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PHOTO CAPTION: Georgia Tech's Vapor electric plane design by Tom Neuman won NASA student competition.

NASA Selects Electric Airplane Design Winners

Challenged to design four-place all-electric airplane, some 20 universities entered with Georgia Tech winning in the graduate category and UC Davis in the undergrad class.

Published: 18-Aug-2015

Here's the challenge NASA posed in its electric airplane student design challenge. The four-place aircraft had to be able to fly on electric power for 575 minutes (9.58 hours), which translates into more than 1,100 miles flying range at 120 mph cruise speed. Besides the four standard 170 lbs. passengers, the design also had to be able to carry an additional 400 lbs of luggage and other cargo.

Now given the current state of battery technology, that ten times longer and further than what even major aerospace firms like Airbus have been able to manage aircraft like the E-Fan. So, it may be sometime before that mountain gets climbed, but we're starting to see impressive progress all around the EV world of electric flight from the SolarImpulse to the Chanel challenge between E-Fan and Cri Cri.

More than 20 universities entered the competition with Georgia Tech, UC Davis, and Virginia Tech taking the top honors as posted on NASA's website.

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