September 24

2020 Recipient of the VFS Supplier Excellence Award


Fairfax, VA, March 31, 2021

Vertical Flight Society Announces. 2021 Group Recipients of Its Prestigious Awards. 

Nine groups exemplify excellence in vertical flight advancements

The Vertical Flight Society today announced the 2021 group recipients of its prestigious awards program.

Since the establishment of the VFS awards program in 1944, they have paid tribute to outstanding teams in industry, government and academia working on vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) aircraft, serving as a catalyst for stimulating technological advances. 

“Since the first VTOL aircraft — the helicopter — began taking off in the 1940s, VFS has been the organization that has supported vertical flight advancements. This year’s group awards highlight the incredible technological advances and capabilities of vertical flight aircraft, and those who develop and operate them.”

Mike Hirschberg


SSI Aerostructures were delighted to be this year’s recipient of the VFS Supplier Excellence Award.

The award is given to a supplier who, through the quality, innovativeness and cost-effective technology of its products, made a notable contribution to improving the state of the art of vertical flight aircraft.

SSI Aerostructures was commended for its contribution and support to Bell’s V-280 Valor tiltrotor blade development and their recent creation of expanded polypropylene ballistic panels used on the US Navy’s CMV-22 Osprey variant exemplifies and our commitment and dedication to the support of our customers focused on advancing vertical flight.

The Vertical Flight Heritage Sites Program is intended to recognize and help preserve locations with the most noteworthy and significant contributions made in both the theory and practice of helicopter and other VTOL aircraft technology.

This year, the former Hughes Helicopter Culver City Plant — the site of all Hughes Helicopter research, development and production from 1948 to 1983 — was selected for its historic significance. The enormous Building 15 was originally constructed in 1943 for the Hughes Hercules Flying Boat (aka “The Spruce Goose”). It was the home of the Hughes XH-17 and XH-28 tipjet “flying crane” helicopters, followed by the 1960s production lines of the Model 269A/TH-55 Osage trainer and Model 369/OH-6A Cayuse observation and attack helicopter. The AH-64 Apache prototypes were also designed and developed at this site. Today it is Google’s Spruce Goose building, located in the Playa Vista neighborhood of Los Angeles, California. Learn more at

The Vertical Flight Society previously announced the winners of its individual awards for 2021, which will also be honored at the 77th Annual VFS Awards Ceremony on May 5, 2021. Descriptions of the awards and past recipients are available at .

The Vertical Flight Society was founded as the American Helicopter Society in 1943 by the pioneers of the helicopter industry, who believed that technological cooperation and collaboration was essential to advance vertical flight. VFS is the global non-profit society for engineers, scientists and others working on vertical flight technology. For more than 75 years, the Society has led technology, safety, advocacy, and other important initiatives, and has been the primary forum for interchange of information on vertical flight technology.

This press release is also available as a .


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