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July 28, 2008

Sonja Alexander
Headquarters, Washington

Aviation Innovators Compete for NASA Technology Prizes

WASHINGTON - The 2008 General Aviation Technology Challenge will be held Aug. 4-10 at the Sonoma County Airport in Santa Rosa, Calif. Competitors will demonstrate innovations resulting in aircraft that are safer, less expensive and easier to operate, while having fewer negative impacts on the environment and communities surrounding airports.

This year's competition will feature the first Green Prize for aviation. The highlight of the week-long event will occur Saturday, Aug. 9, with the CAFE 400 - a 400-mile, cross-country air race that requires speed and efficiency.

The Comparative Aircraft Flight Efficiency (CAFE) Foundation based in Santa Rosa manages this challenge for NASA. The total purse for 2008 is $300,000, which will be divided among the following prizes:
- The Community Noise Prize
- The Green Prize (for the highest miles per gallon)
- The CAFE Safety Prize (for handling and electronic safety features)
- The CAFE 400 Prize
- The Quietest Light Sport Aircraft Prize

The General Aviation Technology Challenge is one of seven current NASA technology prize competitions. The prize program, which began in 2005, is known as Centennial Challenges in recognition of the centennial of powered flight. In keeping with the spirit of the Wright Brothers and other American innovators, Centennial Challenge prizes are offered to independent inventors who work without government support, including small businesses, student groups and individuals.

The prize competitions are targeted at a range of technical challenges that support NASA's missions in aeronautics and space. The goal is to encourage novel solutions from non-traditional sources. In the Centennial Challenge program, NASA provides the prize money, and each of the competitions is managed by an independent organization.

NASA's Innovative Partnerships Program Office manages the Centennial Challenges program. For more information on the Centennial Challenges, visit:


For information about NASA's Innovative Partnerships Program, visit:


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