NASA Expands Personal Air Vehicle Challenge

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NASA has expanded its original one-year, $250,000 Personal Air Vehicle Challenge to a five-year set of competitions with rewards of up to $550,000 per year. The competition's goal is to stimulate the development of Personal Air Vehicles (PAVs) that will be viable for the consumer market. The vehicles must have two to six seats, be easy to fly, quiet, safe, fuel-efficient, and capable of coping with most weather variables. NASA hopes that PAVs can help to relieve surface gridlock and save fuel while giving travelers more freedom.

"The market situation is ideal for an annual Technology Prize to bring about the needed breakthroughs and evolve them over five years," says Dr. Brien Seeley, president of the CAFE Foundation, which will host the PAV Challenge. The PAV Challenge opens team registration on Nov. 1 and the competition begins in 2007. The CAFE (Comparative Aircraft Flight Efficiency) Foundation is a nonprofit, volunteer group.