This is an excerpt from EERE Network News, a weekly electronic newsletter.

October 12, 2011

Fuel Efficiency Flight Challenge Winner Crowned

Photo of an aircraft soaring in the sky.

The e-Genius, a glider with an electric motor, finished second in the CAFE Green Flight Challenge in California.
Credit: e-Genius Team/Eric Raymond

NASA awarded $1.65 million on October 3 for the Green Flight Challenge, a competition designed to spark the start of the electric airplane industry. Team of State College, Pennsylvania, claimed the first place prize of $1.35 million, with team e-Genius, of Ramona, California, taking the second place prize of $120,000. NASA and the Comparative Aircraft Flight Efficiency Foundation held the inaugural event, sponsored by Google, at the Sonoma County Airport in Santa Rosa, California.

Fourteen teams with electric, biofueled, and hybrid-powered aircraft originally registered for the competition, and three teams met all requirements to soar in the skies. To win, an aircraft had to fly 200 miles in less than two hours and use less than one gallon of fuel per occupant, or the equivalent in electricity. The first and second place teams, which were both electric-powered, achieved twice the fuel efficiency requirement by using just over a half-gallon of fuel equivalent per passenger. The competition is part of the NASA Centennial Challenges program. It is designed to stimulate private sector investment in solving technical problems. See the NASA press release.