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Duration:02:13
Uploaded:2012-01-06
Last sync:2023-01-27 05:01
Hank tells us the outcome of the 2011 Green Flight Challenge and tells us why electric airplanes are the future of air travel.

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[SciShow intro] Hank Green: I hate to break this to you, um, but airplanes use a lot of gas, and I'm saying ‘gas', but they call it ‘fuel' when it's airplanes, but basically it's made from petroleum just like gasoline is. A Boeing 747, for example, it uses about 1 gallon of fuel every second. So say you're on a ten hour long flight, that's 36,000 gallons of fuel combusting under your butt while you're sitting there wishing you weren't watching Water for Elephants or whatever you're doing. So NASA, the Comparative Aircraft Flight Efficiency foundation, and Google put their heads together and they were like, "yikes, guys, we gotta do something about this." Surely, there are some smart people in this great nation of ours that can improve this situation. And you know what? When NASA and Google holler, all those smart, aerospace engineer types, they come running. And you'd better believe there's a contest involved. And here are the rules! -The aircraft has to be able to travel 200 miles; the aircraft has to be able to do that in less than two hours. -And the aircraft has to use less than one gallon of fuel per occupant, or the equivalent in electricity. Of the three finalists who competed in the 2011 Green Flight Challenge, the first and second place contestants both used electricity and they both only used the equivalent of half a gallon of fuel per occupant. The winning aircraft, the Pipistrel Taurus G4, which, by the way, looks like an aircraft that a really creative eight-year-old would draw, minus the guns, won both the speed and efficiency categories of the event. Collecting the top speed of 107 miles per hour and an efficiency of 403 miles per gallon per occupant, equivalent of course, because remember, it's electric. That's four times more efficient than a Boeing 747, but not as fast, and not as big certainly, but way more efficient per passenger. And it's not even using any gas! I mean, fuel. Fuel. Sorry. And that is why NASA just gave them $1,350,000 and said hey, go start making electric planes. This is Hank Green, and that was today's SciShow dose, we hope you learned something.