10-Apr-2013 Source: AIAA
Frank D. Robinson, founder, Robinson Helicopter Company, Torrance, Calif., has been selected to receive the 2013 Daniel Guggenheim Medal. He will receive the medal on Wednesday evening, May 22, at the Grand Awards Banquet of the American Helicopter Society International’s 69th Annual Forum and Technology Display, May 21–23, at the Phoenix Convention Center, Phoenix, Ariz.
Robinson is being honored for his “conception, design, and manufacture of a family of quiet, affordable, reliable and versatile helicopters.”
Established in 1929 to honor notable achievements in aeronautics, the Daniel Guggenheim Medal is awarded jointly by the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA), the American Society of Mechanical Engineering (ASME), the American Helicopter Society (AHS) International, and the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) International.
Robinson’s engineering career began in 1957 at the Cessna Aircraft Company, where he worked on the development of the Cessna CH-1 Skyhook helicopter. After leaving Cessna in 1960, Robinson worked for other rotorcraft firms, until 1973, when he founded his own firm, the Robinson Helicopter Company. Its R22 helicopter received FAA certification in 1979. In the mid-1980s, Robinson introduced the four-seat model R44. The R44 line quickly expanded to offer the R44 Electric News Gathering helicopter, and the specially equipped R44 Police helicopter. By 1988, Robinson was producing more light helicopters than any other manufacturer. In 2002, Robinson introduced the Raven II, which used a fuel-injected R44 engine, and became a popular model. In 2007, Robinson designed the R66 Turbine helicopter engine, which received FAA certification in 2010, and filled a void in the small helicopter market. Today, Robinson Helicopter is the world’s leading producer of civil helicopters in terms of units sold. Robinson retired as President and Chairman of his company in 2010.
Robinson is a Technical Fellow of AHS International, a full member of the Society of Experimental Test Pilots, and a member of the U.S. National Academy of Engineering. Among his numerous honors are the Southern California Aeronautic Association’s 2004 Howard Hughes Memorial Award; the Federation Aeronautique Internationale’s 2001 Paul Tissandier Diploma; the Society of Experimental Test Pilot’s 1997 Doolittle Award; and AHS International’s Igor I. Sikorsky International Trophy in both 1990 and 1991. In 2000, Robinson was inducted into Aviation Week’s “Laureates Hall of Fame” as a “Laurels Legend.”
AIAA is the world’s largest technical society dedicated to the global aerospace profession. With more than 35,000 individual members worldwide, and100 corporate members, AIAA brings together industry, academia, and government to advance engineering and science in aviation, space, and defense.