Faculty Directory

Datta, Anubhav

Datta, Anubhav

Associate Professor
Aerospace Engineering
Alfred Gessow Rotorcraft Center
3125 Glenn Martin Hall


  • Ph.D., 2004, University of Maryland (Aerospace Engineering)
  • B. Tech, 1998, Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur (Aerospace Engineering)


Datta and his research group study the aeromechanics of advanced vertical lift aircraft. The major areas of research are: electric-VTOL (eVTOL), high-speed tiltrotors, scalable-3D structures, and Mars helicopters. Before joining Maryland, Datta was at the U.S. Army Aviation Development Directorate at NASA Ames Research Center for 9 years. At Ames, he worked on the full-scale wind-tunnel testing of the UH-60A Black Hawk rotor, development of a scalable-3D aeroelastic solver - X3D, design of eVTOL aircraft, and aeromechanics of the JPL Mars Helicopter (Ingenuity). During 2008-2013, he served as the structural dynamics lead of DOD's CREATE-AV software: Helios --- a high-fidelity HPC tool for the design and analysis of future vertical lift aircraft. Datta was the Founding Chair of the eVTOL Technical Committee of the Vertical Flight Society (VFS) (formerly the American Helicopter Society (AHS)) and a founding member and technical advisor to the VFS Hydrogen Council. He served/serves as a member of the VFS Dynamics Technical Committee (2009-2012, 2016-2019),  VFS Alfred Gessow Best Paper Committee (2018-2020), Chair of VFS eVTOL Technical Committee (2019-2022), U.S. Army's Vertical Lift Research Center of Excellence review committee (2012-2015), Chair of NASA Aeronautics Research Institute (NARI)'s working group-2 on commercial intra-city Urban Air Mobility (2017-2018), AIAA Structural Dynamics Technical Committee (2012-present), as Chair of its Conferences Sub-committee (2016-2022), as Vice-Chair of the Committee (2022-cont), and as Associate Editor of the Journal of the American Helicopter Society (2009-cont). 


  • 2022 Best Paper Award in eVTOL, VFS

                   Emily Fisler & Anubhav Datta, "Fabrication, Testing, and Comparative Analysis of Lithium Sulfur and Lithium-ion Electrochemistries," VFS Annual Forum-78, Dallas, TX, May 9-13, 2022

  • 2022 Howard Hughes Award, VFS

                    Mars Helicopter Ingenuity Team: NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), NASA Ames and Langley Research Centers, Lockheed Martin Space, AeroVironment, Qualcomm, SolAero and University of Maryland. "For accomplishing the first powered flight on another planet on April 19, 2021, with a 39.1 sec. flight of the 4-lb (1.8-kg) Ingenuity helicopter on Mars."

  • 2022 Elected Vice-Chair of AIAA Structural Dynamics Technical Committee
  • 2021 Best Paper Award in Structural Dynamics, AIAA

                    Seyhan Gul & Anubhav Datta, "Fundamental Understanding and Prediction of Loads and Stability of a Full-scale Hingeless Tiltrotor," Paper AIAA 2021-0090, SciTech 2021, Virtual, 11–15 & 19–21 January 2021

  • 2021 Best Paper Award in Dynamics, VFS

                     Seyhan Gul & Anubhav Datta, "Aeroelastic Loads and Stability of Swept-Tip Hingeless Tiltrotors Toward 400 knots Flutter-Free Cruise," VFS Annual Forum-76, Virtual, May 10-14, 2021

  • 2021 Best Paper Award in Advanced Vertical Flight, VFS

                     Cheng Chi, Ravi Lumba & Anubhav Datta, "Structural Design and Aeromechanical Analysis of a Next-Generation Mars Hexacopter Rotor," VFS Annual Forum-76, Virtual, May 10-14, 2021

  • 2020 Forum Technical Chair,  VFS Annual Forum-76
  • 2019 Elected Founding Chair of VFS Electric-VTOL Technical Committee
  • 2017 Keynote at the Electric & Hybrid Aerospace Technology Symposium, Cologne, Germany
  • 2012 Keynote at the inaugural Asian-Australian Rotorcraft Forum, S Korea, Busan
  • 2012 Group Achievement Award, NASA, for Full-scale UH-60A Black Hawk Airloads Testing
  • 2011 13-th Agusta Westland Distinguished Guest Lecture, Agusta Westland Finmeccanica (now Leonardo), Italy
  • 2011 Technical Excellence in Publications Award, NASA
  • 2011 Best Paper Award in Dynamics & Alfred Gessow Forum Best Paper, AHS
  • 2011 Grover E. Bell Award, AHS

                      UH-60 Wind-Tunnel Airloads Test Team: US Army, US Air Force, NASA, and The National Full-Scale Aerodynamics Complex(NFAC). "For successfully completing the most intricate and extensive testing ever performed on a full-scale rotor system."

