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  2011 Green Flight Challenge FAQ


2011 GFC FAQ

Q #1: I want to enter a 3 seat aircraft with all three occupants arranged inline, tandem-style. Is this permissible?

A: Aircraft with 3 or more seats must place at least 2 of the seats side-by-side with no stagger and no overlap of the required 20" width per person."

Q #2: What rate of energy consumption is used to determine the amount of each aircraft's 30 minute fuel/energy reserve?

A: Section 2.3 (s) and Appendix "E" of the rules clearly define the BTU/hr consumption found from the aircraft's Speed Flight as the one that will be used to determine its 30 minute fuel reserve.

Q #3: "The FAA Advisory Circular guidelines required are those for transport category aircraft. Will these be amended to fit small, front-engined experimental aircraft?"

A: Yes. FOV requirements are posted in this document.

Q #4:  May a different power source be used for the 30 min. VFR reserve? Assume an electric airplane is using efficient batteries for its main propulsion (200 mi). May the plane then use an internal combustion engine (ICE) generator of comparatively low efficiency be used to generate electric power for the required additional 30 minutes? In such a case, since the test is conducted on the ground and not in the air, would it be allowed to provide an external blower for engine cooling, or would it be sufficient just to do a short test run to demonstrate the required power level?
A:  Appendix A, RULES IN DETAIL, item s “Fuel Reserves” on pg. 26, defines how the 30 minute reserve will be determined. The top 4 scoring aircraft will be required to demonstrate 30 minutes of power output at a level equal to their average energy use during their Speed Flight Attempt. For electrics, including the internal combustion engine generator that is mentioned in FAQ 3, this will be accomplished by putting the electrical energy into a heater or other energy sink for a period of 30 minutes. A team-supplied blower may be used for such 30 minute ground runs. For purely ICE aircraft, the 30 minute reserve will be demonstrated by showing that the amount of residual fuel onboard would have been sufficient to propel the aircraft for 30 minutes at the same gallons per hour rate it averaged during its Speed Flight Attempt.
Q #5:  Are there any minimum cross wind requirements which might be important for mono-wheels? Would the flights be canceled if there is a moderately strong cross wind, for example a 10 kt cross wind?
A:  The rules have no crosswind requirements. If a direct crosswind were to exceed 15 knots, the flights would be postponed until winds decreased.
Q #6:  If an airplane is using solar panels and the weather is cloudy, would the team get some credit in terms of spent energy calculation? For example, would theoretical energy generated by solar cells during flight be deducted from the actual energy used?
A:  No such credit would be given.
Q #7:  Concerning insect contamination, is it possible to provide any estimates regarding insect concentration? Can flights be scheduled early in the morning when there are less insects, or is there typically a strong wind that may blow insects away?
A:  Insect contamination is typically not a problem at this airport. Flights will be made as the schedule, weather and pre-flight preparations allow.
Q #8:  Would measuring the weight of the entire airplane on a scale provide sufficiently accurate measure of the fuel spent? For a 600 lb. airplane and 1 gal. = 6 lbs. fuel spent, one would need high accuracy which would require very precise scales.
A:  The CAFE scales have demonstrated excellent resolution, accuracy and repeatability and are capable of the measurements needed.
Q #9:  Would you think it might make sense to require each team to provide a preliminary score estimate based on 1/(1/v+2/mpg) formula? If tentative scores are close, each team can take some extra steps to improve performance. On the flip side, of course, this may drive some teams out of competition if they are too far behind ...
A:  No. Teams will not be required to provide estimates of scores.
Q #10:  With modern advances in lithium-ion / lithium-polymer / lithium-sulfur  batteries, would you estimate that 200 mpg might be a relatively easy target for an electric airplane?
A:  The rules are structured to encourage wide participation and to award the best combined performance, including speed, at levels above 200 pMPG.
Q #11:  Do you happen to know of any teams that are looking for members or of any individuals, especially in the Bay Area, that are trying to build a team for the GFC?
A:  Please visit the Create or Join a GFC Team webpage for more information.

