Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Euro Eco Meet

Here's one of those great events that bring out garage geniuses and newtechies alike - and in time lead to entire new industries: the Eco-Marathon Ulm.
Think of this event/competition as a call to young designers and engineers to craft minimally-fueled flying machines. Brings to mind the European aviation meets of a century ago, where passionate tinkerers and leading-edge technical thinkers gathered to show their flying machines and inspire each other to keep pushing all the envelopes.
The happening invites everyone with prototypes or modified production models of European-standard microlight aircraft.
The competition features a GPS-tracked course with measurement of fuel usage at the goal. The skimpiest sipper of fuel for the rectangular 2000 meter x 250 meter course, to be flown three times consecutively at Vichy, France, will be the winner.
A plethora of energy sources is allowed for in the rules: Unleaded fuel, Liquefied petroleum, gas to liquid, hydrogen (!), pressurized air (!!), solar, battery, hybrid (gas engine/electric motor). Wot a hoot!
The Eco Marathon Ulm Association is a "major educational project" aimed at fostering innovation in aviation fuel efficiency and helping young aeronautical whizbrains discover their career tracks.
BTW: the aircraft pictured are the Woopy and the Pipistrel.
---photos courtesy Eco Marathon ULM

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