14; Idea: C.L.E.A.R. SKY

C.L.E.A.R. SKY is a mobile lab that helps monitor air quality and provides information on the types of impurities in the air. Its tail houses multiple monitoring and testing devices so it does an instant analysis of air quality as it flies. The data can be analyzed and interpreted to show the effects of factories, cities and automobiles in the surrounding air. With its GPS positioning system, it can return to an exact location and collect data over an extended period of time. It is made from recycled materials and runs off of fuel cell.

Adia B., Age: 12; Idea: Sky Garden

Sky Garden is a helicopter intended to teach kids the importance of being environmentally friendly, eating healthy and knowing how important alternative energy is. It will fly into cities and towns with a detachable raised bed garden and will bring gardens to homes that cannot have permanent gardens. The garden will have fruits, vegetables and flowers ready to be harvested. It will have educational materials and demonstrations about alternative energy such as solar panels, wind generators and composting demonstrations. After the garden is harvested, the Sky Garden will pick up the garden and fly away. A new garden will then be picked up to fly to another city. Sky garden will have parts made out of bamboo, will be equipped with solar panels and small wind generators. It will also hold a compost collector that can be used to generate fertilizer and methane gas.

Sikorsky Max W., Age: 16; Idea: The ECV (The Electric Conversion Vibration) Helicopter

The ECV helicopter uses piezoelectric materials to harness the helicopter's vibrations and convert them into electricity. The piezoelectric materials can be layered on the propellers and the helicopter body. While the piezoelectric materials and associated electric wires will add more weight to the helicopter, the benefit of electrical generation from the helicopter's vibration would outweigh this disadvantage. This Electric Conversion Vibration Helicopter would be an overall win in terms of using susustainable energy.

Facilitator Program
Helicopter 2050 Challenge