  • 2009 Best Paper Award in Advanced Vertical Flight, AHS
  • 2009 Best Paper Award in Dynamics, AHS
  • 2007 Group Achievement Award for breakthrough in unsteady aerodynamic modeling, U.S. Army
  • 2006 Francois Xavier Bagnoud Award for contributions to rotorcraft under age 35, AHS
  • 2005 Best Paper Award in Dynamics, AHS
  • 2003 Best Paper Award in Dynamics, AHS
  • 2002 Best Paper Award in Dynamics, AHS


  • High-speed tiltrotors
  • Rotorcraft 3-D structural dynamics & aeromechanics
  • Electric-VTOL
  • Mars Helicopters





1. High-Speed Tiltrotors

  • Fundamental understanding of whirl-flutter and vibratory loads through wind-tunnel tests (8- by 11-ft, 200 knot, Glenn L. Martin tunnel) and comprehensive analysis (UMARC-II)
  • Tiltrotors with advanced blade shapes
  • Tiltrotors with hingeless hubs
  • Aero-electric behavior of electrically driven tiltrotors

2. Scalable 3-D Structures

  • Development of parallel and scalable 3-D Finite Element-multibody -based rotor aeroelastic solver (X3D)
  • 3-D fluid-structure interface
  • Fundamental understanding of 3-D stresses on lift-offset coaxial rotors through advanced CFD-X3D coupling
  • Fundamental understanding of double-anhedral tip rotors through analysis and wind-tunnel tests

3. Electric-VTOL

  • Engine-generator-motor -based distributed power systems for multi-rotor eVTOL aircraft
  • Hydrogen fuel-cells for design of eVTOL aircraft
  • Li-Sulfur batteries for design of eVTOL aircraft
  • Interactional wake and vibratory loads on large multirotor aircraft

4. Mars Helicopter

  • Structural and aeromechanical design of next-generation Mars Helicopters
  • Fabrication and chamber tests of low tip Reynolds number (1,000-15,000) rotors
  • 3-D computer vision for feature-detection and autonomous landing
  • Flight dynamics and control of helicopters on Mars

  • Helicopter Dynamics I
  • Helicopter Dynamics II
  • Short courses on Electric-VTOL
    • VFS, Annual Forum, 2018-cont
    • Naval Test Pilot School, 2018
    • AIAA, Aviation Forum, 2019
    • VFS, 7-th Annual eVTOL Symposium, 2020
    • Air Force, Agility Prime, 2020
    • AIAA-VFS joint course, 2023

Journal Papers


  1. Lumba, R., Chi, C., Datta, A., Koning, W., Perez, N. P., Cummings, H. "Structural Design and Aeromechanical Analysis of Unconventional Blades for Future Mars Rotorcraft," Journal of the American Helicopter Society, Vol. 68, Article in Advance, April 2023, pp. 1-17. PDF iconLuChDaNASA_JAHS2023.pdf
  2. Chi, C., Datta, A. and Panda, B., "Vacuum and Hover Tests of a Dihedral-Anhedral Tip Composite Rotor," Journal of Aircraft, Article in Advance, April 2023. PDF iconChDaPa_JA2023.pdf
  3. Lumba, R. and Datta, A., "Scalable mesh partitioning for multibody-3D finite element based rotary-wing structures," Computers and Structures, Vol. 281, June 2023, pp. 1-21. PDF iconLuDa_CS2023.pdf
  4. Sutherland, J. and Datta, A., "Fabrication, Testing and 3D Comprehensive Analysis of Swept-Tip Tiltrotor Blades," Journal of the American Helicopter Society, Vol. 68, (1), January 2023, pp. 1-17.
  5. Gul, S. and Datta, A., "Aeroelastic Loads and Stability of Swept-Tip Hingeless Tiltrotors toward High-Speed Instability-Free Cruise," Journal of the American Helicopter Society, Vol. 68, (1), January 2023, pp. 1-18. PDF iconGuDa_JAHS2023.pdf
  6. Gul, S. and Datta, A., "Development of an Aeromechanics Solver for Loads and Stability of Hingeless Tiltrotors," Journal of Aircraft, Vol. 60, (1), pp. 143-159, January 2023. PDF iconGuDa_JA2023.pdf
  7. Maurya, S., Chopra, I. and Datta, A., "Steady and Unsteady Hover Test of a Lift Compounding Rotorcraft," Journal of Aircraft, Vol. 60, (1), pp. 130-142, January 2023.


