Where Do You Plug THAT in to Charge? Electric Plane Wins Biggest Prize in Aviation History



Taurus G4 craft flew 200miles in two hours to win Nasa's $1.35m prize


Nasa has awarded biggest prize in aviation history to an electric plane after its team designed a craft that flew 200miles in two hours.

The $1.35million prize was handed to the crew behind the Taurus G4 plane designed by the Pipistrel-USA team.
The Taurus G4 was in competition against two other craft as part of the CAFE Green Flight Challenge final, backed by Nasa, which aimed to make green air travel a realistic possibility.  

See the pictures below...


It's electric: The Taurus G4 plane which won a $1.35million prize from Nasa as part of the CAFE Green Flight Challenge final

It's electric: The Taurus G4 plane which won a $1.35million prize from Nasa as part of the CAFE Green Flight Challenge final

On the ground: The Taurus G4
 is a twin fuselage design, meaning
 it has two cockpits either side of a large central propeller

On the ground: The Taurus G4 is a twin fuselage design, meaning it has two cockpits either side of a large central propeller


A second prize of $120,000 was awarded to the very close runner-up, California-based Team e-Genius, while the third entrant - a gasoline-powered plane from Florida-based Phoenix Air team - left empty handed.
Some 14 teams entered the competition in its early stages with planes powered variously by electric engines, biofuels and gasoline engines, but the two prize-winners were both electric aircraft.

'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.

'Now, we are all looking forward to the future of electric aviation.'

Runner up: The e-Genius aircraft came a very close second to the Taurus G4, but it did win the $10,000 Lindbergh prize for the quietest
 aircraft

Runner up: The e-Genius aircraft came a very close second to the Taurus G4, but it did win the $10,000 Lindbergh prize for the quietest aircraft

In
 flight: The e-Genius soared
 majestically over the countryside

In flight: The e-Genius soared majestically over the countryside

Ultra-light:
 The e-Genius was partly funded by
 Airbus, the European aviation giant

Ultra-light: The e-Genius was partly funded by Airbus, the European aviation giant


Nasa said that the Taurus G4's feat of meeting its requirements to win the competition had proved 'ultra-efficient aviation is within our grasp.'

TECHNICAL ELECTRICAL: THE G4
Dual-fuselage design
Ultralight construction
Wingspan: 75ft
Propeller: 6.5ft-wide
Powered by: 450lbs of lithium-polymer batteries

'Today we've shown that electric aircraft have moved beyond science fiction and are now in the realm of practice,' said Joe Parrish, Nasa's acting chief technologist.

To win the prize the Taurus 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.
Both the winner and runner up achieved better efficiency than required and completed the challenge on the equivalent of just over a half-gallon of fuel per passenger.

Hist
 oric
 links: Erik Lindbergh, the grandson of aviation pioneer Charles Lindbergh, was present to award the $10,000 Lindbergh Prize for Quietest Aircraft to the runner-up, Team e-Genius

Historic links: Erik Lindbergh, the grandson of aviation pioneer Charles Lindbergh, was present to award the $10,000 Lindbergh Prize for Quietest Aircraft to the runner-up, Team e-Genius

Pioneer: Charles Lindbergh pictured in 1927 with his famous Spirit of St Louis plane in which he became the first man to fly solo across the
 Atlantic

Pioneer: Charles Lindbergh pictured in 1927 with his famous Spirit of St Louis plane in which he became the first man to fly solo across the Atlantic

The Taurus G4 flew a round trip from Charles M. Schulz Sonoma County Airport in Santa Rosa, California, and while it  was only required to fly 200 miles for the competition the crew says it could already fly four people up to 300 miles on its current power source.

The prize-giving is the culmination of more than two years of aircraft design, development and testing for the teams, who collectively spent more than $4million in pursuit of the prize.

CAFE (Comparative Aircraft Flight Efficiency) organises the competition under an agreement with Nasa, which regularly uses competitions to encourage new blood into its technology research programmes for spaceflight and aeronautics.

Major historical competitions have included the $25,000 Orteig Prize for nonstop trans-Atlantic flight.

That prize was won by Charles Lindbergh whose grandson, Erik Lindbergh, was present to award the $10,000 Lindbergh Prize for Quietest Aircraft to the runner-up, Team eGenius.