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Twirly Birds Announces 2022 Recipient of the Prestigious Les Morris Award

Twirly Birds member, Nick Lappos, is the 2022 recipient of the Les Morris Award.

International helicopter pilot organization, Twirly Birds, has announced the 2022 recipient of the prestigious Les Morris Award is Lockheed Martin’s Senior Fellow for Rotary and Mission Systems, Nick Lappos.

An Aerospace Engineering graduate of Georgia Tech, Nick joined Sikorsky Aircraft in 1973. Through 2005 and then again from 2011 to present, he has served in a variety of roles at Sikorsky, including as program director for the S-92® helicopter during its development and certification. Under his leadership, the program earned the Robert J. Collier Trophy.

During his Sikorsky career, Nick has participated in the development of aircraft such as the S76, UH-60, RAH-66, ABC, Fantail, Shadow, Fly-by-wire demonstrator, CH-53E, S92. A former Designated Engineering Representative (DER) flight test pilot, he has been a member of several National Academy of Sciences, NASA, AHS International, FAA and Advisory Group for Aerospace Research and Development (AGARD) committees and holds over 20 patents and three helicopter world speed records.

The Les Morris award is presented annually by the Twirly Birds as lifetime achievement recognition to an individual who has made a significant contribution to the helicopter community. Aviation pioneer Les Morris is recognized as an early helicopter test pilot and innovator responsible for the early development and refinement of helicopters while at Sikorsky Aircraft.

The award will be presented to Nick at the Twirly Birds Annual Meeting in conjunction with the HAI Heli-Expo on Tuesday March 8th, 2022, beginning at 5:30 p.m. in the Omni Hotel Arts District 7 Room located in Dallas, Texas. Twirly Birds invites all members and prospective members (having soloed at least 20 years previously) to attend their meeting.

Twirly Birds was founded over 75 years ago when a small group of pilots met to share stories and the common experiences of flying helicopters during these early years of vertical flight. Among notable past members of Twirly Birds include Charles Lindbergh, Igor Sikorsky, and Stewart R. Graham, to name a few. The intent was then and is now to share the common bond of vertical flight. The group has no political or commercial interest and is by design, a social group comprised of individuals. Anyone that has soloed at least 20 years ago is encouraged to join Twirly Birds at its annual meeting in conjunction with the Heli-Expo in Dallas.

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