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Big Buzz For $60,000 Electric Flight Prize

samzenpus posted more than 3 years ago | from the lightning-powered dept.

Transportation 78

gilgsn writes "Electric Light Sport Aircraft are sprouting up all over. Now that the Experimental Aircraft Association is offering a 60,000 prize for the best ones, manufacturers are gearing up for the competition to be held the last week in July, at AirVenture 2011 in Oshkosh, 'The World's Greatest Aviation Celebration.' Airplanes will be tested for endurance, speed and time-to-climb. Pilots, charge up your batteries.."

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Fo? (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35592476)

Fo sho?
Or perhaps the editor meant "for".

Fo shizzle ma dizzle. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35592554)

Cut the stupid nigger talk.

Re:Fo? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35592746)

Fo sho mudda fuka!

lol wut

Re:Fo? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35593756)

Editor ?

Lazy foel counting his monaaay, shirley ?

Why would I want an electric plane? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35592488)

I doubt there are many electric charging stations at 30,000 feet. Seems dumb.

Re:Why would I want an electric plane? (1)

Anonymous Freak (16973) | more than 3 years ago | (#35592540)

There aren't any commercial avgas or Jet-A fueling stations at 30kft, either.

The only fueling stations at 30kft are by the military, and they could probably create an in-air charging system, too.

Whoosh!! (1)

sidragon.net (1238654) | more than 3 years ago | (#35592584)

The sound you just heard was an electric plane, carrying the joke, flying right over your head (at 30,000 feet).

Re:Whoosh!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35592632)

epic

Re:Whoosh!! (1)

multisync (218450) | more than 3 years ago | (#35592854)

The sound the rest of us heard was Anonymous Freak's point, which you've managed to miss in spectacular fashion.

Re:Why would I want an electric plane? (1)

blair1q (305137) | more than 3 years ago | (#35593124)

Takes a minute to pump 1000 gallons of kerosene at 30,000 feet.

Takes 6 hours to pump that many joules of excess electrons.

Chemical fuels will be used for performance aircraft for as long as they can be found or synthesized.

Re:Why would I want an electric plane? (1)

mijelh (1111411) | more than 3 years ago | (#35594222)

Takes 6 hours to pump that many joules of excess electrons.

That's not the main issue: You could even leave the battery recharging, pick another one and fly, like we do with electric model aeroplanes.
The real problem is power to weight ratio, which is critical on aeroplanes and which, on electrical systems, is orders of magnitude lower than a equivalent combustion system due to the low energy density of batteries compared to fuel.

Re:Why would I want an electric plane? (2)

AvitarX (172628) | more than 3 years ago | (#35592866)

I'm more concerned about what your Light Sport Aircraft at 30,000 feet, you'll find the fueling station infrastructure at lower altitudes is quite fine.

Re:Why would I want an electric plane? (1)

The Grim Reefer2 (1195989) | more than 3 years ago | (#35592966)

I'm more concerned about what your Light Sport Aircraft at 30,000 feet.

No kidding. By definition [sportpilot.org] they are not pressurized. Which makes breathing a bit of an issue for starters.

Re:Why would I want an electric plane? (2)

tlhIngan (30335) | more than 3 years ago | (#35593208)

I'm more concerned about what your Light Sport Aircraft at 30,000 feet.

No kidding. By definition they are not pressurized. Which makes breathing a bit of an issue for starters.

There are aircraft supplemental oxygen systems - either cannulas or masks, so breathing at altitude isn't an issue.

No, the big issue is that LSA aircraft is they're not IFR equipped, and above FL180, it's IFR-only.

Re:Why would I want an electric plane? (1)

AvitarX (172628) | more than 3 years ago | (#35593398)

No kidding?

I thought the entire point of this thread was kidding.

Re:Why would I want an electric plane? (2)

ejtttje (673126) | more than 3 years ago | (#35593002)

Ignoring the snarkiness of the comment, there's actually a large runaway fusion reaction going on relatively near our planet, which solar powered electric planes [slashdot.org] can use to extend their range...

Spellcheck? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35592504)

ow dat is some big prize fo sho

what means "electric flight"? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35592510)

TFA is not loading for me at the moment, but it seems you could strap just enough battery on a high performance glider to get you up, then stay there indefinitely if you were skilled at finding thermals.