Q #12: Regarding the Section 4.4, Intellectual Property Rights: Since different companies that are members of the team or have representatives as members on the team either own or are the licensees of almost all of the proprietary technologies of the aircraft rather than the team itself, would the negotiation-in-good-faith clause with funders apply as well with these companies individually? Could it?
A: Pending. NASA is being consulted on this matter

Q #13:  Regarding the Section 5.3, Reporting of Aggregate Investment: With the different companies that have representatives as members on the team, will each company have to submit a quarterly investment sum if the team is not being charged any amount by each company?
A: Pending. NASA is being consulted on this matter

Q #14: Regarding the 'Other Definitions' Section of the Team Agreement, and 'Appendix A': It is stated in the Other Definitions Section that "The MPG Flight will be flown 2 days prior to the Speed Flight." However Appendix A states that the Speed Performance Required will be based on "greater than or equal to 100 mph average on each of the two 200 mile flights." Will speed be measured only on the second flight as the Other Definitions section suggests, or on both flight days as Appendix A could suggest, or will there actually be two speed flights on the speed test day (July 15th), as Appendix A also suggests?

A: Speed and pMPGe will be measured in both flights. The MPG Flight demands at least a 100 mph average speed, but the speed achieved in that flight is not the speed used to compute the aircraft’s score. The Speed Flight, July 15, also demands at least a 100 mph average speed, and the speed achieved in that Speed Flight is the one that will be used in the GFC scoring formula.

Q #15: Regarding 'Appendix A': It is stated that all flight attempts are to be flown at Competition Weight. What is Competition Weight?

A: See Abbreviations/Definitions (page 5 of the Team Agreement)

Q #16: Do ballistic parachutes work at high altitudes in thin air?

A: We understand that ballistic parachutes for GA have not been deployed at high altitudes, only the military have done that, apparently successfully. According to BRS, in thin air there would be a longer free fall until the chute opens. BRS says their parachute typically needs a 2000 ft. fall to fully open. However, the GFC will be flown at ≥ 4000 feet MSL with generally ≥ 3500 feet AGL most of the course.

Q #17: Can a team be accepted into the GFC and later on modify their design? In particular, could they substitute the newest super density batteries as the event draws near?

A: In general, upgrades to equipment such as batteries, props, motors, solar cells, etc. would be allowed if FAA Airworthiness Certificate remains valid. Other modifications, such as changes to the airframe or its surface would require review by CAFE on a case by case basis.

Q #18: Quoted minimum speed is 100mph. Is this air speed or ground speed?

A: Ground speed.

Q #19: To be a valid entry in the GFC, some existing aircraft would only need a wing folding mechanism and a ballistic parachute. For example, is a very slightly modified Antares 20E or Stemme S10 a valid entry? How much modification would be necessary to qualify an existing aircraft as a valid entry? Is entering an essentially unmodified motor-glider within the spirit of the challenge?

A: The rules do not forbid existing aircraft that are unmodified. Aircraft must fit the weight and dimensional limitations defined in the Team Agreement. Design Proposal review is likely to favor the designs with the highest scoring potential.

Q #20: Section 23.e states that the course requires climb to an altitude of 4000 MSL. How much divergence from this altitude is allowed during flight? In other words, is “sawtooth” flight allowed?

A: The rules require the flight to be at an altitude of ≥ 4000 feet MSL. No other height limitation is imposed. See p. 17 of the Team Agreement.

Q #21: What altitudes are required during the Green Flight Challenge?

A: Aircraft must fly both of their competition flights (one for MPG
and one for Speed) at or above 4000' MSL except for the initial climb
and the end of the flight.

Q #22: The rules call for 500 hours of flight + 10 hr in make and model of competition aircraft; On page 48, the rules also call for 500 hours of flight + 40 hours in the competition aircraft. Which is correct?

A: The pilot needs 10 hours in the aircraft and 500 hours of experience as a pilot. The aircraft needs 40 hours airframe time which the FAA normally requires in order to license the aircraft beyond Phase 1.

Q #23: How will CAFE measure fuel or energy use? Will it be strictly by weighing?

A: CAFE reserves the right to use methods other than weighing to measure fuel or energy consumption, depending upon the aircraft design. (rules, p. 24, 38)

Q #24: Will CAFE conduct a technical inspection of the aircraft on- site at CAFE before the flight competition?

