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CAFE Foundation announces expanded strategic vision

The CAFE Foundation is excited to present its [Strategic Concept Statement].

As electric aviation has developed over the last decade, so too the CAFE Foundation has focused its efforts on this burgeoning industry. Now, the CAFE Foundation is pleased to announce its restated mission:

To advance the development of low-emission flight by fostering and promoting early entry practical market opportunities.

CAFE occupies a unique position in the electric aircraft industry. As an independent nonprofit organization, CAFE is able to achieve its mission by bridging disciplines and industries, helping to identify trends and innovations, building strategic collaborations and ensuring on-going coordination. The CAFE Foundation has identified three key areas where it will focus its contributions to this industry:
  1. Promoting the commercial implementation of cutting-edge technologies needed to achieve near-term practical electric flight.
  2. Facilitating the communications, strategies and market opportunities that support the industry’s growth and success.
  3. Assisting in obtaining regulatory and funding support for the industry.
The full CAFE Foundation Strategic Concept Statement can be read [here].


For over 30 years, the CAFE Foundation has successfully pursued its mission to create and advance the understanding of personal aircraft technologies through research, analysis, and education. CAFE is proud of the legacy it has created with one of its signature programs - the Electric Aircraft Symposium, or EAS. This annual conference, which focuses on developments in the world of electric flight, is known for the timeliness and relevance of its topics, the quality of its speakers, and the networking opportunities that it offers.

The Board of the CAFE Foundation was recently surprised and disappointed to learn that its former president, Brien Seeley, has attempted to co-opt this CAFE program. In October of this year, Brien resigned from the CAFE board in order to pursue his own aviation endeavors. Since then, Brien has apparently formed a new nonprofit, and has now announced that he will be holding "EAS2016". EAS has been, and continues to be, a proprietary program of CAFE. The CAFE Board has notified Brien that he and his organization have no right to use the name, format, history or brand of this CAFE program. Given this turn of events, CAFE has distanced itself from Brien and his activities.

The CAFE Foundation is currently planning its tenth annual EAS conference for the spring of 2016. The Board is expanding the scope and focus of the conference, and looks forward to an exciting program with broad appeal. The CAFE Board will have more information about EAS in the near future.

Change in leadership at CAFE Foundation

Dr. Brien Seeley has tendered his resignation as President and Board Member of CAFE Foundation.

CAFE Foundation thanks Brien for his 34 years of leadership and wishes him continued success in his new aviation endeavors. We are confident that his boundless energy and inspiration will cause great new projects to take shape and blossom under his stewardship.

"Regional Sky Transit": Aviation's future

The CAFE Foundation's AIAA paper on Regional Sky Transit shows its great potential for rejuvenating aviation with a sustainable business success that benefits both the environment and the public.

2015 PADA Awards Dinner

The 2015 Personal Aircraft Design Academy will feature two excellent presentations: Burt Rutan on the SkiGull and Nick Borer on the LEAPTECH project. This will be followed by the ceremony to award the esteemed PADA Trophy to a surprise recipient. A reservations-only $20 hors d'oeuvre pre-reception at 6:15 PM on July 24 in the EAA Museum's Fergus Plaza will provide an excellent opportunity to meet with aviation's top personal aircraft designers.

Please register now.

EAS 2015 A Huge Success

On May 1, 2, 2015, the world’s leading converged for the 9th Annual CAFE Electric Aircraft Symposium in the beautiful Sonoma Wine Country. The presenters included:

  • Airbus on “The e-Fan Design”
  • Italy’s Eric Raymond of GFC I Team-eGenius on “Sunstar and the SunSeeker Duo”
  • Slovenia’s Tine Tomazic of GFC I Team Pipistrel USA on “Converting GA Aircraft to Electric Propulsion”
  • UCR’s Zach Favors on “Beach Sand for Long Cycle Life Li-ion Batteries”
  • Northrop-Grumman’s J. Philip Barnes on “Regenerative Electric Flight”

Other presenters included Northrop-Grumman’s Barnaby Wainfan on “Low Aspect Ratio Electric Aircraft”, Scott Sevcik of Stratasys on “ Additive Manufacturing in Aerospace”, Dr. Yi Cui of Stanford on "Materials Design for Battery Breakthroughs: from Fundamental Science to Commercialization", and Michael Meador, Director of the National Nanotechnology Coordination Office at OSTP.

