Green Flight Competition

This challenge originated in 2007 as the Personal Air Vehicle Challenge and in 2008 it was called the General Aviation Technology Challenge. In those challenges the teams demonstrated light aircraft that incorporate improvements to maximize fuel efficiency, reduce noise and improve safety. These innovations are intended to result in aircraft with less negative impacts on the environment and on their communities. These are features that might be applied in the full range of private, commercial and military aircraft of the future. Awards totaling $250,000 were made in the 2007 competition and awards totaling $97,000 were made in 2008.

The next aviation challenge will focus more directly on efficiency and will be called the Green Flight Challenge. The aircraft will still need to meet stringent safety and noise requirements as well as reasonable speed and range. The driving requirement will be to exceed an equivalent fuel-efficiency of 200 passenger miles per gallon.

To compute the equivalence, the energy content of the electricity or fuel will be compared to one gallon of gasoline. The expectation is that electric, bio-fueled and hybrid-powered aircraft will compete. The competition will not be held until the summer of 2011, so that teams have time to develop and test truly novel aircraft.

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