Re:what means "electric flight"? (1)

Anonymous Freak (16973) | more than 3 years ago | (#35592560)

That's pretty much what all of the current attempts at electric aircraft are - powered sailplanes with ultra-light batteries and an electric motor instead of the small gas engine common on powered sailplanes.

(Well, that and the ultra-ultra-light solar jobs...)

Re:what means "electric flight"? (3, Informative)

PhillC (84728) | more than 3 years ago | (#35593078)

There are a few electric light sport aircraft starting to emerge:

http://www.yuneec.com/index.html [yuneec.com]
http://www.electraflyer.com/ [electraflyer.com]
http://www.sonexaircraft.com/research/e-flight.html [sonexaircraft.com]

None of these have the same glide ratio as a motor glider, and are the beginnings of an emerging electric light sport aircraft industry. A long way to go, but with the rising prices and limited availability of Avgas in many regions of the world, many changes are needed within the General Aviation community to ensure a sustainable future.

Is electric flight the way forward? Maybe, maybe not in the short term. With options like Rotax engines already commonly available for many types and "diesel" (JetA1) engine options also growing for many legacy airframes, as well as new models, there is hope and a number of different routes GA could end up going down.

Re:what means "electric flight"? (1)

Phoghat (1288088) | more than 3 years ago | (#35596796)

Is electric flight the way forward?

Why not? All the Armed Forces UAVs use electric motors I believe.

Re:what means "electric flight"? (1)

dasdrewid (653176) | more than 3 years ago | (#35625032)

I may be mistaken, but the ElectraFlyer-C and the E-Flight ESA look to be the exact same aircraft, right down to the winglets. I looked for info about one working with another, but didn't see any. What's up with that (also, if they are the same, then that leaves us only 2 electric LSAs...)

If they wanted a subject like that... (1)

Stregano (1285764) | more than 3 years ago | (#35592548)

They should have been more clear and had it something like this:

BONG BONG son! sitty stacks fo lectric planes kid.

Fo' Sho' Brotha! (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35592576)

I didn't realize Slashdot is now offered in Ebonics.

Re:Fo' Sho' Brotha! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35600500)

s'ait

Dumb and dumber (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35592596)

not too many gas stations either, ask John

The best design will have: (2, Interesting)

kurt555gs (309278) | more than 3 years ago | (#35592602)

Switched reluctance motors and Toshiba SCiB batteries.

As of today, there is no way to do it better.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Switched_reluctance_motor [wikipedia.org]

http://www.toshiba.com/ind/product_display.jsp?id1=821 [toshiba.com]

Just sayin'

Re:The best design will have: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35594482)

Can you cite something that says "Switched Reluctance" is more efficient than the (very similar) "Brushless DC Motor" concept?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brushless_DC_electric_motor

I'm really curious which is inherently more efficient.

Umm.. heres a lunacy thought (1)

way2trivial (601132) | more than 3 years ago | (#35594540)

how about-- how much of the battery is depleted on takeoff?

could you power takeoff through induction instead of on-board batteries, then switch to the batteries for level flight?

just unroll a mother of a long coil down the side of the takeoff path...

hmmm???

Re:Umm.. heres a lunacy thought (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35598234)

I believe the navy equivalent is called a catapult.

Re:The best design will have: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35595806)

Wow. You seem pretty confident, but are pretty far off the mark. Having worked on electrically propelled aircraft for the past couple of years, I can tell you with confidence that switched reluctance motors are not better in any way (other than cost) compared to brushless permanent magnet motors. A well designed brushless PM motor will be about 2-3 times lighter.

Also, those Toshiba batteries aren't that great. Although the power density is OK, the energy density is only about 67 Wh/kg. A lithium cobalt battery has a similar discharge rate, but with an energy density almost three times higher.

Re:The best design will have: (1)

kurt555gs (309278) | more than 3 years ago | (#35625474)

Sorry. Switched reluctance motors have from double to 7 times the torque per pound of weight as rare earth magnet brush less dc motors. Also your typical Li-ion (Lithium cobalt) batteries can not come close to the peak power output, or regenerative charge rate as the Toshiba SCiB batteries.

I'd say this was a case of talking through your ass.

Sorry.

Re:The best design will have: (1)

rtb61 (674572) | more than 3 years ago | (#35596654)

I found this more informative on the reluctance motor http://www.allaboutcircuits.com/vol_2/chpt_13/4.html [allaboutcircuits.com] . Of course you would still want to incorporate solar panels on the top surfaces of the wings just to get that bit of extra free energy into the system, especially if done properly as the wing surface so no additional weight. Add to that an inflatable aircraft http://bayourenaissanceman.blogspot.com/2008/06/weekend-wings-20-inflatable-aircraft.html [blogspot.com] (using hydrogen or helium) and away you go.

