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From the Editor

CAFE Time!

The upcoming CAFE Green Flight Challenge

Story and photos by Patrick Panzera, Editor – Experimenter, EAA 555743  

Pat Panzera

I’m in Santa Rosa, California, to witness and report on the weeklong CAFE Green Flight Challenge, conducted at the CAFE Foundation Flight Test Center at Charles M. Schulz – Sonoma County Airport, beginning on September 25, 2011. The awards ceremony and exposition of the competing aircraft will be held at the conclusion, October 3, at NASAAmesResearchCenter, Moffett Field, California. For those who aren’t familiar with this competition, several teams will compete for a total of $1.65 million in prize money, using electric, biofueled, and hybrid-powered aircraft. For details on the event schedule, competing aircraft, and a summary of the rules, read more.

The schedule for the week:

Sunday, 9/25 – Team registration, aircraft inspection, field of view check, cabin seating check, empty weights, load payloads, charge and fuel, secure impound begins
Monday, 9/26 – Noise and takeoff qualifying flights followed by weighing and charging overnight
Tuesday, 9/27 – mpg flight (morning fog may delay the start)
Wednesday, 9/28 – Recharge day, retest or refly if necessary
Thursday, 9/29 – Speed flight (morning fog may delay the start), barbecue
Friday, 9/30 – Makeup day if needed, prepare for Sonoma County Airport exposition day
Saturday, 10/1 – 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sonoma County Airport exposition, static display
Sunday, 10/2 – Pack up and trek to Moffett Field for setup
Monday, 10/3 – Google Green Flight Challenge Exposition hosted by NASA, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. with awards ceremony to announce the GFC winners at noon in the Conference Center, NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, Mount View, California

Competing Teams

Team – e-Genius, California 
Team leader – Eric Raymond 
Aircraft name – e-Genius
Seating – 2
Propulsion – electric
Max power – 60 kilowatts
Span – 55.4 feet
e-Genius
An Airbus-sponsored electric airplane called the e-Genius made its maiden flight in late May 2011. Larger view

Team – Embry-Riddle, Florida
Team leader – Richard Anderson
Aircraft name – Eco-Eagle
Seating – 2
Propulsion – hybrid
Max power – 100 kilowatts
Span – 75 feet

Eco-Eagle
The Eco-Eagle started out as a Stemme S10 motorglider, refitted with Rotax that's augmented with a belt-driven electric motor. Larger view

Team – Team Feuling GFC, California
Team leader – Gene Sheehan
Aircraft name – Feuling GFC
Seating – 1
Propulsion – electric
Max power – 16 kilowatts
Span – 16.7 feet

Feuling GFC
The Feuling GFC is nearly identical to the Rutan Quickie designed in 1977 by Burt Rutan. Larger view

Team – Pipistrel, Pennsylvania
Team leader – Jack Langelaan
Aircraft name – Taurus G4
Seating – 4
Propulsion – electric
Max power – 145 kilowatts
Span – 69.1 feet

Taurus G4
The Pipistrel Taurus G4 overhead at WittmanRegionalAirport during its first flight August 12.

Team – Phoenix Air, Florida
Team leader – Jim Lee
Aircraft name – Phoenix
Seating – 2
Propulsion –  
Max power – 44 kilowatts
Span – 47.3 feet

Phoenix
Powered by a Krall 44 electric motor and has retractable gear. Larger view

The teams below are ineligible for prizes,
but they may exhibit or make demonstration flights.

Team  Synergy, Montana
Team leader  John McGinnis
Aircraft name  Synergy
Seating 6
Propulsion bio-diesel
Max power  142 kilowatts
Span  32 feet

Synergy
Unveiled at the 2011 CAFE Electric Aircraft Symposium, the double-box-tailed Synergy aircraft is a potential breakthrough in aircraft design. Larger view

Team – PC-Aero, California
Team leader  Einar Enevoldson
Aircraft name  Elektra One
Seating 1
Propulsion electric
Max power  21 kilowatts
Span  27.6 feet

Elektra One
PC-Aero is proud to have invested in the future technology of electric-powered aircraft. Larger view

Team  IKE Aerospace, California
Team leader  Ira Munn
Aircraft name  Seraph
Seating 1
Propulsion bio-diesel hybrid
Max power  30 kilowatts
Span  15 feet

