Newsletter 59 – October 2011

Welcome to the Pipistrel Aircraft update for October 2011

Well, I am so pleased to report that the richest prize in aviation history has been awarded to Pipistrel for an achievement that nobody thought was ever possible, the goal was to fly an aircraft at over 100 mph for a distance of more than 200 miles whilst achieving fuel economy of 100 mpg. Sound impossible ?

Pipistrel exceeded the challenge in every respect and had a fuel economy of 403.5 mpg, and unbelievable figure which is more than double what NASA believed was achievable using today’s technologies and was awarded US$1,375,000 in prizemoney!

The 2011 Green Flight Challenge sponsored by Google and NASA was recently held at Santa Rosa airfield in California.

Originally, there were 14 entrants for the competition but in the end only four aircraft qualified, one of which was disqualified shortly after arrival for not meeting the competition rules and the competition was down to 3 aircraft, 2 aircraft were electric powered and a 3rd aircraft was gasoline powered by the trusty Rotax engine and was never probably likely to achieve 100 mpg economy.

We have a blog website up and running for the duration of the event and it has been extremely well received with more than 40,000 visitors in one week alone during the competition…… the blog website is kind of backwards with the earlier posts at the bottom and the latest posts at the top so if you want to start from the very beginning you need to go to page 1 and then work your way through the other 5 pages. There are lots of interviews with the different teams and a lot of behind-the-scenes information which people are finding really interesting, it has been described like “almost being there” and if you have the time I would encourage you to race off and spend 30 min going through the website blog and associated videos and photographs.

Visit for more information.

Safe flying, Michael Coates