A Prius in the Sky: The Green Flight Challenge

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The Green Report

The Green Flight Challenge is a contest of energy-efficient electric and hybrid airplanes, the first of its kind dedicated to reducing air pollution from aviation. The contest is sponsored by Google in partnership with NASA and the Comparative Aircraft Flight Efficiency (CAFE) Foundation.

The first place prize of $1.35 million, the largest in aviation history, went to team Pipstrel-USA.com. The challenge was no easy feat but three teams succeeded in completing it, according to NASA's report:

The winning 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 of the competition, meaning they flew 200 miles using just over a half-gallon of fuel equivalent per passenger. 

"Two years ago the thought of flying 200 miles at 100 mph in an electric aircraft was pure science fiction," said Jack W. Langelaan, team leader of Team Pipistrel-USA.com. "Now, we are all looking forward to the future of electric aviation." 

For more videos by NASA, visit http://www.nasa.gov/.

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Kasia Cieplak-Mayr von Baldegg is the executive producer for video at The AtlanticMore

Cieplak-Mayr von Baldegg's work in media spans documentary television, advertising, and print. As a producer in the Viewer Created Content division of Al Gore's Current TV, she acquired and produced short documentaries by independent filmmakers around the world. Post-Current, she worked as a producer and strategist at Urgent Content, developing consumer-created and branded nonfiction campaigns for clients including Cisco, Ford, and GOOD Magazine. She studied filmmaking and digital media at Harvard University, where she was co-creator and editor in chief of H BOMB Magazine.

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