A Pennsylvania company has won a $1.35 million prize from NASA for developing a highly efficient airplane power by electricity.
Pipistrel-USA.com of State College earned the top prize in the CAFE Green Flight Challenge, sponsored by Google, NASA announced Monday.
The plane developed by Pipistrel doubled the fuel efficiency requirement for the competition – flying 200 miles in less than two hours while using less than a gallon of fuel per occupant or the equivalent in electricity. The winning plane used a little more than a half-gallon of fuel per passenger for the 200-mile flight.
Team Pipistrel-USA.com was one of 14 entrants in the competition, which began two years ago. In total, the 14 teams invested $4 million in the competition, according to NASA.
"Two years ago the thought of flying 200 miles at 100 mph in an electric aircraft was pure science fiction," Jack W. Langelaan, team leader of Team Pipistrel-USA.com, said in statement. "Now, we are all looking forward to the future of electric aviation."
Second place, and a $120,000 prize, went to Team eGenius of Ramona, California, whose leader, Eric Raymond, congratulated Team Pipistrel.
The winning aircraft, the Pipistrel Taurus G4, is a four-seat, twin-fuselage aircraft powered by a 145-kilowatt brushless electric motor driving a two-blade propeller mounted on a spar between the fuselages. The plane's wingspan is about 75 feet.
"I'm proud that Pipistrel won. They've been a leader in getting these things into production, and the team really deserves it, and worked hard to win this prize," Raymond said in a NASA statement.
"Electric aircraft have moved beyond science fiction and are now in the realm of practice," Joe Parrish, acting chief technologist at NASA headquarters in Washington, said in a statement.
The planes flew last week out of Charles M. Schulz-Sonoma County Airport in California. Only three of the 14 entrants made it into the air, according to The Santa Rosa Press-Democrat. The airport is home to the Comparative Aircraft Flight Efficiency Foundation, which organized the competition with NASA.
Or if they fly that thing through one of those electromagnetic cloud vortex things over the Bermuda triangle.........
This can't be done! Nothign to see here, move along!
With a 75 foot wing span, highly impractical for use as a personal aircraft as it is too wide to use at most local airports. It certainly is not practical as a commercial aircraft.
Bert, the local airports will be modified if this becomes a standard!
The Wright borthers only flew a few feet, this airplane idea is really not practicle for commercial travel.
How are those cave paintings doing? Are they done yet?
That's funny Bert. I commercial jets wingspan can be 4 times that wide. And most of not all of them are wider than that. Silly rabbit.
yea lets just forget this whole avaition thing. just a passing fad. you are truly an idiot
Proof of concept...not a production model.
This picture was taken outside of a hanger in TX where they filmed the moon landing...
@ Boston Bean Smasher How many of those COMMERCIAL act with 4 times the wing span are built to carry only 4 people?
I see NASA gives taxpayer money away. NASA MUST BE SHUT DOWN.
This is how we move ahead. Innovation, creation, growth, and science. You wingnuts would still be living in caves if we where not all laughing at your ignorance.
Yup, Shut NASA down. Great Idea there Buddy. Then the US can fall behind the rest of the world in ANOTHER category.
It's called innovation and it cost you personally something on the order of $0.00001.
you are truly an idiot with no vision. thank god no one takes you seriously
Sorry, but you're an idiot.
Come on guys, Obviously AW is joking. No one who would read this article would have that point of view.
AW, you are too stupid to be believed. You must be joking. First people say privatize everything, then when private companies are rewarded for innovation that isn't happening at a gov. agency, you want to shut it down. Is that you Sarah? How's Todd?
So if you get money back from the IRS from your tax return should we shut them down also? You are clueless.
@ cedar rapids is that iowa??? lived there for 12 years. you guys still have all those abandoned houses from the flood? a dam shame
how did you like bruce aunie in the movie the crazies? thought that was great!
Battery powered/solar powered experimental plans have already been developed and proven with a through the night and recharge in the day flight. The limit to the length of the flight was just the piolets enduarnce. This one is only showing how energy efficient a flight can be.
Air travel is not necessary. We conservatives need to shut down these privately funded so-called advances. We also need to stop funding all the unnecessary education in this country.
Let me guess: anything not related to the bible is unnecessary, right? Believe it or not, the computer you're typing on right now was conceived by a majority of people who are not conservatives. Don't be a hypocrite: stop using technology made by liberals.
raven you forgot to take your medication today. be a good patient
Wow, no one recognizes sarcasm anymore. Raven is just giving a parody of his view of an ultraconservative. That is obvious.
Yay electric. Boo to nuclear. take away the nuclear and innovation will be neccessity.
Where do you think the electric is going to come from?
Yeah, those Wright brothers only built a one passenger airplane without seats. That was "highly impractical" and couldn't be improved. They couldn't take off or land except in a big sandy field. Oh wait, it was a prototype and it WAS improved. Just like this new electric airplane.
IF you ever invent something, bert, someone will be sure to point out its' every flaw.
Yeh, this is a fantastic achievement !!! I can't wait to see their future advancements !
I think it is great. I think it is about time that american innovation and science take its rightful place in the forefront of technology and innovation. This will revolutionize flight as we know it. Just a prediction!!!!
Yeah, except the parent company is based out of Slovenia.
Phillip, so very sorry, but NO THIS IS NOT AN AMERICAN COMPANY!!!!!!The blub who wrote this article must be a 90 year old person with a trouble of hearing. I can assume this 100%, because that is what old people here in the States hear and repeat when I tell them where I am from. SLOVENIA! And they say Pennslyvania???? No, it is Slovenia. They have no idea where that is. But, back to the article. They, PIPISTREL from Ajdovscina SLOVENIA won NASA's challange for the forth time already. Do all yourselves some favor and do some research of your own, and then come here and leave a post. :-)
Will we need the utility companies?
That is what is holding us back.
Electric and oil companies and their lobbyist.
They are trying to find out how they can make more money by making it less *on the market* for the average consumer and how they can make the most monty.
a.w. you are an idiot
@Michael ... What a brilliant, well-reasoned response.
Interesting design, getting the passenger space out of the prop airflow with a single engine. Tricky for balance and comfort, though.
* Twin engines, put the passengers back in the middle, and double the capacity.
* Adaptive wings (shape and/or sweep) to improve top speed.
[Wings that can be swept back really helps with parking at small airports too.]
Good ideas there David. Somehow I like to think you are in College or Grad School or early in your engineering career.
why the negative and stupid comments about this airplane?this is not a commercial or private aircraft. its a concept plane to prove it can be done. in the future with the technology developed here better private and commercial planes will be developed. is that so hard to understand? is like blaming the wright brothers for not making a 787 the first time.....
It's just the way people are on the Internet. It doesn't really have anything to do with the story at all, they're just looking for a soapbox to rant on.
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