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Sikorsky Research and Engineering Kicks Off 2015

Intern Design Competition

The Sikorsky R&E department recently announced the details of its 2015
Intern Design Competition, which has a preliminary date to take place on
Saturday, July 18th.
As it would be challenging to ask the interns to design a helicopter, even
though wed love to see what they would come up with, for this years
competition, as a celebration of Sikorskys expertise in harnessing the power
of rotors, we decided that this summers challenge will be to design, build,
and test a wind-powered land yacht, said Jeffrey Parkhurst, Design/Analysis
Engineer for Sikorsky Innovations and coordinator of the intern competition.
A wind-powered land yacht is a vehicle that uses the power of the wind to
move, using a large rotor fixed to the vehicle to supply energy.
Similarly to building a helicopter, building a wind-powered land yacht creates
an importance in understanding how a rotor works and how to choose the
right rotor in the right situation.
Interns choosing to participate in the competition will be randomly placed
into teams of four to six members, with each team developing a model for
the competition.
In the competition, the vehicle will be tested traveling in two directions:
upwind and downwind, and each team will compete to travel the farthest
distance to and from a stationary fan at either end of a track. Distance
traveled will be weighted into a teams final score along with style points.
The weight of each factor can be seen in the rules outlined below.
This competition is designed to determine how effectively a teams vehicle
converts energy from the wind into movement along the ground.
The prizes for the competition are:
- Third Place: Team members will fly an aircraft simulator at Sikorsky;
- Second Place: Team members will take a flight in an S-76 helicopter;
- First Place: Team members will take a 30-minute helicopter flight
lesson in an S-300 aircraft.
If you are interested in participating, volunteering, or have any questions
regarding the competition, please contact Jeff Parkhurst at
Jeffrey.Parkhurst@sikorsky.com for additional information.
Official rules and preliminary dates for the competition can be found below.

General Rules
1. Safety, as always, comes first. Any violation of any safety rules or
direction from judges or ground test personnel or unsafe behavior as
deemed by any judge will result in immediate disqualification from the
2. Your vehicle must be powered only by the wind, and this energy must
be transmitted directly to the drive train. No energy storage devices
of any type are allowed.
3. There will be no, non-rotating wind catching devices allowed on the
vehicles, such as sails, drag plates, parachutes, etc.
4. Your vehicle must travel both upwind and downwind; to do this you
must have only one vehicle; limited reconfiguration will be allowed (it
is up to the discretion of the judges to define minimal).
5. Your vehicle will interface, at a forward and rearward point, with a
guide string.
6. When traveling both upwind and downwind, there will be a small
moveable incline at the beginning which will help your vehicle get
started from a dead stop.
7. For the size of your vehicle, the rotor has a maximum deployed
diameter of 24 inches. The rest of the vehicle can be any size you
8. Final Score = 3 x (distance travelled against the wind) + 1 x (distance
traveled with the wind) + Style Points
9. All rules, prizes, stipulations and dates are subject to change at any
All rulings made by the judges are final.
Preliminary Dates
1. Thursday June 25th 2015 Summer Intern Design Comp Kickoff, 12 1
a. Email goes out to all interns to determine participation
2. Monday June 29th Release intern teams
3. TBD Test Day 1
4. TBD Test Day 2
5. Saturday July 18th Competition Day