For the first time in history, full-scale electric-powered aircraft have performed in competition, taking the top two spots in the CAFE Green Flight Challenge, organized in part by NASA. According to a story at Government Computer News, the winning team, Pipistrel-USA.com, based at Penn State University, took the first prize of $1.35 million — the largest prize ever awarded in aviation. Team eGenius of Ramona, Calif., took the second prize of $120,000. Both were electric-powered and both achieved twice the required fuel efficiency, using the electric equivalent of just over a half-gallon of fuel per passenger, NASA said. The story quotes Jack Langelaan, a Penn State aeronautics professor and Pipistrel team leader, who noted that considering the 8 cents per kilowatt-hour charged in central Pennsylvania, it would cost $7 to charge his Pipistrel G-4 for a two-hour flight. He continues: “Two years ago, the thought of flying 200 miles at 100 mph in an electric aircraft was pure science fiction. Now, we are all looking forward to the future of electric aviation.”
About Janice Wood
Janice Wood is editor of General Aviation News.
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