Born: United States of America
Primarily active in: United States of America

1940 - 2016

Kelly was born May 19, 1940 in Yonkers, New York. He grew up in the Riverdale section of the Bronx and graduated from Regis High School in Manhattan. He graduated from the University of Notre Dame in 1962 and was commissioned in the US Marine Corps. Designated as Naval Aviator in 1963, he flew for the Marine Corps, active and reserve, for 22 years.


After active military service he joined Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation. During this time he earned an MS in Electrical Engineering, an MBA, and completed the course work for a doctorate in Systems Science. Kelly retired as a senior vicepresident after 34 years of service, in charge of program management, international business, commercial business, and worldwide customer service. He led the team that won the Collier Trophy in 2002 for the design and development of the S-92 helicopter. In the Marine Corps Reserve, Kelly held four command positions in 30 years, retiring as a Colonel, the senior serving Reservist at Headquarters Marine Corps. He had accrued more than 3,500 flying hours, including the H-34, H-46, H-53, H-54 and S-92.


Kelly was an AHS Technical Fellow, as well as a senior life member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), a member of Mensa, and many other professional, civic, aviation and social organizations. He joined AHS in 1974 and was strong supporter of the AHS Vertical Flight Foundation (VFF).

Kenneth James Kelly, passed away on June 12, at home in North Fort Myers, Florida; he was 76.

AHS Update: Vertiflite September/October 2016