A: Yes. And a more extensive inspection will be made to the top 4 scoring aircraft immediately after the competition. This will include measurement of the required 30 minute fuel reserve. (rules, p. 26)

Q #25: Is ammonia an acceptable fuel for use in the GFC?

A: Yes, and its energy equivalency calculates as 15.35 pounds of ammonia per gallon of 87 octane motor gasoline.

Q#26: If an aircraft is certificated, can it compete in the GFC without a parachute

A: No. The parachute requirement is uniform for all teams.

Q #27: Can aircraft with Experimental-Air Racing or Experimental Exhibition or other forms of Experimental airworthiness certificates compete in the GFC?

A: Only if they also have FAA operating limitations or a letter/waiver from FAA that expressly provide them with authorization to fly the GFC event and race course.

Q #28:  Is hydrogen peroxide authorized as a fuel for use in the GFC?

A:  No.

Q #29:  Can I use a compressed air tank without paying for the energy to compress the air into it?

A:  No.

Q #30:  Would be possible to add new members to a GFC team?

A:  As long as the requirements in the rules at 2.1 are followed and met, you may request CAFE approval for additional team members.

Q #31:  Can a GFC team have a corporate sponsor?

A:  Yes.

Q #32:  Can I use multiple fuels simultaneously?

A:  Yes, as long as they are approved fuels.

Q #33:  Can I enter a vehicle that is built with a government grant?

A:  No. See rule 2.2 on page 7.

Q #34:  When does a design for an aircraft entering the GFC need to be completed?

A:  The design may not be substantially changed once it has been accepted. See rule 1.4 on page 4.

Q #35:  Can I partner with a university?

A:  Yes.

Q #36:  Can university students help with the competition?

A:  Yes, as long as they are registered team members and not part of another team.

Q #37:  What is the weight of the flight test equipment to be added by CAFE for the competition flights?

A:  The weight of the flight test equipment will be less than five pounds.

Q #38:  Could you please clarify the requirements for the bio-fuel prize?

A:  As stated in section 2.2 on page 20 of the team agreement, the bio-fuel prize requires that a minimum of 90% of the energy used during the flight competitions comes from a qualified bio-fuel.

Q #39: What is the approximate cost of adding a ballistic parachute to an aircraft competing in the Green Flight Challenge?

A: The cost will depend upon the size of the aircraft, how much new engineering is required and whether the aircraft will become a market for many more ballistic parachutes for the company that sells them. Cost estimates provided by BRS, for example, for aircraft of the size thus far entered in the GFC have ranged from $4,000 to $20,000 for the parachute. Greater costs could be required for larger aircraft or aircraft of configurations that require re-engineering the parachute's attachment and deployment.

Q #40: Will CAFE provide a battery charger?

A: No.  Each team must provide its own charger.  CAFE will provide a source of 240 VAC at up to 40 Amps to power the team's charger.

Q #41: Must my battery have a Battery Management System (BMS)?

A: Absolutely.  For safety all batteries must be equipped with battery management systems to prevent over or under charging of cells.

Q #42: Do the aircraft in the GFC that use a fuel need a removable fuel tank?

A: Yes. The method of measurement of fuel use is described in this [document].

Q #43: How will CAFE measure the amount of Hydrogen consumed in aircraft that use it as fuel?

A: The method of measurement of fuel use is described in this [document] and will follow the energy equivalency given on page 40, Appendix F of the GFC Team Agreement.

Q #44: Can the 44 foot wingspan requirement be met by removing the wings and weighing them with the aircraft using an accessory support dolly?

A: Yes. Removing both wings can fulfill the requirements of wing folding to reduce wing span to less than 44 feet as long as it can be accomplished in less than 20 minutes by no more than 4 adults. For weighing such, Team must provide a wing support dolly that keeps the wings aligned with their normal flight-ready c.g. position during weighing. See page 25 and 27 of the GFC Team Agreement.

Q #45: Can a weighing adaptor be used during weighing of aircraft with mono-wheel or very narrow landing gear track?

A: Yes, if the adaptor is provided by Team.

Q #46: Will electric powered aircraft with solar panels be allowed to recharge in the sun?

