Thursday, October 6, 2011

Electric airplane wins big money

NASA has awarded a Pennsylvania company a $1.35 million prize for developing an ultra-efficient electric airplane.

The Taurus G4 airplane won the prize by flying 200 miles from Charles M. Schulz Sonoma County Airport in Santa Rosa, Calif., in less than two hours.

CNN reports that the airplane was created by Pipistrel-USA.com of State College. There were 14 airplanes in the competition, but the Pipistrel won easily. It nearly "doubled the fuel-efficiency requirement" for the contest.

The requirements were to fly 200 miles in two hours or less on less than a gallon of fuel (or the equivalent in electricity) for each passenger. The Pipistrel airplane used a bit more than a half-gallon of gas for each passenger. Most of the airplanes in the contest used electric engines, however, some entrants were powered by gasoline or biofuel.

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