2008 GAT Challenge Competition
Details and Rules
2008 Green Prize
The Green Prize offers a maximum of $50,000. To win the Green Prize in the PAV Challenge, the competing aircraft must score the highest MPGe, or equivalent miles per gallon. MPGe is the vehicle's mileage based upon fuel price, fuel density and the payload carried. A series of tables are given in the rules that delineate how this scoring works. MPGe is evaluated after the aircraft flies the CAFE 400 race course.
The floor of the prize winning starts at 30 MPGe for a 2 seat aircraft carrying 400 pounds of payload during its CAFE 400 race. The winning aircraft must also average at least 100 statute mph during the race, including allowance for its GTT or ground travel time. The GTT strongly determines the DtD speed in the CAFE 400 race. GTT respects the time required to park the aircraft and then walk, bike or drive to and from the destination doorstep. GTT is proportioned according to the aircraft's takeoff distance, and is shortest for those with the ability to takeoff vertically (VTOL). Long takeoff distances imply using long runway airports that are usually farther from town and require longer GTTs to reach the destination doorway.
The prices for fuels and electricity in the Green Prize have been carefully selected from national averages. They reflect some subsidy for bio-fuel as well as a slight premium for obtaining mogas at an airport location. All fuels must be approved and inspected by CAFE.
Each aircraft competing in the Green Prize will be carefully weighed on the CAFE scales before and after its CAFE 400 race flight in order to determine its fuel burn. The CAFE 400 race course is a VFR cross-country flight over beautiful Northern California that includes several climbs and descents, with some pylon check-points as high as 7000 feet MSL. Teams competing for the Green Prize must optimize every facet of their aircraft's cross-country performance—aerodynamic, thermodynamic, structural and propulsive efficiency, as well as navigational accuracy, use of wind, weather and upslope effect.
2008 Community Noise Prize
The size of the prize awarded for the Community Noise Prize will vary according to the quietness of the winning aircraft. CAFE research revealed what range of noise levels would be acceptable for the operation of aircraft close to residential areas. Samples from NASA and FAA literature were combined with CAFE's own measured noise results. Other samples were taken of the noise levels generated by cars passing by homes in modern suburban neighborhoods. The effect of high and low power settings was analyzed. The result was a desirable range of quiet operations that while challenging to achieve, can be met with innovation and thoroughgoing effort.
For the noise prize, the aircraft's noise footprint in dBA (slow scale) will be measured as the takeoff noise after brake release and the noise of a high-speed flyover, both measurements to be taken at a 500 foot distance.
The Quietest LSA must achieve ≤ 64 dBA and demonstrate ≥ 120 mph TAS during its noise flyover in order to win the prize. Several LSA are expected to compete for this $10,000 prize.
The flight attempts in the noise prize competition must be flown at Competition Weight and Competition Power. These are the weight and power pre-determined by the team and approved by CAFE so as to generate a realistic operational noise footprint for the aircraft. The takeoff distance generated during the Community Noise takeoff attempt becomes a pivotally important performance result in the other parts of the GAT Challenge.
2008 Aviation Safety Prize
The $50,000 Aviation Safety Prize will demand excellence and innovation in making the aircraft safer and easier to fly. Among the handling qualities to be evaluated will be spiral stability, maneuvering stability, static longitudinal stability, slow flight, control harmony, roll rate, etc. A stick force gauge will be used to quantify the aircraft's performance in some of these areas.
Teams are encouraged to recruit expertise in the area of auto-pilot servo design, sensor technology, avionics and flight dynamics in order to excel in this contest. All electronic pilot assistance must be securely overridable by the pilot.
The eCFI task evaluation and the handling qualities evaluation will be the prime determinants of the score. However, the aircraft's overall performance summary in terms of speed, MPGe, takeoff distance, etc. will be used in the scoring as well.
Rules for the ASP are available now.
2008 CAFE 400 Prize
The CAFE 400 is the finale to the week-long PAV Challenge flight competition. For 2008, the CAFE 400 race will start each aircraft according to its pre-determined time handicap. The time handicap, known as the Ground Travel Time (GTT), is scaled according to the aircraft's demonstrated takeoff distance. The race finish line thus will see its winner be the first to cross directly overhead of the CAFE Flight Test Center after flying the roughly 400 mile course over Northern California.
The CAFE 400 race course entails several significant climbs to mountaintop checkpoints, some as high as 7000 feet MSL. Each checkpoint serves as a turn pylon and is clearly identified. These pylons are all staffed by volunteer spotters and camera crews and are in radio contact during the race.
Those flying the CAFE 400 race are simultaneously competing for the Green Prize and, to a lesser extent, the Aviation Safety Prize. The strong influence of each aircraft's measured takeoff distance on the scoring of the CAFE 400 impels every team to optimize their aircraft's takeoff performance.
2008 Competition Rules and Other Documents
For a free PDF reader click [here].