In partnership with Google, NASA has just handed out the largest prize in aviation history as part of the 2011 CAFE Green Flight Challenge.
“Today we’ve shown that electric aircraft have moved beyond science fiction and are now in the realm of practice.” – Chief technologist at NASA Joe Parrish
Taking home a cool $1.35 million was Pipistrel-USA.com. Their ultra-efficient aircraft had to travel 200 miles on less than one gallon of fuel per passenger and do so in under two hours. Pipistrel accomplished the task on half the required fuel.
“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.”
The competition is meant to encourage innovation in the electric airplane industry and the development of fuel-efficient aircrafts. The event was sponsored by Google, who also shares a runway with NASA to park their company private jet at Moffett Field airport where the competition was held.
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This isn’t the first time Google and NASA have partnered. We recently told you about NASA using a couple of Android-powered Nexus S smartphones to perform tasks in space.
You can head over to the CAFE Foundation website to learn more about the Green Flight Challenge.