Is it just me or...? (1)

WonderingAround (2007742) | more than 3 years ago | (#35592614)

Doesn't this seem like this will give explanation to many UFO sightings and/or attract unnamed government agencies eager to arrest many amateur aviation enthusiasts?

Re:Is it just me or...? (1)

Stregano (1285764) | more than 3 years ago | (#35592822)

Depends on if any testing is happening in Alabama, Tennessee or Kentucky

Re:Is it just me or...? (1)

skrimp (790524) | more than 3 years ago | (#35593518)

It's just you. DARPA is developing an electric airplane for personal transportation. It's twin engine, VTOL.

national day of coming out to be held in utah (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35592688)

maybe throw in a million babys+ play-date, so the transparency stays up? seems appropriate. seems like we all dislike muslin for some reason? irritating? talk about out|rage|ous? no wonder the romans fell over in their robes?

will the moron testubular boys' choir entertain? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35592864)

we can only imagine. that's a little on the edge, adjectively speaking. we love everybody now. didn't used to be that way. we're mandated to forgive & understand, but not to die prematurely, or be abused for any reason, ever again. babys rule (with little pink chubby fingers).

Re:will the moron testubular boys' choir entertain (1)

webmistressrachel (903577) | more than 3 years ago | (#35595280)

What the fuck is this thread? It can hardly be called a Troll or Flamebait, esp. the GP, and there's no affiliate site that appears to be benefitting from it, so it's not spam. Can someone please explain the parent post and it's grandparent post?

Re:will the moron testubular boys' choir entertain (1)

Coren22 (1625475) | more than 3 years ago | (#35598276)

Spam filter testing? I have never been able to figure it out either, I even get some in my inbox.

Not very practical (1)

whizbang77045 (1342005) | more than 3 years ago | (#35592762)

The idea sounds great. We'll save energy, have less noise, and we'll all be happy. It's sort of a "we'll have our cake, and eat it too!"

The problem is, it takes a lot of energy to power an aircraft. While a car engine runs at only a very small percentage of its rated power most of time, aircraft engines run at 60% or 70% of full power all the time. We need to store a lot more energy per unit time than we do for a car, and more energy per unit energy source weight. So far, petroleum products store more energy per unit energy source weight than anything else, except perhaps nuclear power. So this isn't going to be very practical.

As an experimental thing, to see what can be done, it sounds interesting, and like a lot of fun. But a practical idea, it isn't.

Re:Not very practical (2)

Bitsy Boffin (110334) | more than 3 years ago | (#35592934)

It comes down to efficiency, and energy management.

The limit in the energy capacity for current battery technology (vs weight) simply means we need to push for far more efficient airframes.

Nobody is suggesting smacking an electric engine on the front of a Cessna 150 is going to work well, because the energy to push a brick through the air is just to much.

Composite materials, highly streamlined, slippery as hell, fancy stuff like reflex flaps, long thin glider inspired wings... an extremely efficient aircraft with an electric motor could be a pretty nice recreational machine.

Re:Not very practical (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35593180)

Except for that you could streamline your fuel plane about as much you could your electric plane. It really all comes down to weight per energy unit with a small bonus for smaller size. Gasoline, diesel and kerosene have a huge advantage because you can pick up the oxygen as your flying and you can jettison the byproducts. some batteries can do the same but they use more fuel in there production then normal fuel. Now must small aircraft don't use efficient engines or even modern fuel management systems. Of course wireless power is possible for electric planes think about fly from station to station charging super capacitors.

Re:Not very practical (1)

John.P.Jones (601028) | more than 3 years ago | (#35593314)

Seems like a contest to improve conversion of electric energy to a viable aircraft bio-fuel would be a more worthy effort than this.

Re:Not very practical (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35596612)

Also wanted to add that fuel engines could be made of light weight composites and ceramics. Not sure what is possible in material weight reduction for an electric engine.

Re:Not very practical (2)

517714 (762276) | more than 3 years ago | (#35594450)

Burt Rutan has this if he wants it.

There's not much time until the competition so something new is out of the question, but I think there a suitable starting point for several of the records in the Model 76 Voyager [wikipedia.org] . It could carry 3 tons of batteries and needs about 100 hp. How long would 6,000 lb of lithium batteries last running a 100 hp motor?

