Press Release

NASA Names Winners of Personal Air Vehicle Challenge

By SpaceRef Editor
August 14, 2007
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Personal Air Vehicle competition, one of the seven NASA Centennial Challenges. The competition promotes the use of self-operated, personal aircraft for fast, safe, efficient, affordable, environmentally-friendly, and comfortable on-demand transportation as a future solution to America’s mobility needs.

Four teams competed for overall best performance and prizes for noise reduction, handling, efficiency, short takeoff, and top speed. The contest took place Aug. 4-12 at Charles M. Schulz Sonoma County Airport in Sonoma, Calif. At no cost to NASA, the Comparative Aircraft Flight Efficiency Foundation, known as the CAFE Foundation, administers the challenge. The foundation is a nonprofit group of flight test engineers in Santa Rosa, Calif.

The award recipients are:

  • Vantage Prize, $100,000: Vance Turner of Rescue, Calif., owner of a short-wing Pipistrel piloted by Michael Coates
  • Noise Prize, $50,000: Dave and Diane Anders of Visalia, Calif., owners and pilots of a RV-4 aircraft
  • Handling Qualities Prize, $25,000: John Rehn of Santa Rosa, Calif., owner of a Cessna 172, piloted by Jeff Stocks
  • CAFE Efficiency Prize, $25,000: Vance Turner
  • Short Runway Prize, $25,000: Vance Turner
  • Top Speed, First Prize, $15,000: Dave and Diane Anders
  • Top Speed, Second Prize, $10,000: Vance Turner

The challenge will continue annually for four more years. This year’s competition establishes baselines for more difficult standards next year, when the total prize money will increase to $300,000. The total prize money provided by NASA for all five years is $2 million.

Centennial Challenges is an element of NASA’s Innovative Partnerships Program. The challenges promote technical innovation through prize competitions to support NASA’s plan to return to the moon and journey to Mars. For more information about the Innovative Partnerships Program and Centennial Challenges, visit:

For more information about NASA and other agency programs, visit:

SpaceRef staff editor.