Seraph
Single-seat, twin-engine aircraft designed and built for the CAFE Green Flight Challenge. Larger view

Team  GSE-Aerochia, California
Team leader  Greg Stevenson
Aircraft name  Econo-Cruiser 3000  
Seating 2
Propulsion biofuel hybrid
Max power  15 kilowatts
Span  48.3 feet

Econo-Cruiser 3000
Working with wingtip vortices, electric motors with pusher props are located at the wingtips while a high-efficiency fan operates the Goldschmied fuselage propulsor. Larger view

Team Windward Performance, Oregon
Team leader  Gregory Cole
Aircraft name  GosHawk
Seating 2
Propulsion electric
Max power  n/a
Span  51 feet

GosHawk
The GosHawk is a high-performance, two-Seat motorglider with an electric motor. Larger view


Summary of the 2011 CAFE Green Flight Challenge Rules
All flight attempts are to be flown at competition weight.

Main prize: $1.5 million for the one aircraft that meets or exceeds 100 mph and meets or exceeds 200 passenger miles per gallon and achieves the best combination of speed and fuel economy by the following formula.

Score = 1/([1/mph] + [2/Passenger-MPGe]) *

Other prizes: Bio-Fuel Prize and Honorary Achievement Prize

Performance required
Range: 200 statute miles, with day, VFR reserve of 30 minutes. The course will require a minimum altitude of 4,000 feet MSL over nonmountainous, sparsely populated coastal terrain.  
Efficiency: Minimum 200-passenger-MPGe energy equivalency
Speed: Minimum 100-mph average on each of two 200-mile flights
Minimum speed: Maximum 52 mph in level flight without stall, power and flaps allowed
Takeoff distance: Maximum 2,000 feet from brake release to clear a 50-foot obstacle
Community noise: Maximum 78 dBA (decibels) at full power takeoff, measured 250 feet perpendicular to takeoff brake release location
Handling qualities: Acceptable on all seven basic handling qualities

Physical features required
Passengers: Upright seats with adequate volume for a 6-foot-tall, 200-pound adult
Wingspan: Must fit inside 44-foot-wide hangar for weighing (wingfold is acceptable)
Aircraft weights: Maximum 6,500 pounds
Field of view: Acceptable to FAA licensing authorities and FAA Advisory Circular 25.773-1
Control system: Must provide dual controls if two or more seats are installed
Payload carried: 200 pounds/seat; ballast required in all seats not occupied
Seating configuration: Aircraft with three or more seats must place at least two seats directly side by side. Rapid exit required for all seats.
Flightworthiness: Valid U.S. FAA airworthiness certificate for unrestricted day VFR flight in the continental United States; ASTM 2316 compliant aircraft ballistic parachute and all applicable inspections.

Fuel/energy use
Energy consumed: 1 gallon of 87 octane unleaded auto fuel = 115,000 BTU.
Fuels/energy allowed: Avgas 100 LL, Jet-A, diesel, unleaded auto gasoline, bio-fuels, H2, synthetics, electricity
ePower measurement: Electric-powered aircraft will use a CAFE-provided power meter to accurately determine energy used during the competition.

Pilot and team qualifications
FAA qualified for operating aircraft
Currency: Biennial flight review; minimum 500 relevant flight hours and 10 hours in make and model
Eligibility: Team leader must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident
Early-bird entry fee: $4,000 if submitted before December 31, 2009
Design proposal: Required before acceptance by CAFE into the event
Design freeze: After official registration and weigh-in, no modifications to the aircraft are allowed.

Additional requirements
Nothing except water ballast may be jettisoned from the aircraft during flight; weight of discarded water ballast will be scored as fuel consumed.

* Passenger-MPGe = number of passengers (pilots, passengers, or seats with equivalent ballast) multiplied by the calculated aircraft miles/gallon equivalent for the fuel and/or electricity referenced to the average energy content of 1 gallon of 87 octane unleaded auto gasoline (115,000 BTU) (Example: 200 passenger MPGe = 2 seats x 100 MPGe for a 2-passenger aircraft.)

Download the full rulebook by visiting the following link: http://cafefoundation.org/v2/pdf_GFC/GFC.TA.07.28.09.pdf  

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