Due to a strong initial response, groups intending to enter the $60,000 Electric Flight Prize at EAA AirVenture 2011 are encouraged to do so as soon as possible. A maximum of 12 viable candidates from the pool of applications will be selected to compete for the Electric Flight Prize, which will showcase the accomplishments and viability of flight powered exclusively by electricity. The competitions are open to anyone with an electric-powered aircraft who has flown at least 40 hours and has an airworthiness certificate.
An initial application form, along with the official rules, is available to download here. Completed applications can be e-mailed here.
Three flight competitions, along with electric aircraft innovation evaluations, will take place during AirVenture with a total of $60,000 at stake for winners of each category as well as the overall winner of the Electric Flight Competition. The prizes and support for the competition comes from Wicks Aircraft Supply, Dynon Avionics, Aircraft Spruce & Specialty, and AeroLEDs - four companies highly active in the sport aviation community.
To date, applications for the following aircraft have been submitted:
- ElectraFlyer-C, a single-place aircraft that was flown at Oshkosh in 2008;
- ElectraFlyer-X, a two-place aircraft;
- ElectraFlyer-ULS, a single-place test bed designed around a new, low-RPM, massive torque electric motor;
- Pipistrel Taurus G2, the first two-seat aircraft powered by an electric motor to fly in the world;
- Pipistrel Taurus G4, a four-place aircraft featuring a 75-foot wingspan;
- Sonex Electric Waiex, a standard Waiex kit aircraft modified with the installation of proprietary e-flight electric power components;
- V-Raptor Electro Flyer, featuring a 20-hp motor and a composite structure;
- Lange Antares 20E motor glider, flown at Oshkosh in 2009 and 2010
- Lazair, an electric version of a well known ultralight
- PC-Aero Elektra One, a single-seat aircraft from Germany.
On Tuesday, July 26, the first competition will test electric aircraft for endurance to determine which aircraft can be kept aloft for the longest period of time. Working with Dynon measuring equipment, each airplane can then enter the time-to-climb competition scheduled for Wednesday, July 27.
The third and final competition, held on Thursday, July 28, will measure the maximum speed of each aircraft. The innovation evaluation will be conducted by representatives of the four companies contributing to the prize. They will reach a consensus on the top three developments in electric flight based on battery, motor, controller, and airframe.
Each activity will be scored and plaques will be awarded to the aircraft placing first, second, or third in each category. $5,000 will be awarded to the first-place finisher in each of the four sections of the contest, $3,000 to the second-place finisher, and $2,000 to the third-place finisher. In the event of a tie score, the prize will be shared equally among the winners. It is not be necessary to place first in each event to win the overall category.
EAA AirVenture 2011 will also host the second annual World Symposium on Electric Aircraft on July 29-30, featuring several influential industry leaders discussing electric propulsion aircraft in an open forum, offering what they envision is the future for this rapidly growing flight segment that is attracting the attention of scientists, engineers, manufacturers, and investors.