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e-Genius is 'Quietest' Aircraft at GFC

e-Genius departs during The Green Flight Challenge sponsored by Google last week in California. Photo courtesy LEAP

Microphones to measure the noise of the participants. Photo by Pat Panzera

October 3, 2011 – Last weekend at The Green Flight Challenge sponsored by Google, Erik Lindbergh, founder of LEAP, announced the first winner of the Lindbergh Prize for Quietest Aircraft. The prize was awarded to e-Genius, a two-seat electric airplane designed and built by University of Stuttgart Institute of Aircraft Design under the leadership of Professor Rudolf Voit-Nitschmann and piloted by Eric Raymond and Klaus Ohlmann. Noise levels of the competitors ranged from a minimum of 56 dBA to a maximum of 72 dBA. By comparison, the takeoff noise of a turbo-fan aircraft at a similar distance is 110 dBA, more than 16 times louder. 

“Noise is one of the most significant social and environmental impacts of aviation,” Lindbergh said. “When aircraft noise is used as a reason to close airports we all lose. This inaugural Lindbergh Prize for Quietest Aircraft recognizes significant achievements in the development of quieter aircraft and compliments our efforts to advance the electric aircraft industry. With quieter aircraft using renewable energy we can revolutionize how we travel about the planet.”

Voit-Nitschmann was assisted on the project by Len Schumann and Steffen Geinitz. Accompanying the prize was a cash award of $10,000, generously donated by Jean Schulz, widow of Charles M. Schulz, for whom the airport where the competition took place was named.

The goal of the prize was to quantify the noise impact of aircraft on the surrounding community. The testing was performed by an independent team of aero-acousticians who measured takeoff noise levels of each of the planes in the Green Flight Challenge. Measurements were taken at several points along each side of the runway to factor out variables such as crosswind noise.

Past winners of the Lindbergh Prize for Electric Aircraft include:
1. PC-Aero: Vision Award, EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2011
2. Pipistrel: Best Electric Aircraft, AERO Friedrichshafen 2011
3. LZ Design: Best Electric Propulsion System, AERO Friedrichshafen 2011
4. Solar Impulse: Outstanding Achievement Award, AERO Friedrichshafen 2011
5. Yuneec International: Best Electric Aircraft, EAA AirVenture 2010
6. Sonex: Best Electric Aircraft Subsystem, EAA AirVenture 2010
7. Lange Aviation: Individual Achievement Award, EAA AirVenture 2010


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