In 2005, NASA teamed with the Comparative Aircraft Flight Efficiency (CAFE) Foundation to host the Personal Air Vehicle Centennial Challenge (PAV CC), a $250,000 annual flight competition for small aircraft.
“PAV CC is modeled after the ‘X Prize’ and embodies NASA’s commitment to the first ‘A’ in NASA: Aeronautics,” explained CAFE President Brien Seeley.
As prizes in aviation go, this is a Big One, stepping up each year to more than half a million dollars by 2011.
“The big news is that the competition is open to LSA,” Seeley said.
PAVs are defined as “small but highly capable aircraft with two to six seats that are suitable for on-demand travel on trips of up to 800 miles.” Some key features of PAVs include: simplified operation akin to driving a car, highly fuel efficient, and able to use alternative fuels, as well as short runways.
Interested in entering the competition? Check out CafeFoundation.org, and send your Notice of Interest Letter. CAFE officials said several teams have already sent in their letters, noting space is limited to 16 teams.
The first competition will be held Aug. 4-12, in Santa Rosa, Calif.