Machine Design

NASA offering $250,000 for "chaotic" aviation research

NASA is offering $250,000 to the teams that can best design, develop, and demonstrate technology improvements in various general aviation aircraft.

To win one or more of the five Personal Air Vehicle (PAV) Challenge purses, teams must successfully modify their general aviation or sport aircraft in five areas. $50,000 will be awarded for two technology developments related to aircraft noise. Another $50,000 will be divided between two teams whose aircraft demonstrate the best handling and overall ease of use. The biggest prize, $150,000, will go to the vehicle with the best overall flight performance as measured by a combination of door-todoor trip velocity, energy consumption, and passenger-carrying capability.

"Some of the greatest technological innovations have come from somebody playing around in their garage," says NASA engineer Mark Moore. The idea is to encourage "chaotic" research in support of NASA goals and the Vision for Space Exploration. The first competition will be in mid-2006.

For details about the Personal Air Vehicle Challenge, visit: centennialchallenges.nasa.gov

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