Lindbergh outlines electric aircraft prize at Torrey Pines Gliderport




The grandson of Charles and Anne Lindbergh unveiled his new technology prizes designed to stimulate meaningful advances in the fledgling electric aircraft industry atop what used to be known as Mount Soledad, the current site of La Jolla Gliderport.

“You’re standing on one of most historic sites in all of La Jolla,” said John Bolthouse, the executive director of the La Jolla Historical Museum. “Where we are located today, is probably the greatest contribution to aviation that La Jolla has made to aeronautical history and technology.”

It was exactly 80 years ago on Friday when Charles Lindbergh set a distance record, gliding from La Jolla to Del Mar.

“That pretty much kicked off its use has a gliderport,” Bolthouse said.

So for Erik Lindbergh, there wasn’t a better place to announce his latest project, the Lindbergh Electronic Aircraft Prize (LEAP).

“This moment today on the cliffs of Torrey Pines represents the germination of an idea that I really want to take around the world,” Lindbergh said. “I wanna go there and see that vision, I want you to come with me, better yet, I want your kids to take the rest of us into this future.”

His plan for the annual prizes is to bring electric flight to more people and serve as a vehicle for creating a powerful project-based curriculum that will address the need for effective science, technology, engineering and math education (STEM).

What are the prizes?

— Best Electric Aircraft: Awarded for the best example of a practical electric aircraft in any category.

— Best Electric Aircraft Sub-System: Defined as a set of components designed to work together to accomplish a specific task which advances the field of electric aircraft in both performance and practicality.

— Best Electric Aircraft Component Technology: Defined as individual components that serve to advance the performance and practicality of electric aircraft.

— Public Choice Award: Allowing the public to vote on electric aircraft that are currently flying whether practical or not.

“We will give some sort of prize for each category and what we need now are sponsors to come forward who want to be involved in cutting-edge aviation technology,” Lindbergh said.

For Lindbergh, the need for electronic aviation is much needed. He cites safety, efficiency and cheaper cost as pragmatic reasons for this type of technology.

“This industry is in itss infancy,” Lindbergh said. “The only way to find out is to push it along.”

Learn more about the Lindbergh Electronic Aircraft Prize at