NASA jumpstarts the electric airplane industry with ultra-efficient flights – 400 mpg

This story is a bit old (October 2011), but in light of Chip Yates project to create the first all-electric transatlantic flight, is worth reading about:

 

NASA has awarded the largest prize in aviation history, created to inspire the development of more fuel-efficient aircraft and spark the start of a new electric airplane industry. The technologies demonstrated by the CAFE Green Flight Challenge, sponsored by Google, competitors may end up in general aviation aircraft, spawning new jobs and new industries for the 21st century.

The first place prize of $1.35 million was awarded to team Pipistrel-USA.com of State College, Pa. The second place prize of $120,000 went to team eGenius, of Ramona, Calif.

“NASA congratulates Pipistrel-USA.com for proving that ultra-efficient aviation is within our grasp,” said Joe Parrish, NASA’s acting chief technologist at NASA Headquarters in Washington. “Today we’ve shown that electric aircraft have moved beyond science fiction and are now in the realm of practice.”

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.”

 

Source: NASA Awards Historic Green Aviation Prize

 

 

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Man flies like a bird for 100 meters – using “selfbuilt wings”

Subtitles from Dutch

  • I was running…and…(breathing heavy)
  • At one moment you see the ground moving away, and then suddenly you’re free, a really intense feeling of freedom.
  • The true feeling of flying. A **cking magical moment!
  • The best feeling I have felt in my life.

 

From the project website, humanbirdwings.net –

Right here, on this blog I share everything about my crazy plan to build my own wings. My goal? To fly with it! Something Leonardo DaVinci, my grandfather and I dreamed of for a long time. But this summer I decided to really start building it.

 

There was some discussion about the authenticity of this video, but the MythBusters team tackled that:

The video of Jarno Smeets’ flight is cool, and I don’t see evidence that it was faked. It seems reasonable to accomplish, and is something I have wanted to try for a long time.

The still photos of the parts on a table are helpful and the components are appropriate to what the item does in the air. The motors are rare earth magnet low RPM, high torque, outrunners that look in the neighborhood of 3000 watts or so each. So you could have an output of just under 10hp there. The speed controllers look to be appropriate to those motors, and the batteries are lithium ion. This is all appropriate…

via Tested

 

Thx to Don Burke