A: Yes, in a limited and equitable way. The method of recharging in such cases is described in this [document].

Q #47: How does CAFE avoid having atmospheric changes influence the scores achieved in the Green Flight Challenge?

A: The GFC flight competition will be conducted with all aircraft flying at nearly the same time over the same course during, weather permitting, the morning hours, over mainly flat coastal terrain devoid of ridge lift.

Q #48: Will CAFE's equipment handle a vehicle with multiple battery packs of different voltages?

A: Yes, although depending on the power measurement equipment available to CAFE it may be necessary to charge one pack at a time.

Q #49: Is it possible for the GFC to award substantial prizes for the aircraft that finish 2nd or 3rd in the competition?

A: If a sponsor/funder chooses to add prize structure for 2nd and 3rd places finishers, CAFE would welcome that addition as a way to increase the number of teams and innovations brought forth by the Challenge.

Q #50: Will the removable tank requirement apply to all fuels?

A: Yes, except for electric. See the Energy Paper.

Q #51: Is the team leader allowed to serve as a primary pilot?

A: Yes.

Q #52: Other than the ballistic parachute, what equipment not required by FAA will CAFE require?

A: Nothing is planned at this time.

Q #53: Does CAFE publish plans for how to make an air data boom?

A: No.

Q #54: Would CAFE be willing to lease their boom?

A: Not at this time.

Q #55: Does CAFE have any guidance for making or sourcing a pilot’s stick force gauge?

A: Not at this time.

Q #56: Will CAFE require installation of antennas into the structure?

A: No.  However a small GPS flight recorder will need to be on board.  Either the recorder or a separate antenna should have a good view of the sky.

Q #57: How much time will be allowed for battery charging?

A: The maximum charging time has been increased from 10 to 16 hours.  See the Energy Paper.

Q #58: Is it allowable for non team members to work on an aircraft prior to the event?

A: Yes. CAFE does not monitor who works on an aircraft prior to the event.

Q #59: Does Finland’s Neste Oil renewable synthetic diesel made from vegetable oils and animal fats qualify for the biofuel prize?

A: Yes. But its energy content and density are still to be determined.

Q #60: Why do teams need a ballistic parachute?

A: CAFE has determined that ballistic parachutes are necessary for the safe conduct of this event.

Q #61: The Energy Paper and FAQ 50 mention the use of removable fuel tanks. Please explain in detail.

A: Please see the latest (12/20/2010 or later) version of the Energy Paper. It modifies FAQ #50.

Q #62: The Energy Paper refers to a photo pylon at 3300 feet MSL but the race course requires flight at ≥ 4000 feet MSL. Please clarify.

A: All turning point pylons for the Speed and MPG flight attempts will require flying by at or above 4000 feet MSL except for one photo pylon at which the aircraft must fly by at or below 3300 feet MSL on each lap.  This modifies FAQs #20 and #21.

Q #63: Are teams allowed to change team leaders?

A: The Team Leader who is eligible and who authentically holds that title as of December 31, 2010, shall be the sole and unchanging team leader from then on up to and throughout the GFC competition on July 10-17, 2011, and shall be the sole person to whom any NASA prize money is awarded. There will be no "Acting Team Leaders".

Q #64: What bio-fuels are allowed in the GFC ?

A: Please see the latest (12/20/2010 or later) version of the Energy Paper.

Q #65: Is the 240 V supplied by CAFE single phase?

A: Yes. Please see the latest (12/20/2010 or later) version of the Energy Paper for more details.

Q #66: Can a team add members any time?

A: Teams can request adding members up until midnight of May 30, 2011, if the appropriate paper work is filed with CAFE. New team members must be accepted by CAFE and NASA..

Q #67: Who will be allowed access to the official pit area designated for each team aircraft after it is impounded into the Green Flight Challenge?

A: Only Badge-Holding Team Members, under the escort of an TSA-badged CAFE designee, will be allowed such access. Team Members’ badges are transferable to other Team Members, but only 4 badged Team Members will be allowed access to the pit area at any given time.

Q #68: Will Team Members be allowed to work on their aircraft during the GFC?

