March 23, 2010
By Alton K. Marsh
Will you one day fly in an electric or hybrid gas and electric airplane? The Creative Solutions Alliance hopes you will and is offering prize money to advance electric airplane technology.
The Creative Solutions Alliance (CSA), a nonprofit organization founded by Erik Lindbergh, grandson of the famous aviator, is offering the Lindbergh Electric Aircraft Prize (LEAP).
“The Lindbergh Electric Aircraft Prize is the culmination of my work over the last decade in aviation, education, and prize philanthropy. LEAP represents the perfect focal point to light up both kids and adults. We are literally teaching the next generation to imagine and create their future,” Lindbergh said.
LEAP is a suite of prizes to promote the practical development of electric aircraft by recognizing specific advances in this emerging clean technology industry. The prizes will be awarded for the following:
Best Electric Aircraft: Awarded for the best example of a practical electric aircraft in any category—whether it is Experimental, light sport aircraft, or fully certified aircraft. Hybrid electric aircraft may be nominated where electric is the primary source of propulsion.
Best Electric Aircraft Sub-System: Defined as a set of components designed to work together to accomplish a specific task that advances the field of electric aircraft in both performance and practicality, such as electric powertrains, energy storage systems, and charging systems.
Best Electric Aircraft Component Technology: Defined as individual components that serve to advance the performance and practicality of electric aircraft, such as batteries, electric motors, and power electronics.
Public Choice Award: The public votes on electric aircraft that are currently flying, whether practical or not. This will be an opportunity to gauge the public's interest and excitement with respect to various electric aircraft projects.
CSA has partnered with EAA and will announce the winners at EAA’s AirVenture.
AOPA Pilot Senior Editor Alton Marsh has been a pilot since 1970 and has an airline transport pilot certificate and instrument and multiengine flight instructor certificates, aerobatic training, and a commercial seaplane certificate.
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