NASA Offers a $1.5 Million Prize for a Fast and Fuel-Efficient Aircraft
August 5, 2009
The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has teamed up with a non-profit foundation to offer a $1.5 million prize for a highly fuel-efficient aircraft. The Green Flight Challenge, unveiled on July 31, calls for teams to create an aircraft that can average at least 100 miles per hour on a 200-mile flight, while achieving greater than 200 passenger-miles per gallon. Passenger-miles per gallon are defined as the fuel economy of the aircraft in miles per gallon divided by the number of passengers, including the pilots in this case, and the Green Flight Challenge could include aircraft carrying a single pilot or any number of passengers.
The aircraft that can achieve the best combination of speed and fuel efficiency will win the grand prize, while an additional prize of $150,000 will go to the team that achieves the best performance while running on at least 99% biofuel. If no teams achieve the minimum performance requirements, an honorary prize of $153,000 will go to the best-performing team that achieves at least 80 miles per hour and 160 passenger-miles per gallon. The NASA Innovative Partnerships Program is providing the prize purse for the competition, while the Comparative Aircraft Flight Efficiency Foundation will administer the contest. Registration for the competition is underway and will continue through next year, while the competition will be held in July 2011 in Santa Rosa, California. See the NASA press release and the full competition rules (PDF 1.2 MB). Download Adobe Reader.