A: No. Aside from battery-charging and fueling and the CAFE flight test equipment installation/removal, Team Aircraft cannot be modified in any way after the GFC officially begins.

Q #69: Can teams use a purpose-built dolly to fit their landing gear’s footprint onto the CAFE Scales for weighing the aircraft?

A: Yes, but only if team provides such a dolly and it allows the weighing process to be completed in 20 minutes or less.

Q #70: The rules (page 30 of Team Agreement) require a landing gear cycle time of = 10 seconds. Will this be enforced?

A: Yes, it is a requirement. Landing gear must retract in = 10 seconds. Landing gear must extend in = 10 seconds. However, page 29 explains that it is permitted to fail this goal and 1 other of the handling qualities task sub-component goals described in Appendix C and still qualify as eligible if the aircraft fulfills all of the other goals.

Q #71: Is ethyl alcohol an acceptable fuel for use in the GFC?

A: Yes. For scoring purposes, CAFE must obtain the energy per gallon and weight per gallon for ethanol from a reputable lab, whose fee for such determination must be paid by the team that requests use of that special fuel.  For all fuels the weight of the fuel is multiplied by its energy density to determine energy used.

Q #72: For our reserve, can we have a separate battery on a switch that is not connected during our Flight Attempts?

A: Yes. If any energy from that separate battery is used during the Flight Attempt it will be tallied as part of the vehicle’s equivalent MPG.

Q #73: How many altitude dips down to 3300 feet MSL will be required during the GFC 200 mile flights?

A: No more than 3 dips. 

Q #74: If human muscular energy is used during the Flight Attempt, will it be measured and scored?

A: Human muscular energy will not be measured but may be utilized by any team.

Q #75: Will Swift Fuel be approved for use in the GFC?

A: Yes. For scoring purposes, CAFE must obtain its energy per gallon and weight per gallon from a reputable lab, whose fee for such determination must be paid by the team that requests use of that special fuel.

Q #76: About the eTotalizer for electric powered GFC aircraft: How large is it? How do we connect it to our electrical system and aircraft structure? Will CAFE provide these for all aircraft?

A: The eTotalizer is approximately 6” x 6” x 2.5” and weighs about 1 pound. Its shunt has two large electrical terminals to which the aircraft’s large gauge power cables will attach. Bolt holes on the shunt will allow it to attach to the aircraft. CAFE will provide the eTotalizer and small netbook computer to which its wiring harness feeds signal. A dimensionally correct ‘dummy’ eTotalizer may be shipped to each team in advance to enable them to perform a pre-installation fitting.

Q #77: Are teams with sponsors allowed to acknowledge these by applying paint or decals to their aircraft?

A: Yes. Aircraft may be decorated as each team wishes, however the CAFE board may disallow decorating schemes that are perceived as promoting a cause, as political, as religious, as controversial, as inappropriate, as offensive, etc... Please submit your decorating schemes for review to avoid any misunderstandings at the event.

Q #78: How will CAFE measure 30 minute energy reserves?

A: Average energy consumed per hour during the flight will be halved and used as the necessary reserve energy required. The top 4 finishers will have this energy reserve verified by operating the restrained aircraft for 30 minutes on the ground at a power setting that consumes that amount of energy. If necessary, a cooling blower will be provided during those runs.

Q #79: How many battery chargers can each team use simultaneously?

A: Each charger will be supplied with 240V at 40 amps. A maximum of 2 chargers per aircraft can be used simultaneously. The charging time limit is 16 hours.

Q #80: Can a team charter an aircraft to use in the GFC?

A: Yes.

Q #81: Can a team use a separate internal combustion engine/prop/fuel supply to fulfill the 30 minute reserve?

A: Yes. However, such aircraft must undergo a qualifying flight test to verify that the reserve unit will actually be capable of supplying 30 minutes worth of flight at the cruise power used in the speed race. The reserve fuel tank contents will be monitored during all Flight Attempts.

Q #82: Will it be possible for CAFE to provide teams with a hangar at STS in order to prepare their aircraft for the event in the days preceeding it?

A: No. CAFE has no hangars available. However, teams could inquire from the airport manager’s office about what space might be available privately.

Q #83: When will CAFE post or reveal a listing of all teams entered in the GFC?

