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Five Aircraft to Compete in NASA Green Flight Challenge

Eco Eagle
Embry-Riddle's Eco Eagle is one of the aircraft competing in the NASA/CAFE Green Flight Challenge (GFC) beginning this Sunday in Santa Rosa, California.

September 21, 2011 – Five teams are set to compete in the $1.65 million NASA/CAFE Green Flight Challenge (GFC) beginning this Sunday, September 25, at the Charles M. Schulz Sonoma County Airport in Santa Rosa, California. The competition runs through Saturday, October 1, and has the goal of advancing technologies in fuel efficiency and reduced emissions with cleaner renewable fuels and electric aircraft.

The GFC and what is claimed to be the largest aviation prize ever offered attracted 13 teams, led by American innovators. Five of the original 13 successfully completed their aircraft and flight qualification requirements and will compete for the $1.65 million, funded by NASA’s Centennial Challenges Program.

The weeklong flight competition is being conducted by the CAFE (Comparative Aircraft Flight Efficiency) Foundation and sponsored by Google. To win the main prize of $1.5 million, an aircraft must fly 200 miles in less than two hours and use less than 1 gallon of fuel per occupant, or the equivalent in electricity. If more than one aircraft meets the criteria, first place goes to the team with the best speed/efficiency combination. (See complete GFC rules here.) Other prizes awarded include a Bio-Fuel prize and Honorary Achievement prize.

The fuel efficiency competition is on Tuesday, September 27, and a speed competition is on Thursday, September 29.

GFC aircraft will be displayed free to the public at the Google Green Flight Challenge Exposition hosted by NASA at Moffett Field from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. on October 1, and winners will be announced during a ceremony scheduled for noon. The world’s first electric aircraft charging station will also be dedicated on October 1 at the CAFE Flight Test Center. The facility, sponsored by Google, is powered by more than 115 kW of clean geo-thermal energy.

The Google Green Flight Challenge Exposition will include more than 20 exhibits by companies specializing in green aviation technologies, ranging from vertical takeoff personal aircraft, autonomous vehicles, fast prototyping equipment, advanced motors, propellers, and more. Attendance is free, and advance tickets are available online here.

Here are the competing aircraft and teams in the 2011 NASA/CAFE Green Flight Challenge sponsored by Google:

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