Runco wins first in regional American Helicopter Society Lichten competition

Runco SmallCarl Runco, a graduate student in the Department of Aerospace Engineering at Texas A&M University, competed in the southwest regional Robert L. Lichten competition and won first place for his presentation, “Design and Development of a Meso-Scale Cyclocopter,” giving him the opportunity to compete in the national level competition.

The Lichten competition was established through the American Helicopter Society to provide new researchers who have not previously presented a paper at a technical conference a chance to showcase their work. The award is focused on recognizing new and innovative research in the area of rotorcraft and vertical flight.

Runco is a second year graduate student working under the guidance of Dr. Moble Benedict, assistant professor, in the Advanced Vertical Flight Laboratory on the construction and flight testing of a novel micro air vehicle, the cyclocopter. The cyclocopter is a VTOL capable vehicle that uses a lift generating mechanism that is different than a conventional helicopter rotor. The paper he presented focuses on the design, development and flight testing of a 29 gram meso-scale cyclocopter, which is the smallest cycloidal-rotor based aircraft ever built.