Lindbergh Prize Promotes Alternative Aviation
Erik Lindbergh came to Sun 'n Fun this week to promote his latest project, the Lindbergh Electric Aircraft Prize. He told AVweb he hopes the prize will help boost efforts to create technology that will enable pilots to fly more safely and cheaply, while using renewable and sustainable resources. The prize will be awarded for the first time this year, at AirVenture Oshkosh. "We don't want a $4 million prototype," he said. "We want something that's going to make electric flight more accessible to the average pilot." Lindbergh said there is a lot of disagreement among experts in the field about the problems and potential for the technology, but some of his advisors think it would be possible to power an aircraft like a Cessna 172 with an electric motor within seven years. "That's the kind of progress we'd like to see," Lindbergh said. You can hear more about Lindbergh's ideas and the challenges and potential of alternative technologies in AVweb's podcast feature.
Inventors from around the world are welcome to enter the competition, Lindbergh said, whether or not they can make it to AirVenture. He added that he is looking for more help with the project, from sponsors for the cash prizes, to donors and volunteers. Prizes will be awarded in four categories: best electric aircraft; best component (such as batteries or motors); best sub-system (a set of interacting components); and the public choice award, based on a vote. The prizes are a project of Lindbergh's nonprofit group, the Creative Solutions Alliance. Its mission is to inspire, showcase, and leverage innovation for a resilient future.