Pipistrel BIG WINNER of NASA Challenge

Michael Coates of Pipistrel USA just called us with some great news! Pipistrel took 5 of the 7 Challenges on the NASA & Boeing Sponsored Challenge and is the BIG WINNER!
 
In Michael Coates' own words:
 
"Great news...  We have just finished the presentation evening for the CAFE PAV Challenge and I am pleased to announce that Team Pipistrel has almost cleaned up, winning the major prize and several smaller prizes including prize money for the team of $160,000 !!! We beat several competitors including the fastest RV in the World....   I won almost everything and with some engineering help from Pipistrel next year we can pick up the 2 awards we didnt win from the 7 available... we won 5 including best pilot (me)"
 
Vance Turner, owner of the winning Virus:
We won:
- $100,000 Vantage prize ( best over all ),
- best miles-per-gallon plaque,
- $10,000 2nd prize in top speed competing against the fastest RV-4 in the world,
- $25,000 CAFE efficiency prize,
- $25,000 Shortest runway prize,

Without Rodger Musso and Michael Coates, I would have dropped out because of all the hassle etc. 6 planes dropped out after putting up there unrefundable $1,000 entry fee, some maybe because Pipistrels entered.
Rodger Musso brought and entered his Pipistrel Virus that probably would have won a number of things had the short wing not preformed so well. Rodger's plane served as a supper back up incase we got disqualified.
The rules were changing by the day, hour and minute and one guy contested about everything making lots of people mad I think.
Fritz Henshaw were involved with both our Pipistrel Teams which worked together and he was a big help at Santa Rosa, CA.
Michael Coates, our Australian, US Pipistrel master importer and pilot, kept our spirits up and was constantly planning / scheming in the face of very formidable competition.
HE solved many problems for us during the 13 days he was here and appeared to have fun doing it. A can of Pledge wrapped in tape labeled " Slovenian Speed Spray / NASA new and approved " got lots of looks and laughs. I got some NASA decals and we put on planes and motor home. Next day everybody had NASA decals on everything.
Michael showed world class airmanship and got unbelievable performance out of my shortwing Virus. Note, because of many delays we departed for the CAFE CHALLENGE with less than one hour flying time on my plane since it arrived in the US in a sea container new from the factory.
Brian Seeley, founder and head guy of CAFE 400, came up to me just before I had to leave and said something like " I just can't believe the performance you have in weight carrying and speed with such light weight plane and only 80 hp Pipistrels...."
I said we'll be back with a much better plane next year and really show you something."
 
CONGRATULATIONS TO MICHAEL, VANCE AND HIS TEAM! More details will follow in the next days.
 
Media coverage:
 
EAA
 
 
 
CNET
 
NASA RESULTS (Vance Turner is our USA distributor for California, Nevada, Oregon and Washington as well as the owner of winning Virus)
 
NASA ANNOUNCEMENT (2005)
 
Link to CAFE Foundation / PAV Challenge
 
 

 
 
About CAFE:
 
CAFE Foundation creates and shares understanding of personal aircraft technologies by careful measurement and analysis of aircraft performance.

Besides overcoming the force of Earth's gravity, aircraft must maneuver against the friction and pressures of a surprisingly viscous and powerfully turbulent medium—Earth's atmosphere. By comparing how aircraft move through this 'sea of air', the enthusiast members of CAFE have pioneered valuable new ways to study aerodynamics and improve personal aircraft.
CAFE developed award-winning flight test equipment and software that records extremely accurate speeds, temperatures, weights, pressures, frequencies and sound levels. This suite of CAFE flight test tools have turned the skies above Santa Rosa into a kind of "Nature's Wind Tunnel". CAFE's flight test expertise has become a national asset recognized by many of those prominent in the world of aviation, including NASA, Boeing, AOPA and EAA.
The diverse members of the CAFE team each contribute a special talent and expertise to the organization. But it is the magic of enthusiasm that has turned these airplane hobbyists into respected aeronautical scientists. The CAFE team arose mainly from members of Experimental Aircraft Association Chapter (EAA) 124, where the passion for personal aviation is strong. Volunteers from EAA 124 have formed the backbone of CAFE's success.
As we enter the Second Century of Flight, CAFE Foundation looks forward to enhancing its key role in advancing the science, education and growth of personal aviation for everyone.
 
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