Urban Air Mobility Challenge

Nick Lappos

Senior Technical Fellow, Advanced Technology

Sikorsky Aircraft

Nick Lappos is Lockheed Martin Senior Fellow for Rotary and Mission Systems. An Aerospace Engineering graduate of Georgia Tech, he 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. Lappos also served as director of Test Engineering and as assistant chief pilot and chief Research and Development test pilot, logging more than 7,500 hours of flight time in over 70 different types of helicopters. Lappos has participated in the development of aircraft such as the S76, UH-60, RAH-66, ABC, Fantail, Shadow, CH-53E, S92. He holds over 25 patents and three helicopter world speed records. He is a member of the National Academy of Engineering and their Aeronautics and Space Engineering Board and is Chairman of the NAE Committee on Advanced Air Mobility, which authored the report, ”Advancing Aerial Mobility, A National Blueprint.”


Lappos has been a vice president for Gulfstream Aerospace Corp., and a senior vice president and chief technology officer for Bell Helicopter, Textron. He has also served as Chairman of the Vertical Lift Consortium from 2012 to the present. Honors include Dean's List, Who's Who in American Colleges and Universities, Tau Beta Pi, and Sigma Gamma Tau. He was elected to the Academy of Distinguished Alumni of Georgia Tech in 2004. Lappos is also a recipient of the Sir Barnes Wallis Medal from the UK Guild of Air Pilots and Navigators in 2013 and an Honorary Fellow (2013) and Technical Fellow (1995) of the Vertical Flight Society, a three-time recipient of the Frederick Feinberg Award as most outstanding pilot. In 2019, he was awarded the VFS Nikolsky Honorary Lectureship. In 1988, he received the Society of Experimental Test Pilots Tenhoff Award. In 2021, he was appointed as an Associate Fellow in the AIAA. In 2022 he was awarded the Twirly Bird’s Les Morris Award for lifetime achievement. He is a decorated veteran of the Vietnam war, where he flew Cobra helicopters.