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/.