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

Bevilaqua Wins Guggenheim Award

The Daniel Guggenheim Medal was presented in May to Paul M. Bevilaqua, Lockheed Martin (retired), for the conception and demonstration of the multi-cycle propulsion system used in the F-35B Lightning II. The Daniel Guggenheim Medal was established in 1929 to honor innovators who make notable achievements in the advancement of aeronautics. Its first recipient was Orville Wright. The medal is jointly sponsored by the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA), AHS — The Vertical Flight Society, the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME), and SAE International.

Bevilaqua has spent much of the last four decades working on the development of vertical and/or short takeoff and landing (V/STOL) aircraft. He holds numerous patents and has made key theoretical contributions as well as practical innovations in V/STOL aircraft design.

Bevilaqua earned a Bachelor of Science in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Notre Dame, which he attended on a US Air Force Reserve Officers' Training Corps (ROTC) scholarship. He then earned a Master of Science in Engineering Science and a Ph.D. in Aeronautics and Astronautics from Purdue University. His study of turbulent wakes identified the importance of body geometry and the dominant vortices shed from the body on the spreading of the wake, making it possible to identify re-entry bodies from their wakes and establishing a new direction for turbulence research. This led to an active-duty assignment at the Aerospace Research Laboratories at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base to work on the spreading of the turbulent jets from a V/STOL search and rescue aircraft. The hypermixing nozzles he developed by introducing vortices into these jets were incorporated into the thrust augmenting ejectors of the XFV-12A interceptor aircraft being developed for the US Navy. Bevilaqua left the Air Force to become Manager of Advanced Programs at Rockwell International’s Navy aircraft plant in Ohio, where this aircraft was being developed.

The FV-12A was to be deployed on the Sea Control Ship. When this program was canceled, Bevilaqua became the chief aeronautical scientist at the Lockheed Skunk Works. He and his team were later tasked with inventing something that would lead to a new line of business for the Lockheed Aircraft Companies. The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) and the US Marine Corps subsequently approached the Skunkworks about creating a supersonic strike fighter to replace both the subsonic AV-8 Harrier and supersonic F/A-18 Hornet. Instead of an ejector lift system, Bevilaqua proposed the multi-cycle propulsion system, which can be switched from a turbofan cycle to a lift fan cycle to increase thrust for vertical lift. Based on his Air Force service, he also suggested developing a variant with a conventional engine and additional fuel to replace the F-16 Falcon.

He then led the team that demonstrated the feasibility of developing variants of this aircraft for all three US military services and international partners. His team completed the demonstration program on schedule and under budget. For demonstrating the propulsion system on the X-35 — which made a short takeoff, went supersonic, and then landed vertically, the first time any aircraft in history had accomplished this feat — the team won the Collier Trophy, which each year recognizes “the greatest achievement in aeronautics or astronautics in America.” Bevilaqua continues to provide innovation, inspiration, and enormous dedication to the advancement of V/STOL flight within the industry, at universities and through professional societies. His dedication, professionalism and many contributions represent a benchmark for the V/STOL community.

Bevilaqua was the 2013 winner of the Vertical Flight Society’s Paul E. Haueter Award. He is also an AIAA Fellow, a member of the National Academy of Engineering, and has received numerous awards for his influential work. Bevilaqua retired in 2011 as manager of the Advanced Development Programs at Lockheed Martin Corporation. He received the Guggenheim Medal at the 2018 AIAA Aerospace Spotlight Awards Gala on May 2 in Washington, D.C.

AHS Vertiflite: July/August 2018