NASA has awarded the largest prize in aviation history, created to inspire the development of more fuel-efficient aircraft and spark the start of a new electric airplane industry. The CAFE Green Flight Challenge, sponsored by Google, was managed by the Comparative Aircraft Flight Efficiency (CAFE) Foundation under an agreement with NASA.
The first-place prize of $1.35 million was awarded to team Pipistrel-USA.com of State College, PA. Second prize of $120,000 went to team eGenius, of Ramona, CA.
Fourteen teams registered for the competition, and three teams successfully met all requirements and competed at Charles M. Schulz Sonoma County Airport in Santa Rosa, CA. The winning aircraft had to fly 200 miles in less than two hours and use less than one gallon of fuel per occupant, or the equivalent in electricity. The competition marks the culmination of more than two years of aircraft design, development, and testing. It is the first time that full-scale electric aircraft have performed in competition.
This prize competition is part of the NASA Centennial Challenges program, part of the Space Technology Program managed by the NASA Office of the Chief Technologist.
For more information about the CAFE Foundation’s Green Flight Challenge, visit http://cafefoundation.org/v2/main_home.php.