Green Flight Challenge will include biodiesel teams

By Luke Geiver | August 04, 2011

The prize for this year’s winner of the Google-sponsored Green Flight Challenge will total $1.65 million, the largest ever for the competition. NASA will pay the bill for the prize for the competition which requires participating teams to travel at least 200 miles in the air going at least 100 mph and reaching at least a 200 passenger miles per gallon level. A research and flight testing organization known as the CAFE Foundation (Comparative Aircraft Flight Efficiency) will conduct the event that will include several innovative aircrafts fueled by everything from electric power to biodiesel.

In addition to the main prize, teams will also be eligible to win a biofuels prize and a special Lindbergh prize for the quietest aircraft, according to CAFÉ. Brien Seeley of CAFÉ said that the “event is a carefully measured competition and is not open to the public until it has completed the flights,” adding that “there will be a big exposition,” in October. CAFE also said in a statement on the Green Flight Challenge, that “the aircraft…sponsored by Google represent a diverse mix of singular prototypes created expressly for the competition by some of the world’s top designers.”

Teams competing for the biofuels prize must achieve at least 80 mph and a get at least 160 mpg. Two teams from California have entered the challenge and will use a biodiesel-electric hybrid engine for power, and one team from Montana will run straight biodiesel. The only other biofuel team eligible to win the $150,000 prize, is a team from Kansas that will run ethanol. Along with the involvement of NASA and the Google sponsorship, Dell and a flight testing company will also sponsor the event. 


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