Google Signs on as Green Flight Challenge Sponsor

The CAFE Foundation announced recently that Google will sponsor the NASA Centennial Challenge flight competition known as the Green Flight Challenge. CAFE (Comparative Aircraft Flight Efficiency) will conduct the event from September 25 through October 2, 2011, at Charles M. Schulz Sonoma County Airport in Santa Rosa, California. The NASA-funded prize purse of $1.65 million makes this the largest ever prize for aviation. Competing aircraft must demonstrate at least 100 mph and 200 passenger mpg on a 200-mile flight.

The aircraft in the GFC sponsored by Google represent a diverse mix of singular prototypes created expressly for the competition by some of the world’s top designers. Most will be propelled by batteries and electric motors, some by biofuel or hybrid. All competing aircraft will be shown to the public at the Google Green Flight Challenge Exposition hosted by NASA at Moffett Field, NASA Ames Research Center, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Monday October 3, 2011. Advance online ticketing for this exposition will soon be available at

In addition to the main prizes for highest scores, the competition includes a biofuel prize and plans for a special Lindbergh Prize for Quietest Aircraft, to be presented by Erik Lindbergh, grandson of the renowned winner of aviation’s Orteig Prize, Charles Lindbergh.

The electric aircraft in the competition will demonstrate for the first time that practical, emission-free cross-country flight is possible. In addition to the sleek aircraft of the GFC, the Google Green Flight Challenge Exposition will include exhibits of many technologies related to the future of green aviation. These will range from vertical takeoff personal aircraft, autonomous vehicles, fast prototyping equipment, advanced motors, propellers and more.

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KITPLANES Editor Mary Bernard began her career in aviation journalism in 1998 and has worked in publishing for more than 15 years.

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