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50 MPG Plane Wins $100,000 NASA Prize

Pipistrel Virus is a horrible name. We don't know what it means in Slovenian, but someone should have told them what virus means in English. But aside from the fact that it sounds contagious, the Pipistral Virus is extremely cool.

A while back we wrote about NASA's plan to tramadol no prescription overnight liven up the Personal Air Vehicle (PAV) industry with an X-Prize like contest. The best, most comfortable, most fuel efficient plane would win $100,000 for taking us another step away from the inefficient and droll realities of our current transportation mess.

And the winner is!  The Pipistrel! The plane is extremely light weight, in fact, it's cargo (people luggage and fuel) weigh significantly more than the plane itself. So, as the it's cool cialis to order plane continues to fly, it actually becomes significantly more fuel efficient, because, as it burns fuel, it gets lighter! The plane's simple controls and ease of operation also helped it take home the prize. But really, what won it for them was the fuel economy.

50 MPG is great for a car, but it's outstanding for a plane. Granted, there's only two seats, and you'll likely have to take a cab home from the airport, but that might be made up for by being able to travel as the crow flies. It'll set you back more than most cars too: $70,000. But if it's between a Hummer and a Pipistrel...I know what I'm going to choose.

Via GoodCleanTech

See Also:
-NASA's PAV Competition-
-9 Steps to Greener Flight-
-Personal Blimps-
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Comments (12)Add Comment
written by Joel, August 16, 2007
While it's English for a pathogen, it's Latin for slime or venom. I'm guessing the Latin got borrowed into medical terminology, making it international.

Perhaps they're emphasizing its minimal weight & complexity by comparing it to female cialis pills the minimal form of life? Hopefully their next model (which will presumably will be even lighter and more efficient) can get a better brand name, like the Prion.
written by Katja, August 16, 2007
Hello from a slovenian reader :)virus means virus in Slovenian so I'm not sure about this one, but pipistrel is more of a joke really. It's something you would call a cartoon character. Pipi is perhaps a joke on its size, but strel means lightning.
Great to learn to fly in
written by crash courses, August 16, 2007
With fuel costs being a substantial element of the cost of best buy viagra learning to fly, especially in UK, a few more 50 mpg planes will make a big difference.
Just wondering
written by Sam, August 16, 2007
Does anyone have a good way to compare this to a commercial jetliner taking into consideration the number of people on a commercial flight. The jetliner gets horrible fuel economy but it's carrying so many people that, in a way, each person is only using some of that fuel to get where they're going. The Pipistrel gets great economy but has only 2 passengers.

I'm betting that the Pipistrel still wins out on a per person basis but it would be a nice comparison to buy discount viagra see.
About the name in Slovenian language
written by gregor, August 16, 2007
Hi, from your another Slovenian reader.
As Katja above me already mentioned, "virus" part of the name means in slovenian language same as in english. First part of the name "Pipistrel" is actually a name of the company, which produces this and other types of lighweight airplanes - and it does sound a little bit funny in Slovenian also.
Check out
for more info.
Pipistrel is actually a small company (however internationally well known), which produces ultralight airplanes of their own original design (models Sinus and best viagra buy Taurus next to Virus).
written by DoruHush, August 17, 2007
I like the article.
The name may have something with
avian flue phobia since pipistrel
means pigeon in italian and virus... well you all know what it means. :D
Maybe not a pigeon
written by jean, August 18, 2007
Inn French, a "pipistrelle" is a bat, the smallest European bat. :)

Might not be related, of course, but it does seem close to the products of we like it viagra price the firm.
Virus also means...
written by Hector, August 19, 2007
Virus may be a good marketing name, as it can reasonably be construed to mean "small & strong", in the modern etymology of the word.

To explain: "vir", in Latin means "man" and gives us "manly" or "strong", hence virulent and virile.

People have mixed the two (virus and virile) up slightly in the last 50 years or so, especially in light of the Latin used in taxonomic classification, especially "virens" wich means strong. e.g. Sequoia sempervirens (always strong) Perhaps that's part of the reason?

It's also worth noting their other aircraft are named Taurus (bull) and Sinus (space), so the -us theme has been continued.
written by Duane, September 28, 2007
I have been trying to find up-to-date info on airline fuel efficiency. Numbers I have from 2002 seem to point to about 50-60 Revenue-Passenger-Seat-Miles-Per-Gallon for a 747-200 with 397 seats all filled. That plane can be configured to carry 447 pretty easily and even 500. I haven't yet found any company-wide or industry-wide figures, or anything more recent.

If this little plane is carrying two people, it will get 100 RPMPG, which is very good. With one person, it is just a bit worse than an airliner.

By-the-way, my main focus has been buses, and I have found that, because most buses run at times and places where there are few passengers, their average occupancy is nowhere near their seating capacity. The campus bus at U of Michigan averages about 12 and it gets about 4.4 miles per gallon. That gives about 52 RPMPG, which is only a little better than me alone in my Toyota Echo.

The campus bus here at USU averages only 4.6 passengers and even if they get the same fuel consumption (4.4mpg would give 20 RPMPG), they burn MORE fuel than single people in cars that get 20 mpg.
written by Duane, September 28, 2007
Sorry, I should have said that most buses CONTINUE to run at times when there are fewer passengers, and many buses run part of their routes in areas where there are few passengers. Even buses that are full at rush hour have low average occupancy.

Also, that 747 is carrying thousands of pounds of baggage and discount viagra canada freight as well as the people.
Let me clarify...
written by Pipistrel Slovenia, September 03, 2008
Hello everyone. I don't know if anybody still reads this page, but let me clarify the terminology a bit:
Pipistrel indeed means a bat. The name comes from the times of the beginning of alternative flying, under the reign of viagra online pharmacy former Yugoslavia, when UL flight was forbidden and illegal - so the first alternative pilots had to wait for the "regular" planes to finish flying in the evening, pack up and go home - and then sneak onto the airfield and try to squeeze in half an hour of flight before the total darkness. They flew the delta-wing powered hang gliders at the time, whose silhouettes against the evening sky indeed looked a bit like bats. The name "Pipistrel" (from latin pipistrellus - bat) was a logical choice.

About the name Virus:
in Slovenian it means the exact same as it does in English, so no insults please. It is in fact a bit of a running joke among our crew. In the beginning (early days of production of Virus, around 1999), every test pilot who tried the new plane was very enthousiastic about it. So the mechanics joked that the plane was like a virus, whoever touched it was infected and had to have it immediately. The conquest of the new plane among the UL circles could indeed have been compared to a spread of a quick and efficient disease. So the guys started to call it "virus" - as a joke - and the name stayed because it's short and easy to pronounce in many languages.
written by David, December 12, 2008
Terrific little aeroplane - looks nice, flies nice and is far cleaner than the average light aircraft.
Being a glider pilot/fanatic I get more excited about Pipistrel's other plane - the Taurus electric glider, the world's first 2 seater with the seats side by side. Another self-launching electric glider I love is the Antares.
I do hope to only best offers lowest priced viagra see more of these little planes, hopefully in future as technology evolves and price of levitra in canada such, all planes can be powered wholly by solar and/or electricity etc. We shall see.

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