Watch as the evolution of aviation goes wheels-up.
The Pipistrel Taurus G4 took off from a runway paved with hope and flew away with the $1.35 million top prize from the Google-sponsored CAFE Green Flight Challenge.
Pipistrel (www.pipistrel-usa.com) developed this sweet baby to take advantage of its electric and hybrid propulsion technology, and according to the company's blog about the recent contest, the aircraft achieved fuel efficiency of more than 400 miles per gallon in its 200-mile flight. A brushless electric motor, rated at 145 kW, turns the propeller that's situated between the plane's fuselages.
"We are happy to have had the opportunity to raise the limitations of the electric flight one step higher. What was science fiction three years ago is reality today," said Ivo Boscarol, general manager of Pipistrel, in a prepared statement. "Pipistrel has proven that at the moment, the aircraft industry has far overtaken the automotive industry. No car in the world is capable of driving 250 miles with the average speed higher than 100 miles per hour and the fuel consumption of less than one gallon per passenger. What is more, we did this regardless of the weight limitations in aviation and despite huge founding that the automotive industry has. This achievement was made by Pipistrel and nobody can take this away from us anymore."
Contemplate this feat for a moment and the possibilities it opens for advanced, printed avionics systems and components. While you're thinking about the ways in which lightweight, flexible, printed circuits can add to the aircraft's fuel efficiency, click here to watch a video of this aircraft in flight.
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