Lockheed Martin Avionics Integration Pioneer Receives Helicopter Industry's Highest Honorary Award
OWEGO, NY, 10-JUN-04 -- The American Helicopter Society (AHS) has honored retired Lockheed Martin [NYSE:LMT] employee Cecil Richardson with an Honorary Fellowship, its highest award.
Richardson, a resident of Endicott, NY, received his award June 9 at the AHS annual forum awards dinner in Baltimore, MD. He was cited for his 38 years of service to the society as both a member and a technical leader, most recently as deputy director for Systems Integration responsible for four technical committees. The 6,000-member AHS is the world's leading technical professional society dedicated to the advancement of vertical flight technology.
Aerospace engineers from Lockheed Martin, Boeing, Northrop Grumman, Sikorsky, Bell Helicopter Textron, and the U.S. military were among those who endorsed Richardson's nomination. Cecil has been a significant contributor to the growth of avionics technology in the rotorcraft industry, said Marc W. Sheffler, a former director of the AHS' Technical Council.
Time and again, Cecil proved himself to be a technical leader of great vision and insight in the field of helicopter avionics and systems integration, said Frank C. Meyer, president of Lockheed Martin Systems Integration - Owego where Richardson worked since 1972. His early work involving integrated avionics systems was truly revolutionary. We are very proud of his numerous accomplishments, which clearly distinguished him as a guiding force within Lockheed Martin Corporation and throughout the rotary wing industry.
During his 43-year career as an electrical engineer specializing in helicopter avionics, Richardson provided technical leadership on a number of groundbreaking programs.
- As chief engineer in the 1970s for the U.S. Navy's anti-submarine and fleet defense helicopter -- the SH-60B LAMPS Mark III Seahawk -- Richardson developed architectural designs that enable multiple pieces of electronic mission equipment and computer software to interact during the aircraft's operation. Deployed in 1983, the LAMPS system remains one of the Navy's most successful maritime programs.
- From 1982 to 1988, he architected advances in avionics integration that reduce pilot workload in combat search and rescue aircraft. Automation of navigation and communications functions, and a full glass cockpit with TV-like displays showing data from multiple instruments, were among breakthrough technologies that enabled the U.S. Air Force to demonstrate nighttime combat search and rescue missions. By decade's end, his fully integrated cockpit designs were being installed aboard MC-130 Combat Talon aircraft, a fixed wing aircraft still flown by special operations forces. Adaptations of this highly integrated avionic and glass cockpit architecture currently are in use by U.S. Army MH-60K and MH47E special operations helicopters in Afghanistan and Iraq.
- During the 1990s, Richardson provided technical leadership on situational awareness for Air Force helicopters, as well as an integrated weapons system upgrade study for the AH-1W Cobra. He also provided technical design reviews of the avionics systems for the EH101 Merlin anti-submarine helicopter fleet, which Lockheed Martin integrated for Britain's Royal Navy.
- Most recently, Richardson participated on a wise owl review team for Lockheed Martin's first foray into rotary wing unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) with the Unmanned Combat Armed Reconnaissance (UCAR) program. The Owego facility currently leads a multi-industry team competing to develop the U.S. Army UAV.
Prior to working for Lockheed Martin, Richardson studied and developed ways the U.S. Air Force's HH-53 Jolly Green Giant helicopters could rescue downed airmen at night -- an urgent need during the Vietnam War. His concepts were later fielded in the MH-53J Pave Low III special operations helicopters, which are still operational. In addition, as lead avionics engineer for the U.S. Army's proposed UH-60 Black Hawk utility helicopter, Richardson analyzed ways to make the aircraft less visible to enemy radar. He also generated the plan to install advanced avionics technology into the cockpit. These accomplishments occurred from 1961 to 1973 while employed by Sikorsky Aircraft Company.
At the awards dinner, the AHS also recognized Richardson for the more than 30 technical reports and papers he has published relating to avionics systems integration.
Honorary Fellowships are granted to AHS members whose work toward the interests of the Society constitutes an outstanding achievement. The society grants just two Honorary Fellowship awards each year. Richardson will receive lifetime membership in the Alexandria, VA-based society.
Richardson lives with his wife Jerilynn in Crestview Heights, Endicott. They have a son and daughter, and two grandchildren. In retirement, he intends to author an archival paper for the American Helicopter Society that documents the evolution of advanced avionics and integrated avionics systems related to helicopter usage during the last 50 years.