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Tharon also envisions power generation inherent to the pod design. Self charging fuel cells inside the pods doors would enable survivors and first responders to generate electric­ ity to power lights and radios, and to recharge batteries and electronic devices, such as cell phones. The pod also would serve as part of a cellular com­ munication network.

“I came up with the idea for F.L.E.A because there have been a lot of natural disasters happen­ ing in the world lately,” said Tharon. “During those disasters there was little communication or electricity to help those in need. F.L.E.A. would help them to quickly get the materials and help they need to survive.” Tharon said he sees the unmanned F.L.E.A. aircraft as an autonomous vehicle monitored by an operator across a satellite data link. And like a hybrid car, the aircraft would fly using a mix of aviation fuel and electricity generated by onboard fuel cells. Four judges (two each from Sikorsky and By Kids for Kids) assessed the 15 finalists selected from the Helicopter 2050 Challenge, which was presented online, and via selected muse­ ums as a summer education pro­ gram. Judges scored each entry for concept uniqueness, the full­ ness of the idea’s description, and creativity of presentation. “Tharon had a complete and very well­thought out entry,” said Vern Van Fleet, a mechani­ cal engineer at Sikorsky, who helped judge the final 15. “He was very detailed and creative in how he presented his concept with photos, sketches and ideas. His entry made you understand how the concept could be use­


As a 10th grader at Lindhurst High School, Olivehurst, Calif., Tharon enjoys hanging out with friends, playing basketball and fishing. He would like to own a business when he is older and to be a role model for kids to fol­ low their entrepreneurial dreams.

“Youth and technology are two of the most powerful forces changing our world,” said Judy Bankowski, Vice President and Chief Information Officer at Sikorsky. “I am amazed by the creativeness of the entries, and excited that Sikorsky could give these kids the opportunity to think outside the box and to visualize what might actually be possible in another 40 years,” Bankowski added.

Sikorsky sponsored the Helicopter 2050 Challenge as part of its Science, Technology, Engineering, Math (STEM) pro­ gram that inspires kids to become engineers. Sikorsky and By Kids For Kids are expected to repeat the Helicopter 2050 Challenge during the summer of 2012. ◆

RPMN’s Lyn Burks

Nominated for Prestigious HAI “Excellence in Communication” Award

Rotorcraft Pro Media Network’s Online Editor, Lyn Burks has been nominated for the Helicopter Association International’s 2012 Excellence in Communications award. This award is given to the indi­ vidual or organization achieving the most creative and distinct dissemination of information about the helicopter.


FAA Announces Changes to The BARR Program

“We are delighted that Lyn has again been nominated for this prestigious award, “ stat­ ed RPMN Group Publisher Brig Bearden. “Lyn’s contri­ butions to the rotorcraft industry, through his tireless efforts to encourage and mentor young pilots are well known. Online, in print, or through his professional development seminars, Lyn has been a steady voice of inspiration to those in the early years of their careers. That he has been now twice nominated speaks volumes,” added Bearden.

Long known as the man behind,, and, Lyn has also authored a considerable body of work through his writings in Rotorcraft Pro. Traveling throughout the world, Lyn brings a uniquely straightforward approach to his writing in an effort to cap­ ture the reader’s interest. “The competition for this award is tough, that we know. But we are confident Lyn’s body of work will stand above the rest. I do not envy the judges this time around,” concluded Mr. Bearden. ◆

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) recently announced that, effective immediately, general aviation or on­demand charter aircraft owners or operators seeking to keep their aircraft’s regis­ tration number from being displayed over public data sys­ tems during flight no longer need to submit a Certified Security Concern to the FAA. As a result of language in the fiscal year 2012 appropria­ tions bill, the FAA is withdraw­ ing its June 3, 2011 policy (76 Fed. Reg. 32,258­32,265) of requiring aircraft owners or operators to submit a Certified Security Concern in order to have their aircraft tail number blocked from view on the FAA’s Aircraft Situation Display to Industry (ASDI) or National Airspace System Status Information (NASSI). Owners and operators seeking to have their aircraft tail number blocked from these data feeds can now sub­ mit a blocking request directly to the FAA without stating a reason for the request. The FAA has already begun receiv­ ing requests under the new appropriations language and is processing them.

This change will be reflect­ ed in the FAA’s interim policy, which will be posted to the FAA Docket and published in the Federal Register as soon as possible. The FAA is devel­ oping a permanent policy that will be posted in the Federal Register for public comment early next year. ◆


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