View the full program and speaker list

PADA 2014 Awards Dinner


PADA is the Personal Aircraft Design Academy, an annual colloquium for leading aircraft designers, enthusiasts and aero engineers. Each year, PADA awards what many now consider to be the highest honor in personal aircraft design, the PADA Trophy. For 2014, PADA will reveal and honor the Trophy's 12th recipient in a special ceremony. The 2014 PADA presentation program will feature two exciting new aircraft: Richard Hogan from Commutercraft will present “The Innovator—a New 3-surface Aircraft” and Oliver Garrow will present the technical details of a new tilt-wing VTOL aircraft—the Elytron.

Read more about the history of PADA


EAS VIII an Event to Remember

The 2014 CAFE Electric Aircraft Symposium was our best event yet with excellent presentations by all involved and great attendance. Our thanks go out to presenters and attendees alike for a lively discussion of this rapidly expanding domain.

Historic CAFE 400 Video Released


In advance of the CAFE Electric Aircraft Symposium we are proud to share an historic video from the CAFE Archive. This 47 minute video shows CAFE's first tech prizes – The CAFE 400 races, which were conducted from 1981 to 1990 at the Santa Rosa Air Center.

These 400 mile flight competitions were scored according to the CAFE Formula of Speed x MPG x Payload and attracted most of the famous aircraft designers from the world of EAA. It is amazing to see how many of their innovations were incorporated into GA aircraft of today. Nearly 50 aircraft competed including Roy LoPresti's factory team from Mooney, Burt and Dick Rutan, Mike Melvill, Tom Hamilton, Gene Sheehan and the perennial winner, Gary Hertzler. The event demanded astute navigation and power management in addition to fastidious preparation of engine and airframe. In the 10 years of CAFE 400 racing, there was never an injury or serious accident."

Updated Green Flight Challenge Info on NASA Website

AOPANASA has updated their page about the Green Flight Challenge, complete with video and photos from the historic event.

Highlights from the Green Flight Challenge from NASA video are also online.

CAFE at the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) Aviation 2013 Conference

The CAFE Foundation's Sky Taxi concept continues to grow support after being presented at the National AIAA Conference in Los Angeles. Imagine a new mode of travel that is cheaper and safer than a car and 4X faster, can take you anywhere within a 400 mile radius, is immune to gridlock and DOES NOT NEED ROADS.

8th Annual CAFE Electric Aircraft Symposium
April 25, 26, 2014 - Call for Papers

The CAFE Foundation is accepting presentation proposals for the 8th Annual Electric Aircraft Symposium, to be held April 25- 26, 2014 in Santa Rosa, California. This international graduate level program will cover a comprehensive range of topics and will emphasize the latest breakthroughs in the rapidly growing domain of electric powered aircraft. Faculty and attendees will include experts from leading aerospace, electronic and energy companies. Topics will include aerodynamics, motors, energy storage, energy harvesting, control systems, recreational aircraft, propulsion, robotics, avionics, airspace integration, manufacturing, business cases and airport land uses.

Interested parties should email inquiries and abstracts to:

EAS VII Coverage in AOPA

AOPA Online has a nice writeup of this year's EAS proceedings. Please check out the article for a good overview of speakers and topics. As the article claims "In the seven years since EAS I, electric aircraft have set records and crossed frontiers."

EAS VII is Here!

The 7th Annual CAFE Electric Aircraft Symposium begins tomorrow. Welcome to all who have come to participate in this gathering of experts. Key enabling technologies will be discussed, including a special slick new aircraft coating, battery management systems, and an ingenious propeller safety device. Several major aerospace companies will be attending as this exciting new domain of aviation takes flight.

Announcing the CAFE Foundation Advisory Board

CAFE is proud to announce the formation of the CAFE Advisory Board. This board of esteemed experts will advise CAFE on current and future initiatives. More info soon.

CAFE Electric Aircraft Symposium 2013

The 7th Annual CAFE Electric Aircraft Symposium Final Program has just been posted. It has added even more key enabling technologies, including a special slick new aircraft coating, battery management systems, and an ingenious propeller safety device. Several major aerospace companies will be attending as this exciting new domain of aviation takes flight.

