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Yuneec, Sonex, And Axel Lange Win Lindbergh Awards

Lindbergh Electric Aircraft Prize (LEAP) Recognizes Developments In Electric Flight

Friday at the World Electric Aircraft Symposium at the Experimental Aircraft Association’s AirVenture, Erik Lindbergh, founder of the Creative Solutions Alliance (CSA) and grandson of Charles and Anne Morrow Lindbergh, announced the winners of the Lindbergh Electric Aircraft Prizes (LEAP).


Lindbergh Prize Awards Ceremony Photo Credit LEAP

LEAP is a suite of prizes that recognizes significant contributions to the development of practical electric flight, and stimulates meaningful advances in the fledgling electric aircraft industry. LEAP awarded a total of $25,000 in prize money, an amount equal to the Orteig prize that was won by Charles Lindbergh for his 1927 solo crossing of the Atlantic Ocean. In doing so, Charles Lindbergh changed the world’s perspective about the potential for aviation and opened the door for today’s $300 billion dollar aviation industry.

“We are witnessing the dawn of a new era in aviation technology,” said Erik Lindbergh. “As pilots, we need to take the initiative to find sustainable alternatives for the future of aviation.”

The prizes have been awarded for the following:

  • Best Electric Aircraft: Awarded for the best example of a practical electric aircraft in any category – Experimental, LSA, or Certified. The prize was awarded to Yuneec in recognition of Yuneec’s accomplishments in the design and engineering of the E430, an aircraft with significant commercial potential. With attention to production and market considerations in addition to a compelling design, Yuneec’s efforts have resulted in an aircraft that could make possible practical, sustained electric flight.
  • Best Electric Aircraft Sub-System or Component Technology: Defined as a set of components designed to work together to accomplish a specific task which advances the field of electric aircraft in performance, safety and practicality, or individual components that serve to advance the performance and practicality of electric aircraft. The prize was awarded to Sonex for the design and engineering of the eFlight Initiative electric propulsion system architecture. Their innovative engine cooling system, motor controller, battery pack, and integrated safety systems point to a thorough understanding of needs of the market with an eye toward commercialization, while mitigating potential safety issues.
  • Individual Achievement Award: Granted for significant individual achievement in the field of electric flight for a single event or cumulative effort in any of the following areas: engineering, design, public outreach, regulatory, or education. The prize was awarded to Axel Lange for his leadership and vision in the development of the Antares 20E, which is the world’s first certified production electric aircraft.  The 20E demonstrates a level of innovation, engineering, and integration that is currently unmatched. The 20E’s simplicity of use and elegance of electric power-train integration indicate a level of excellence in engineering and design that warrant this award.  Of particular interest is the fact the system monitors itself, and notifies the pilot of battery system status and potential failures.

LEAP has partnered with EAA, who hosted the LEAP awards at Oshkosh AirVenture, the annual air show held each July in Oshkosh, WI. According to EAA, the winners donated back their prize money to be used to sponsor youth programs.

LEAP announced that in 2011, LEAP prizes will be awarded at Aero-Friedrichschafen in Germany as well as at AirVenture.

FMI: www.lindberghprize.org


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