Erik Lindbergh, the grandson of Charles and Anne Morrow Lindbergh, is adding his support for electric aircraft development by some of aviation’s “first families,” including members of the Wright, Zeppelin, Piccard, Dornier, Sikorsky and Lindbergh families, along with HSH Prince Albert II of Monaco.
“Electric aviation is our new horizon,” Lindbergh said at Sun ’n Fun. “It represents a cleaner, quieter and safer future in air travel.”
Members of the pioneering aviation families will come together with Prince Albert April 13 during a forum at the Aero general aviation show in Friedrichshafen, Germany. The forum will be presented by LEAP, a nonprofit organization founded by Lindbergh to promote solutions to social, technical and environmental problems. LEAP is also the grantor of the Lindbergh Electric Aircraft Prize, which will be awarded at the Aero show.
Sikorsky Innovations, the technology development organization of Sikorsky Aircraft Corp., will co-sponsor the LEAP forum with the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation.
LEAP’s forum will feature Lindbergh; Sergei Sikorsky (son of Igor, who created the first single-rotor, mass-produced helicopter); Amanda Wright Lane (great-grandniece of airplane inventors Orville and Wilbur Wright); Wolfgang von Zeppelin (great-great-grandnephew of Count Ferdinand von Zeppelin, developer of the eponymous lighter-than-air ship); Bertrand Piccard (founder of Solar Impulse, captain of the first nonstop round-the-world balloon flight, and grandson of Auguste Piccard, inventor of the pressurized cockpit and stratospheric balloon); and Cornelius Dornier (grandson of flying boat innovator Claude Dornier).
Prince Albert is also a well-known booster of clean flight. Among the projects he’s supported is Piccard’s Solar Impulse initiative to develop a plane that will fly around the globe powered strictly by sunlight.
Lindbergh spoke at Sun ’n Fun with members from the LEAP Student Team at Hale Academy high school in Ocala, Fla. The LEAP team is documenting and working with Embry Riddle Aeronautical University students on that school’s “Eco-Eagle” electric aircraft, which will be entered in the NASA Green Flight Challenge. LEAP Student Teams identify problems, research solutions with leading thinkers and document their findings on videos. Their work is a key component of LEAP’s support for developing a new generation of innovators.
“The future of flight doesn’t lay solely in technology,” Lindbergh said. “It’s in the hands of our kids. It can’t happen without passionate young people engaged in creating a better future.”
For more information: LindberghPrize.org