Monday, April 09, 2007

Energy Efficient Airplane

Rutan Varieze Airplane
56.25 Miles Per Gallon - 180 Miles Per Hour

If you have to get someplace in a hurry and mass transit doesn’t quite reach where you are going, you may want to try flying – your own plane. Small airplanes can be one of the most efficient forms of transportation if designed for efficiency.

The Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) has developed the CAFÉ or Comparative Aircraft Flight Efficiency Foundation to measure and promote aircraft efficiency. Dr. Paul McCready, the man who designed the human powered airplane that crossed the English Channel is a sponsor of the organization.

The CAFÉ Foundation measured a custom built airplane that can achieve 180 miles per hour while only burning just 3.2 gallons of gas per hour. (link)

The CAFÉ Foundation also sponsors the Personal Air Vehicle Challenge, modeled after the X-Prize, the PAV challenge is to design an airplane that:

  • 200 mph “car” that flies above gridlock without traffic delays
  • Quiet, safe, comfortable and reliable
  • Able to be flown by anyone with a driver’s license
  • As affordable as travel by car or airliner
  • Near all-weather, on-demand travel enabled by synthetic vision
  • Highly fuel efficient and able to use alternative fuels
  • Up to 800 mile range
  • Walk to grandma’s from small residential airfields
VIA: Sustainable Design Update

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