  1. Chi, C., Lumba, R., Jung, Y. S. and Datta, A., "Aeromechanical Analysis of a Next-Generation Mars Hexacopter Rotor," Journal of Aircraft, Vol. 59, (6), November-December 2022, pp 1463-1477.PDF iconCLJD_JA2022.pdf


  1. Patil, M. and Datta, A., "A Scalable Time-Parallel Solution of Periodic Rotor Dynamics in X3D," Journal of the American Helicopter Society, Vol. 66, (4), October 2021, pp. 1-16.PDF iconDP_JAHS2021.pdf
  2. Datta, A., NASA/CR 2021-0000284, "PEM Fuel Cell MODEL for Conceptual Design of Hydrogen eVTOL Aircraft," National Aeronautics and Space Administration, Ames Research Center, January 2021, pp. 1-273. http://ntrs.nasa.gov/citations/20210000284
  3. Escobar, D., Chopra, I., and Datta, A., "High-Fidelity Aeromechanical Analysis of Coaxial Mars Helicopter," Journal of Aircraft, Vol. 58, (3), May 2021, pp. 609-623.
  4. Mills, B. and Datta, A. "Fundamental Studies of Variable-Voltage Hybrid-Electric Powertrains," Journal of the American Helicopter Society, Vol. 66, (2), April 2021.
  5. Chi, C. et al., "Three-Dimensional Strains on Twisted and Swept Composite Rotor Blades in Vacuum," Journal of Aircraft, Vol. 58, (1), January-February 2021.
  6. Ng, W., Patil, M., and Datta, A., "Hydrogen Fuel Cell and Battery Hybrid Architecture for Range Extension of Electric VTOL (eVTOL) Aircraft," Journal of the American Helicopter Society, Vol. 66, (1), January 2021. NPD_JAHS2021.pdf


  1. Johnson, W. et al., NASA/TM 2020-220485, "Mars Science Helicopter Conceptual Design," National Aeronautics and Space Administration, Ames Research Center, March 2020. http://ntrs.nasa.gov/citations/20200002139


  1. Ng, W. and Datta, A., "Hydrogen Fuel Cells and Batteries for Electric-Vertical Take Off and Landing Aircraft,'' Journal of Aircraft, Vol. 56, (5), September 2019, pp. 1765-1782.PDF iconND_JA2019.pdf
  2. Staruk, W. and Datta, A., "Gimballed Tiltrotor Conversion Flight Loads Prediction using 3-D Structural Analysis,'' Journal of Aircraft, Vol. 56, (2), March 2019.


  1. Ward, E., Chopra, I., and Datta, A., "Rotation-Frequency-Driven Extension-Torsion Coupled Self-Twisting Rotor Blades,'' Journal of Aircraft, Vol. 55, (5), September 2018.
  2. Staruk, W., Datta, A., Chopra, I., and Jayaraman, B., "An Integrated Three-Dimensional Aeromechanics Analysis of the NASA Tilt Rotor Aeroacoustic Model," Journal of the American Helicopter Society, Vol. 63, (3), July 2018.


  1. Potsdam, M., Datta, A., and Jayaraman, B., "Computational Investigation and Fundamental Understanding of a Slowed Rotor at High Advance Ratios,'' Journal of the American Helicopter Society, Vol. 61, (2), April 2016.


  1. Datta, A. and Johnson, W., "Power Plant Design and Performance Analysis of a Manned All-Electric Helicopter'' Journal of Propulsion and Power, Vol. 30, (2), March 2014, pp. 490-505.PDF iconDJ_JPP2014.pdf
  2. Datta, A., Yeo, H. and Norman, T. R., "Experimental Investigation and Fundamental Understanding of a Slowed Rotor at High Advance Ratios,'' Journal of the American Helicopter Society, Vol. 58, (2), April 2013.
  3. Sitaraman, J., Potsdam, M., Wissink, A., Jayaraman, B., Datta, A., Mavriplis, D., and Saberi, H., "Rotor Loads Prediction Using Helios: A Multisolver Framework for Rotorcraft Aeromechanics Analysis," Journal of Aircraft, Vol. 50, (2), March-April 2013, pp. 478-492.
  4. Choi, S., Datta, A., and Alonso, J. "Prediction of Helicopter Rotor Loads using Time-Spectral CFD and An Exact Fluid-Structure Interface,'' Journal of the American Helicopter Society, Vol. 56, (4), October 2011.
  5. Datta, A. and Johnson, W., "Three-dimensional Finite Element Formulation and Scalable Domain Decomposition for High Fidelity Rotor Dynamic Analysis,'' Journal of the American Helicopter Society, Vol. 56, (2), July 2011.

