At the NASA Green Flight Challenge, Erik Lindbergh, founder of LEAP, announced the first winner of the Lindbergh Prize for Quietest Aircraft. The prize was awarded to e-Genius, a two-seat electric airplane piloted by team leader Eric Raymond and Klaus Ohlmann.
The plane was designed and built by University of Stuttgart Institute of Aircraft Design under the direction of Professor Rudolf Voit-Nitschmann and his assistants Len Schumann and Steffen Geinitz. Accompanying the prize was a cash award of $10,000, donated by Jean Schulz, widow of Charles M. Schulz for whom the airport where the competition took place was named.
The Lindbergh Prize for Quietest Aircraft is a new prize for LEAP, which has awarded seven prior prizes for electric aircraft development at events in Europe and the US.
The guiding principle underlying the design of the Lindbergh Prize for Quietest Aircraft was to quantify the noise impact of aircraft on the surrounding community. The testing was performed by an independent team of aero-acousticians who measured takeoff noise levels of each of the planes in the Green Flight Challenge. Measurements were taken at several points along each side of the runway to factor out variables such as crosswind noise. Noise levels of the competitors ranged from a minimum of 56dBA to a maximum of 72dBA. e-Genius won with a takeoff range of 56 – 62 dBA. By comparison, the takeoff noise of a turbofan aircraft at a similar distance is 110 dBA, over 16 times louder.
“Noise is one of the most significant social and environmental impacts of aviation,” said Erik Lindbergh. “When aircraft noise is used as a reason to close airports we all lose. This inaugural Lindbergh Prize for Quietest Aircraft recognizes significant achievements in the development of quieter aircraft and compliments our efforts to advance the electric aircraft industry. With quieter aircraft using renewable energy we can revolutionize how we travel about the planet.”
Past winners of the Lindbergh Prize for Electric Aircraft include:
1. PC-Aero: 2011 AirVenture, Vision Award
2. Pipistrel: 2011 Aero-Friedrichshafen, Best Electric Aircraft
3. LZ Design: 2011 Aero-Friedrichshafen, Best Electric Propulsion System
4. Solar Impulse: 2011 Aero-Friedrichshafen, Outstanding Achievement Award
5. Yuneec International: 2010 AirVenture, Best Electric Aircraft
6. Sonex: 2010 AirVenture, Best Electric Aircraft Subsystem
7. Lange Aviation: 2010 AirVenture, Individual Achievement Award
LEAP’s mission is to stimulate innovation for a resilient future. It accomplishes its mission through two programs: the LEAP Electric Flight Program and the LEAP Education Program.
Inspired by the legacy and determination of Erik’s grandfather Charles Lindbergh, the X PRIZE Foundation and pioneers throughout history, LEAP was founded to accelerate a new era in aviation and stimulate the ingenuity of modern innovators. LEAP does this through video showcasing, international events, prize philanthropy and its education nonprofit.
For more information: LindberghPrize.org