Another choice would be the GlobalFlyer [wikipedia.org] .

Re:Not very practical (1)

Anynomous Coward (841063) | more than 3 years ago | (#35596112)

Roughly (3000kg * [100..250]Wh/kg) / (100hp * 750W/hp) = [4..10]h

Take the lower limit to account for inefficiencies, packaging,...

Re:Not very practical (1)

Phoghat (1288088) | more than 3 years ago | (#35596812)

Tell Burt Rutan about this. He seems to do well in design.

Practical for the Right Application (1)

Pauldow (1860502) | more than 3 years ago | (#35598054)

Burt Rutan had comments about this at last year's EAA Convention.
He recommended that the next step be an electric plane with a special purpose design for doing aerobatics in air shows.
A standard act is only about 15 minutes, which is within the current practical power design restrictions.
Burt stated that propeller drives didn't need to be only put on the front or back of the plane inline with the forward motion. Smaller propellers with motors could be put on the wing tips and/or tail to create unique aerobatics.

Back to my point of view:
Throughout aviation history, it's the engine that drives aircraft innovation:
The Wright Flyer wouldn't have existed without Charles Taylor's lightweight engine.
The P&W R-2800 Double Wasp enabled many aircraft designs from the B-26, P-47 and Douglas DC-6
The P-51 wasn't the success without the Merlin engine.
The 747 couldn't have existed without the high-bypass turbofan.
The 777 wouldn't exist without the huge power engines.
The 787 and any future airliner design wouldn't exist without an engine with better fuel economy.

Re:Not very practical (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35593238)

Depends are your definition of 'practical'. We won't be powering airliners with electric anytime soon, but for the Light Sport Aircraft category electric is practical. LSA's have a number of FAA defined limitations involving altitude, speed, number of passengers and weather conditions that limit their general aviation practicality. If you're in the market for a very low maintenance LSA aircraft for pleasure flying, electric makes sense. Already electric is powering some self-launching sailplanes. It's perfect for launching and for getting you back home when you're done soaring. With the advent of sailplanes in the 150 pound range (http://www.windward-performance.com/sparrowhawk.php), electric will go farther. There's a guy building a solar powered electric plane that he plans to fly around the world (http://blog.cafefoundation.org/?p=2386).

Game the contest. (1)

HornWumpus (783565) | more than 3 years ago | (#35593312)

Install an APU, an Inverter and an electric motor. Win every event. You'd have to in order to pay for the APU.

I'm sure they thought of that, the sight is /.ed so I can't tell for sure.

Re:Game the contest. (1)

HornWumpus (783565) | more than 3 years ago | (#35593402)

From the official rules:

B. Eligibility

The Prize is open to any legal aircraft that has an electric propulsion system and is capable of being flown by a 200 pound pilot.

Entrants must first submit a completed application form, received no later than July 1, 2011. Formal acceptance into the contest will be made in writing by EAA, following review of your application. A maximum of 12 (twelve) entries will be accepted.

Each competitor will be expected to carry liability insurance, and will be asked to sign a liability waiver exempting the contest organizers, sponsors, etc. There is no registration fee.

I don't see any requirement for batteries. A hybrid design might steal everything. Even if someone could get it together in time they would just not accept them.

Re:Game the contest. (1)

semi-extrinsic (1997002) | more than 3 years ago | (#35596500)

Except that a hybrid design makes a lot less sense in an airplane than in a car, where you can recover braking energy etc. In a plane, the point would be moot. Even a setup like the Chevy Volt wouldn't have much potential, since airplane engines typically run in their most effective range anyway.

Oh, wait, you were just talking about gaming the contest, not doing anything actually useful... Well, i guess the rules are always open to interpretation by the judges, especially as "electric propulsion system" can easily be argued to mean "purely electric".

Re:Game the contest. (1)

DaChesserCat (594136) | more than 3 years ago | (#35598344)

The time you most need horsepower, on a traditional aircraft, is during takeoff. Lose the engine at altitude and you have some time to figure out where you're coming down. Lose it on takeoff and, well, you better think fast.

A Light Sport Aircraft is limited in the amount of horsepower it can produce, the max speed in level flight and the range. It doesn't say anything about takeoff performance.

Use a small, lightweight, relatively weak Internal Combustion Engine (ICE) with an electric motor/generator as an assist for takeoff. That way, you would have more power available for takeoff and you wouldn't be completely powerless if the ICE failed (doesn't happen often, but it's usually catastrophic when it does).