A: Such posting awaits a concurrence review of all teams’ prize eligibility by NASA, which CAFE hopes will be completed by February 1.

Q #84: Will there be an information packet or page delineating recommended hotels, restaurants, and other services for which teams in the GFC can make reservations?

A: Yes, this info is now available on the CAFE website.

Q #85: Is there a detailed schedule of the GFC events?

A: Sunday July 10: All teams must check in and register for the GFC on this day before 3 PM. Noise/Take off qualifying runs will be conducted on July 11,12. The first competition (for MPG) will be on Wednesday, July 13. Thursday is devoted to recharge and reweigh. Friday is planned for the final competition for speed. Saturday is a buffer/make-up day if a weather delay occurs. Saturday evening is the Awards Banquet. Sunday July 17 is Public Exposition day.

Q #86: Special Fuels: Do you accept the characteristics, as defined by the fuel producer, or do you require an independent analysis?

A: CAFE requires an independent, CAFE-approved lab analysis of any special fuels whose BTU/gallon and lb/gallon are not listed in Appendix F and that a TEAM has obtained prior CAFE approval for use in the GFC. Any lab fees for such analysis must be paid by TEAM. In addition, CAFE will perform spectroscopic examination of all fuels at the GFC, both before and after the flights.

Any TEAM using such special fuel must ship a sufficient quantity of that fuel for all phases of the Green Flight Challenge competition flights to CAFE before midnight June 15 in order for that fuel to be used. Absent this, that TEAM will have to use one of the listed fuels in Appendix F that is provided by CAFE.

Q #87: Fuels: Will it be possible for us to ship our special fuel for the GFC directly to Santa Rosa? We were hoping to avoid transporting the fuel ourselves from San Jose to Santa Rosa.

A: Yes. Teams may ship their fuel to CAFE Foundation, 5800 Windsor Road, Santa Rosa, 95492. To reach the person who will take delivery there, call 707-544-0141.

Q #88: Has the May 30 rules deadline listed in Appendix I and Appendix L (for submitting structural/handling testing, parachute compliance and all listed documentation) been changed?

A: Yes, it has been extended to midnight of June 15, 2011. That is an absolute hard new Appendix L deadline that supplants the previous May 30 deadline and which, if missed, will result in disqualification.

Q #89: What qualifications must be documented for pilots of the GFC aircraft and are copies of Logbooks acceptable?

A: See Appendix L. Legible copies of Logbook and other valid documentation must be submitted in advance of the June 15 deadline to CAFE and must show that both pilot and any 2nd pilot as well as any substitute pilot are FAA qualified for operating the experimental aircraft in question during the GFC, with current medical, BFR, 500 flight hours total and 10 flight hours in type. The FAA requires that the pilot have the appropriate class and rating for the aircraft, e.g., airplane, single engine land. Some of the entrants have more than one propeller which would require all its pilots to have multiengine ratings.

Pilots who are not the official TEAM Pilot and/or who perform the advance qualifying video documentation of the Cooper-Harper handling qualities of GFC aircraft must submit documentation of their credentials and experience to CAFE along with that video.

Q #90: For load tests do we only need to demonstrate for positive load? Do sand bag tests need to show proof of 2 G’s positive?

A: See rules. The simplest way to qualify is to flight test to the 2 G condition in a 60° banked turn at Va while maintaining constant altitude. Static testing to 2 G’s positive is sufficient to qualify for this competition.

Q #91: Please clarify rules regarding the 30 minute reserve.

A: If your aircraft is licensed as a glider under FAA regulations that state that it does not require a 30 minute reserve, then CAFE will not be required to test you for that reserve. If, on the other hand, your aircraft is licensed as an Experimental-Exhibition aircraft (which we expect to be the case for nearly all), it must be prepared to fulfill the 30 minute reserve.

Q #92: Is it permissible to power avionics and landing gear retraction with a separate battery whose energy consumed will not be counted as part of the MPG scoring?

A: Yes.

Q #93: What will be the departure interval of the aircraft in the MPG and speed competition flights?

A: Departure intervals are planned to be 2 minutes.

Q #94: What type of electrical power will be supplied?

