CAFE Foundation Electric Airplane Symposium: $1.63 Million Prize In Green Challenge


Individuals, companies, schools and virtually anyone else are invited to apply to take part in the CAFE Foundation’s Aviation Green Prize Challenge. The grand prize is $1.63 million. The so-called “100 mpg race” will take place in northern California in July of 2011, giving participants the time they need to devise a flying machine that will meet the requirements of the race. The essence of the race, announced at the symposium, is to cover a 200-mile closed course at least 100 mph and 100 mpg at 4,000 feet without running out of fuel before taxiing across the finish line. There must be two people on board and the aircraft will have to meet safety standards.

Competitors must submit design proposals and 12 participants will be chosen to actually fly in the race. It will begin and end at Charles M. Schulz Airport in Sonoma County. There will be two races on successive days. There’s a speed race and a fuel efficiency race, each covering 200 miles. The aircraft must achieve at least 100 mpg (200 seat miles per gallon) and average at least 100 mph in both races to qualify for the grand prize. The winner will have the highest aggregated score on the two races. If none of the teams meet the minimum requirements, a consolation prize of $153,000 will be awarded to the top-performing team.