Date of Award


Degree Name

MS in Aerospace Engineering


Aerospace Engineering


Rob McDonald


The concept of human-powered vertical flight was studied in great depth. Through the manipulation of preexisting theory and analytical methods, a collection of design tools was created to expediently conceptualize and then analyze virtually any rotor. The tools were then arranged as part of a complete helicopter rotor design process. The lessons learned as a result of studying this process—and the tools of which it consists—are presented in the following discussion. It is the belief of the author that by utilizing these tools, as well as the suggestions that accompany them, future engineers may someday build a human-powered helicopter capable of winning the Sikorsky Prize.