Charge up some batteries before flight. Possibly even put some flexible thin-film photovoltaics on the wings and park in the sun for a couple days before flying. It'll add to the cost of the plane, but reduce the operating cost.

Electric + ICE for takeoff. ICE for cruise. For landing, turn the electric motor into a generator, allowing you to use the prop as a dive brake. Big turboprop singles like the Pilatus PC-12 routinely do this (flatten out the pitch at low RPM to increase drag). This way, when you land, you recharge your batteries part of the way. And, if you have a missed approach and need to pull out, you go back to electric + ICE.

Voila! A hybrid aircraft. Improved takeoff performance and takeoff safety with a small engine and a limited cruise speed (dovetailing nicely with the Light Sport Aircraft requirements). The improved safety factor will only make it more attractive than a traditional, ICE-only aircraft. Might have to get a waiver on the aircraft weight, though. Since you aren't trying to cruise on electric power, you won't need terribly many batteries.

Re:Game the contest. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35598828)

Do you consider the system that the railroad engines use to be hybrid? Since the engines are used as generators and only one of them is using its motors for the propulsion does that count as hybrid?

Re:Game the contest. (1)

HornWumpus (783565) | more than 3 years ago | (#35602102)

This whole contest doesn't do anything 'actually useful' so WTF is your point?

My point was and remains that chemical fuel, engine, generator combinations are still the most energy dense sources of electric power.

Build an airplane on the Diesel locomotive model and you would win this contest if you can rule-lawyer your way in.

Depends on the goal. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35593930)

If you're looking to travel cross country, nope...not practical at all.

But given that a lot of General Aviation is recreational only....given the speed of ultralights and light sport aircraft. Most purely recreational pilots for up for an hour or two at a time.

Finally, trainers (used by schools) usually do flights of up to an hour (except for cross country).

Given that most light planes burn between 4 to 7 gallons of fuel per hour by $3+ dollars per gallon...electric isn't so bad.

(But it's not new either....electricflyer was out in 2009. http://www.electraflyer.com/

Re:Not very practical (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35594416)

You sound a lot like the old fuddy-duddies at Radio Control model aircraft fields. They thought electric was only for gliders (well, technically, motor gliders). Seems like the unlimited Aerobatic Championship was won by an electric last year. In fact, 7 or 8 of the top ten were electric powered.

Did you know that Radio Control helicopters drag race? Special purpose built hopped-up racing helis? Did you know the "Unlimited" class has been dominated by electrics for the last several years?

Yes, the things the modelers are doing will be VERY expensive to scale... but don't poo-poo it just because it's electric.

Re:Not very practical (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35596154)

Indeed.

And while the old guys are continuously tweaking their gas engines, we are flying our electric powered planes...

Re:Not very practical (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35596660)

Expect for the fact that fuel engines don't scale down well. Think about the efficiency of your average high powered Nitro RC engine doing 18,000+ rpm with air and fuel cooling. The fuel doesn't fully burn. It's quite wasteful. Gasoline engines in airplanes are a lot more efficient. Also as fuel burns less weight is on the airframe improving range. I don't see electric engines taking expect for the stale in new piston designs. We're using engines from the fucking 60s based heavly on 30 engine in most small aircraft. Ceramics and composites would go a long way in making aviation engined lighter.

I know it's clarified it in the title, but... (2, Funny)

Daetrin (576516) | more than 3 years ago | (#35592770)

"Now that the Experimental Aircraft Association is offering a 60,000 prize for the best ones"

The prize is 60,000? Really? That's not hard, here's a 60,000 just for asking, and i can offer a lot more than that. How about 600,000? Or 6,000,000? Really i can sit here and hold the "0" key down all day, so you can have as big of an integer as you want. (Though at a certain point i might have to switch to scientific notation.)

Re:I know it's clarified it in the title, but... (1)

Darth_brooks (180756) | more than 3 years ago | (#35593350)

The prize guarantees a modest (or, really, minimal) return on investment, and adds an element of competition to the overall goal. The X prize and lunar X-prizes are no different. Those prizes don't come remotely close to allowing a company to recoup what was invested to (or eventually, in the case of the Lunar X-prize) reach the goal. However, winning the prize ensures a little bit more publicity and some bragging rights for the folks who win.

