Tuesday was a glorious, clear day, and one could see all the way to the peaks surrounding the Sonoma Valley. This was the day for the core event in the Green Flight Challenge, the test of whether an airplane could accomplish the primary goal of the competition, flying a 200 mile course in a precise way, maintaining a 100 mph or better average speed, and returning 200 passenger miles per gallon (or electrical equivalent) energy usage.
Truth to tell, there really isn't a lot to see other than the takeoffs of these spectacular airplanes, followed by two hours of waiting, during which they each fly over the airport four times, at at least 4000-foot altitude, and finally land at the end of their run. The tension of seeing whether there are any position changes, indicating that a faster airplane has overtaken a slower one, tends to provide some excitement, but the challenge of navigating the course and practicing the most precise flying skills can only be experienced by the pilots. Continue reading "Green Flight Challenge, The Main Event"