Editor’s Note: Over the next two years, we’ll be hosting a series of GoFly Master Lectures where industry experts share advice, insights, and answer questions from anyone interested in participating in the GoFly Prize.

For the fourth in our series of  “Master Lectures,” Dr. James Wang, Senior Vice President of Leonardo Helicopters, explains the physics of helicopter flight and operation. He examines why a helicopter is so difficult to fly, and breaks down the components of its unique rotor system.

With more than 30 years of experience in the aerospace and defense industry, Dr. James Wang was named the “Steve Jobs of Rotorcraft” in 2013 by WIRED Magazine for his ability to think “out of the box” and push the boundaries of transportation technology. He started his career at Sikorsky Aircraft, where he was known as one of the most energetic and prolific engineers; he contributed greatly to the Comanche, Black Hawk, S-92 and the Variable Diameter Tiltrotor programs.

Dr. Wang later served as Vice President of Research & Development at AugustaWestland, where he created a comprehensive technology roadmap and led design and creation of the AgustaWestland Project Zero, the world’s first all-electric VTOL technology demonstrator aircraft. He holds many patents and major international awards, including the UTC Gold Mead Award, AHS Grover Bell Award, AHS Fellow Award, and the Royal Aeronautical Society Gold Team Award.

You can watch the full lecture above. If you have follow-up questions, check out current discussions about design on the GoFly forum or start your own thread!