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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