Please register for EAS 2013 here.

CAFE Electric Aircraft Symposium 2013 Announced

The 7th Annual CAFE Electric Aircraft Symposium (EAS VII), April 26, 27 of 2013 is delighted to confirm several outanding presenters. Headlining EAS VII will be NASA Chief Scientist Dennis Bushnell on "Frontiers of Exotic Energetics", Pipistrel's Tine Tomazic on "Hybrid Panthera" and the "Ideal Electric Trainer" and photovoltaic breakthrough developer Dr. Loren Kaake of UC Santa Barbara. Also invited are Eric Raymond's new SunSeeker Duo, battery breakthrough experts Dr. Winfried Wilcke of IBM Labs and Sibani Lisa Biswal of Rice University, along with Adam Bry and his amazing self-flying autonomous aircraft.

The final program is available now,

Please register for EAS 2013 here.

Coverage of EAS VI Highlights Future GFCs

Dr. SeeleyAOPA online has a good article covering EAS VI developments as well as CAFE's future GFC initiatives.




The CAFE Electric Aircraft Charging Station


Dr. Jack Langelaan Discusses E-Flight at TEDx


Astounding Final Results from the Green Flight Challenge Sponsored by Google

The 2011 Green Flight Challenge sponsored by Google marks an historic achievement in aviation—the first demonstration of practical, cross-country emission-free flight. Team’s winning 4 seat, electric-powered aircraft, the Taurus G4, flew nearly 200 miles non-stop while achieving 403.5 passenger MPG! Its astounding efficiency was more than twice that of the piston-powered aircraft in the competition. Equally promising: Team e-Genius won the Lindbergh Prize for Quietest Aircraft, with a peak take off noise of just 59.5 dBA at a 250 foot sideline. This achievement heralds the real transformative potential unique to electric powered aircraft—the capability to be quiet enough to land very near dwellings and businesses.

Years from now, these first Green Flight Challenge team members will be recognized as the pioneers of the Age of Electric Flight. CAFE is already discussing plans for GFC II and will publish more on that here soon.

The complete CAFE results for the 2011 Green Flight Challenge sponsored by Google.

Thanks to Everyone Who Made the Green Flight Challenge Happen!

The CAFE Foundation wishes to thank all of their sponsors, partners and volunteers for making this historic competition happen. Together we have achieved something great and the future for Green Flight looks bright!

The Google Green Flight Challenge Exposition hosted by NASA

The Google Green Flight Challenge Exposition hosted by NASA on October 3, 2011 saw all of the special aircraft that competed in the challenge on display at Moffett Field. Nearly 20 leading green aviation technology exhibitors showed their products and ideas in the tent tech faire nearby the aircraft ramp.

NASA's Chief Technologist Joe Parrish presided at NASA TV's 30 minute Awards Ceremony inside the NASA Ames Conference Center, where he awarded the NASA prizes of $120,000 for Eric Raymond, leader of the 2nd Place Team e-Genius, and $1,350,000 for Jack W. Langelaan, leader of the 1st Place Team The ceremony included sponsor Google representative Anita Yuen expressing Google's commitment to green technologies and concluded with the unveiling of the beautiful CAFE Green Flight Challenge Trophy designed by Ralph Carlson (pictured).


Jack W. Langelaan, leader of the 1st Place Team poses with
the CAFE Green Flight Challenge Trophy

Dedicated to Advances in Personal Aircraft

For almost three decades the aviation enthusiasts at the Comparative Aircraft
Flight Efficiency Foundation have been carefully measuring personal aircraft performance with innovations in flight testing. Their passion for this stems from the thrill of working with state-of-the-art aircraft and the geniuses who create them.

 Out of this passion has emerged a unique and knowledgeable team [ Meet the CAFE Board ] that is honored and thrilled to have been selected by NASA to host their Centennial Challenges for Aeronautics.

Beginning with the CAFE 400 races of the 1980's, CAFE evolved into an independent flight test agency supported by grants from the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) and the FAA . CAFE's work has gone beyond simple measurement of speed and MPG and expanded into innovative research in engines, propulsion and aerodynamics. CAFE research has been published in numerous journals and magazines..


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