A new competition aims to inspire the 100mpg personal plane
By Séan CaptainPosted 07.09.2008 at 10:36 am 5 Comments
Imagine a '57 Chevy cruising through the air, and you get an idea of what single-engine, propeller-driven airplanes do to the environment. The average private plane, such as the popular two-seat Cessna 172, is 30 years old. It carries a four-cylinder piston engine designed in the 1940s that burns leaded gasoline, has no catalytic converter, and gets as little as 12 miles per gallon. “It’s fair to say that small aircraft are gross polluters,” says Mark Moore, an engineer who has led personal-aircraft projects for NASA.