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Design news 'Engineer of the year' award goes to lift fan inventor at Lockheed M

February 26, 2004 (by Lieven Dewitte) - Paul Bevilaqua, chief engineer of Advanced Development Projects at Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Co., has received Design News magazine's Engineer of the Year award, the publication's highest honor.
Design News presented the award this week in Chicago during the National Design Engineering Show.

Bevilaqua played a leading role in creating the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter concept by inventing the shaft-driven lift fan and showing how it could be used to design a family of short-takeoff/vertical landing (STOVL) and conventional variants of the same aircraft. The counter-rotating fan, mounted horizontally behind the airplane's cockpit, works automatically with a vectoring rear engine nozzle to produce unprecedented lifting force during short takeoffs, vertical landings and hovers. Rolls-Royce, under contract to Pratt & Whitney, is developing the lift fan for all future STOVL F-35s.

"The lift fan is a revolutionary leap in propulsion technology that will enable aircraft to do what they've never done before - take off and land vertically, and operate routinely at supersonic speeds," said Tom Burbage, Lockheed Martin executive vice president and general manager of the F-35 JSF program. "It's a transformational technology, and Paul Bevilaqua's contributions to the success of the Lockheed Martin Joint Strike Fighter program cannot be overstated. He very much deserves this recognition."

In August 2001, the lift fan-equipped Lockheed Martin JSF X-35B completed history's first short takeoff, level supersonic dash and vertical landing in a single flight. The feat was repeated a week later. On Oct. 26, 2001, the Lockheed Martin-led JSF team won the competition to develop the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter.