On September 21, 2019, the University of Maryland's First-Year Innovation & Research Experience AUS (Autonomous Unmanned Systems) Team supported the Vertical Flight Society's booth at the annual Hispanic Innovators in Air & Space Family Day in downtown DC's National Air & Space Museum. This public STEM outreach event, which drew over 11,000 visitors, celebrated past and current Hispanic engineers and scientists during Hispanic Heritage Month. At the VFS booth, UMD engineering students allowed the audience to pilot a custom-built tethered quadcopter using a simple transmitter, and learned about pitch, roll and yaw movements. Many were able to achieve a 360-degree bank turn after several attempts with adjusting the controls. Children and adults also tried piloting a FPV drone simulator and exploring the quadcopter's movement on a computer screen, with guidance from the booth volunteers. Attendees also learned about Juan de la Cierva, a Spanish engineer who invented the autogiro, a precursor to the helicopter. Over 640 people came by the booth to gain hands-on experience in vertical flight technology as well as learn about the Vertical Flight Society's mission, resources, and events.
For more photos, please visit the event album on the VFS Photo Gallery.