Selected Conference Papers:

  • Tsai, F., Sutherland-Foggio, J., Datta, A., and Privett, D.  "The Maryland Tiltrotor Rig (MTR) - The Baseline Gimballed Hub," American Helicopter Society Annual Forum 75, Philadelphia, May 13-16, 2019.
  • Datta, A., Tsai, F., and Sutherland-Foggio, J., "Design of a New Tiltrotor Test Facility at the University of Maryland,'' AIAA Paper 2019-2136, SciTech Forum, San Diego, CA, Jan 7-11, 2019.
  • Datta, A., "X3D --- A 3D Solid Finite Element Multibody Dynamic Analysis for Rotorcraft,'' American Helicopter Society Technical Meeting on Aeromechanics Design for Vertical Lift, San Francisco, CA, January 20-22, 2016.
  • Norman, T. R., Shinoda, P., Peterson, R. L. and Datta, A., "Full-Scale Wind Tunnel Test of the UH-60A Airloads Rotor,'' American Helicopter Society Annual Forum 67, Virginia Beach, May 3–5, 2011.

UMD Team Lands First Place in VFS Competition

Students’ entry achieves breakthroughs in speed, versatility.

Arace, Datta Land VFS Best Paper Award for eVTOL Research

UMD researchers gain new insights into the performance of hybrid engines for aircraft.

Seven UMD Students Receive Vertical Flight Foundation Scholarships

UMD students represent a third of total 2023 VFF Scholarship recipients.

UMD’s Chopra: A Driving Force in Rotorcraft Engineering

AIAA honors longtime professor for seminal schievements.

UMD Hosts First High-Speed Rotorcraft Workshop

Landmark event signals dedication to maintaining technological edge.

Ingenuity Helicopter Team Wins Howard Hughes Award

UMD aerospace engineers contributed significantly to the design of the history-making rotorcraft.

Celebrating Women in Aerospace Engineering: Elizabeth Ward

As an undergraduate, Ward was fascinated by the V22-Osprey aircraft—in her words, “the coolest piece of engineering I have ever seen.” Today she works for the V-22 program.

A New Spin on a Classic da Vinci Design

UMD students build working prototype inspired by Leonardo da Vinci’s aerial screw.

Alumnus Wins Alfred Gessow Award at Vertical Flight Society’s Forum 77

Aerospace engineering faculty and students also among forum’s best paper selections.

Six UMD Students Win VFS Vertical Flight Foundation Scholarships

Vertical Flight Foundation Scholarships recognize the world’s most talented engineering students interested in vertical flight.

Brandyn Phillips Wins 2020/2021 Aerospace Corporation Fellowship

Annual fellowship recognizes outstanding students who are veterans or children of veterans.

Sutherland Wins First Place in SAMPE Research Competition

Aerospace Engineering Ph.D. student James Sutherland takes top spot in SAMPE University Research Symposium competition.

Modernizing da Vinci’s Designs

UMD teams take top spots in 2020 VFS design competition to re-imagine Leonardo da Vinci’s aerial

Engineering Graduate Students Win UMD 3MT Competition

Three Clark School graduate students were among the university's 2020 Three Minute Thesis (3MT) winners.

Congratulations to Aerospace Engineering’s 2020 Honors and Award Recipients

2020 graduates recognized for their outstanding, service, and leadership.

Nine UMD Students Awarded 2020 Vertical Flight Foundation Scholarships

Aerospace Engineering students receive nine out of 29 awarded Vertical Flight Foundation Scholarships.

Envisioning the Future of Urban Transportation

Could lightweight electric vertical takeoff and landing aircraft be a solution for urban congestion?

UMD Aerospace Engineering Students Receive VFF Scholarships

Six students received scholarships from the Vertical Flight Foundation (VFF), the philanthropic arm of the Vertical Flight Society (VFS).

Four UMD Aerospace Engineering Students Named Penton Aviation Week Network’s 20 Twenties

Free, Kumar, Ng and Weinstein recognized as tomorrow’s engineering leaders.

Helicopter Society Honors Datta’s Work

AHS International selects alumnus for Bagnoud Award.