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'LEAP' Aims to Jump-Start Electric Aircraft Development

Erik Lindbergh
Erik Lindbergh

March 25, 2010 — A newly created aviation challenge hopes to spark a significant “leap” in electric aircraft technology. Called the Lindbergh Electric Aircraft Prize, or LEAP, it was announced by Erik Lindbergh this past week at an event marking the 80th anniversary of his grandparents’ (Charles and Anne Morrow Lindbergh) historic glider flights in San Diego. The Creative Solutions Alliance (CSA), a nonprofit organization founded by Erik Lindbergh, is LEAP sponsor, and the prize winners will be announced annually at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh beginning this year.

“The Lindbergh Electric Aircraft Prize is the culmination of my work over the last decade in aviation, education, and prize philanthropy,” Lindbergh said. “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.”

LEAP prize awards include:

  • Best Electric Aircraft - awarded for the best example of a practical electric aircraft in any category - experimental, LSA, or certified.
  • Best Electric Aircraft Sub-System - a set of components designed to work together to accomplish a specific task that advances electric aircraft performance and practicality, like electric powertrains, energy storage systems, charging systems, etc.
  • Best Electric Aircraft Component Technology - individual components, such as batteries, electric motors, power electronics, that advance electric aircraft performance and practicality.
  • A Public Choice Award - allowing the public to vote on electric aircraft that are currently flying.

“Hosting the pioneering technology of electric aircraft is a natural for EAA AirVenture and that has always been the annual showcase for what’s new in the world of flight,” said Tom Poberezny, EAA chairman/president. “This area will play an increasing role in aviation in this century and only at Oshkosh can people meet and hear from the innovators themselves and find out more about what it means for individual aircraft owners and pilots.”
To learn more, visit www.LindberghPrize.org.

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