A: CAFE will supply 240V 40A 60Hz Single phase electrical power to all teams who need to charge their electric-powered aircraft on the ground between the competition flights. The power will be delivered by large extension cords (AWG #4) that have NEMA 14-50 plugs on either end. The source of electricity is currently planned to be from PG&E rather than from generators.

Q #95: How does your CAFE eTotalizer measure power?

A: A shunt supplied by CAFE is inserted in the negative power lead between the battery and the motor controller. The shunt’s resistance is such that the voltage across the shunt is 50mV at the shunt's maximum rated current. (The shunt's rated current is at least 25% higher than the expected maximum current.) In flight, the system voltage (after the shunt) and the shunt voltage are measured. The shunt voltage is converted to current and multiplied by the system voltage to calculate power. The power is integrated over time to obtain the amount of energy used.

Q #96: The GFC rules say that aircraft must be registered for unrestricted daytime VFR flight. Is an Experimental-Exhibition Airworthiness Certificate adequate?

A: Yes, if that certificate includes a Program Letter that allows unrestricted daytime VFR flight and the aircraft has fulfilled its 40 hours of flight required to qualify for Phase 2 licensing.

Q #97: According to the aircraft with 2 or more seats need two pilots. Do both pilots have to be on board during the flight?

A: Yes, on every GFC flight.

Q #98: Can we have one US-licensed pilot on board as pilot in command and a foreign licensed pilot on board as passenger?

A: No. Both pilots on board must be US-licensed pilots.

Q #99: Are teams allowed to use seat-back parachutes? Can these supplant the requirement for a ballistic parachute for the aircraft itself?

A: Teams are allowed to use seat-back parachutes and these will be counted as payload. Seat-back chutes do NOT supplant the requirement for a ballistic parachute for the aircraft itself.

Q #100: Must the required 40 hours of flight time be completed by June 15?

A: June 15 is deadline for submitting proof of having an FAA Airworthiness Certificate to allow at least Phase One flying. The Phase Two license sign-off that requires 40 flight hours and Program Letter approval for unrestricted day VFR is due at the July 10 GFC Registration day by 3 PM.

Q #101: Since the GFC postponement, what is the new deadline for signing up GFC team members using Exhibit A?

A: The new deadline for officially registering team members is 11:59 PM on August 15, 2011. NASA must approve any team membership changes.

Q #102: If any GFC team member resigns or is dropped from a team, can that person join another GFC team?

A: Yes, but only if the change is documented on Exhibit A submitted to CAFE before 11:59 PM on August 15, 2011, and is approved by NASA.

Q #103: Can a GFC team member flight test another GFC’s team aircraft?

A: No.

Q #104: The FAQ states that after landing the aircraft must taxi to the hangar under its own power. Can it be pushed to the runway for takeoff?

A: No.

Q #105: Currently our ballast for unoccupied seats is a point load. Humans have fairly significant weight in the legs (which are farther forward from the seat, affecting CG location). For a realistic and safe cockpit load realization we have arranged a provision to affix a load in the front of the cockpit area. Does this count towards the 200lb defined as a “person”? If this does not count towards a person, can the ballast representing a passenger be representative of human shape (i.e. with “legs”)?

A: CAFE will supply ballast with “legs” to distribute weight as if by human shapes.

Q #106: Our documentation from the FAA states that Phase 1 completion requires 10 hours flight time (we are certified as a glider). This has been completed, hence we have completed Phase 1 flight testing. We have three pilots and the three pilots will each have 10 hours on type. Does this mean that we need only 30 hours on the airframe in order to compete?

A: All aircraft must have at least 40 flight hours to compete in the GFC.

Q #107: What happens if an aircraft has to deviate from the course due to a safety issue (e.g. inbound traffic)?

A: Distance used in performance measurement will be that flown rather than the ground distances between pylons.

Q #108: When can an aircraft begin the descent to the finish line? Can this occur before the last turnpoint?

A: Descents can begin 20 miles out.

Q #109: The course rules state that the course must be flown between 4000’ and 6500’, and that FARs must be observed. Must the recommended altitudes for north/south and east/west be observed (e.g. even thousands +/- 500’)?

A: No, they are optional.




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