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The Vertical Flight Society is the world’s oldest and largest technical society dedicated to enhancing the understanding of vertical flight technology. VFS is a non-profit, charitable educational and technical organization. Since it was founded as the American Helicopter Society (AHS) in 1943 — just as the first US helicopter was being put into service — the Society has been the primary forum for interchange of information on vertical flight technology. According to the Society Bylaws, the purpose of the Society is to “advance the theory and practices of the science of vertical flight aircraft.”
In November 2022, the VFS Board of Directors approved updates to the VFS Vision and Mission Statements, as well as a statement of the Goals & Supporting Initiatives underway by the Society: 2022 VFS Strategic Statements (pdf).
Vision
An inclusive and diverse international organization that advocates, promotes and
supports vertical flight technology, policies and professional development.
Mission
Provide opportunity for technical data exchange and dissemination; promote awareness of vertical flight capabilities, challenges and development; engage in community outreach and advocate for public policy consistent with the goals of the Society; leverage the technical base to explore innovation; and foster a diverse and inclusive environment that promotes careers and professional advancement in vertical flight.

Each year, the Society organizes or co-sponsors several regional and international conferences, symposia and workshops that facilitate the advancement of the theory and practices of helicopter and other VTOL aircraft technology, and publishes their proceedings. The Society publishes the premier vertical flight technology bi-monthly magazine, Vertiflite, as well as the world’s only peer-reviewed vertical flight technical publication, The Journal of the AHS (JAHS). The Society advocates on behalf of rotorcraft technology to the public and to government bodies, awards some two dozen annual engineering scholarships, and sponsors an annual student design competition and other challenges for undergraduate and graduate student teams. In addition, it presents two dozen annual awards to members of the vertical flight technical community for scientific and technical accomplishments, inspiring rescues and promoting the goals of the Society.

The Vertical Flight Society — formally, the American Helicopter Society (AHS) International, Incorporated — is the world’s premier professional vertical flight technical society. Since its inception in 1943, the Society has provided an international forum through which to expand the body of knowledge of vertical flight. The United States Internal Revenue Service (IRS) recognizes the Society as a 501(c)(3) charity.

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