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Feature Story

Boeing Apache team members Tim Sassenrath, Anthony Asbell and John Alcorn

Kevin Smith/Boeing

Two Boeing defense programs – Apache helicopter logistics and the unmanned X-51A Waverider – along with Boeing official Rick Stephens received the prestigious Aviation Week Laureate Award at a recent Washington, D.C., ceremony. Pictured from left to right are Boeing Apache team members Tim Sassenrath, Anthony Asbell and John Alcorn.

Apache, X-51A, Stephens honored by Aviation Week

AH-64D Apache Longbow

Bob Ferguson/Boeing

An AH-64D Apache Longbow helicopter.

Two Boeing defense programs – Apache helicopter logistics and the X-51A Waverider – along with Boeing Senior Vice President of Human Resources and Administration Rick Stephens have received the prestigious Aviation Week Laureate Award.

The 54th annual Laureate Awards recognize “outstanding individuals and teams for their achievements in aviation, aerospace and defense,” according to Aviation Week.

Tim Sassenrath, director of Boeing’s Apache Rotorcraft Support, accepted the award in the Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul category on behalf of the Apache Performance-Based Logistics (PBL) team. 

“In 2010, the Apache Performance-Based Logistics (PBL) program achieved 95 percent material availability in deployed locations during a sustained surge in tempo that saw flight hours rise by 20 percent,” Aviation Week said. “The components covered by the Apache PBL program have demonstrated continuous improvement and now exceed reliability design specifications by more than 60 percent.”

An X-51A Waverider attached to the wing of a B-52 Stratofortress

U.S. Air force

An X-51A Waverider attached to the wing of a B-52 Stratofortress.

Winning the Aeronautics and Propulsion category were X-51A hypersonic vehicle team program managers Charles F. Brink of the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory’s Propulsion Directorate; Joseph Vogel of Boeing Phantom Works and George Thum of Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne. The X-51A’s scramjet engine takes in oxygen from the atmosphere, eliminating the need for rockets to carry a supply of liquid oxygen.

“On May 26, 2010, the X-51A was released from a B-52 over the Pacific and boosted to 60,000 feet, where its scramjet engine successfully ignited,” Aviation Week said. “The 143-second flight was the first to prove a scramjet could accelerate a practically designed, highly integrated vehicle in controlled flight for a substantial amount of time.”

Rick Stephens talks with students at the 2009 FIRST Robotics Competition, Midwest Regional, in Chicago

Karen Fincutter/Boeing

Boeing’s Rick Stephens, second from left, talks with students at the 2009 FIRST Robotics Competition, Midwest Regional, in Chicago. Stephens recently received an Aviation Week award for his long-time efforts to interest students in engineering careers.

Stephens won in the Workforce category. Aviation Week said Stephens “has worked to improve the public perception of scientists, mathematicians and engineers, as well as Boeing’s outreach to students through various internships, college programs and social media.”