Look at it this way: The Lombardi trophy (the trophy teams are awarded for winning the Super Bowl) is probably only worth 25-50,000 USD (it's sterling silver). The Stanley cup may be a bit more, if only for the historical provenance it carries. Yet teams spend tens, even hundreds of millions to capture those prizes. The element of competition is in some ways more rewarding that then old fashioned "give us money 'cuz we wanna do something cool that'll probably make you money in the future." business proposal.

Re:I know it's clarified it in the title, but... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35593618)

GP's point is 60,000 != 60,000 USD; the exchange rate between USD and NULL is undefined...

Re:I know it's clarified it in the title, but... (1)

White Yeti (927387) | more than 3 years ago | (#35597222)

Heh. That also reminds me of the cartoon where Daffy Duck gives up his prize of "ONE MILLION BOX!"

Re:I know it's clarified it in the title, but... (1)

mcrbids (148650) | more than 3 years ago | (#35595288)

My daughter won "Best of show" at the local fair for her gorgeous photography. She competed against tens of thousands of participants, almost none of whom spent less on the picture frame than the $10 won in prize money.

As a private pilot familiar with experimental aviation, I can say that the money is not the point. EA types will spend 2 years tweaking a plane to fly 10 knots faster with the same fuel burn rate and payload, or provides a 50 pound payload improvement, etc.

It's mostly about establishing whether or not the prize is "significant". $60,000 is 2x the annual mean income, and a reasonable statement of legitimacy. IMHO, this is a big deal.

You can be sure that *nobody* competing for the prize spent anything less than 2x the prize money on the plane. And like the Ansari X prize, nobody competed with the idea of "making it big" on the prize money, they competed with the goal of the legitimacy that being the prize winner would give them.

It's about winning, not profiting on the prize money!

Re:I know it's clarified it in the title, but... (1)

Daetrin (576516) | more than 3 years ago | (#35595694)

You are very correct. Absolutely everyone spent more money than 60,000. You're probably also right that a lot of them spent more $60,000. So i sure hope they're not doing it for the money, since if they were i could offer them a much better deal. I'd give them 120,000 for their $60,000. They'd probably take me up on it, since 2 is more than $1 right?

Re:I know it's clarified it in the title, but... (1)

Phoghat (1288088) | more than 3 years ago | (#35596822)

Scientific notation? Oh come now, this is Slash Dot.

What happens (-1)

forge33 (1923156) | more than 3 years ago | (#35592778)

what happens when the batteries die? should I dare say, use gas? :o

Re:What happens (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35592810)

Same thing that happens when the fuel tanks run dry? The prop stops spinning, and the pilot makes a non-powered landing on a nearby flat surface (preferably an airport).

Fo Shizzle? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35592944)

fo what?

Nuclear Powered (1)

zeiche (81782) | more than 3 years ago | (#35593504)

The future of aviation is nuclear. Nothing could possibly go wrong.

Re:Nuclear Powered (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35593902)

Like this [wikipedia.org] ?

Re:Nuclear Powered (1)

Anynomous Coward (841063) | more than 3 years ago | (#35596126)

You wsitched november and uniform. :)

Re:Nuclear Powered (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35596374)

Genius! I commend you sir!

Big year for aviation tech competitions (4, Informative)

jwold (124863) | more than 3 years ago | (#35593580)

Besides this EAA Electric Airplane [eaa.org] prize, there's 3 more that I know of:
- The biggest purse is the CAFE foundation Green Flight Challenge [cafefoundation.org] $1.6M Presented at Airventure [airventure.org] in Oshkosh this July
- The Lindberg Electric Aircraft prize [lindberghprize.org] is an annual prize that started last year at Oshkosh
- The Berblinger prize [aero-expo.com] 3 weeks from now in Germany

Not just for cool RC model airplanes any more. E-flight is on the rise - the first killer app will be UAV's and motorgliders.

Re:Big year for aviation tech competitions (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35597442)

"the first killer app will be UAV's"

UAVs have been killer apps for years

great..... (1)

starblazer (49187) | more than 3 years ago | (#35596470)

Now we'll have more airplanes "landing" on US 41 and other random farm fields during that week.

I think we allready have a winner: Taurus (1)

LordFolken (731855) | more than 3 years ago | (#35596996)

This plane has been revised this year: http://www.pipistrel.si/plane/taurus-electro/overview [pipistrel.si] Taurus Electro Comes with a trailer with battery storage and solar pannels on the roof.
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