Aerospace engineering students at the University of Virginia have taken energy efficiency to new heights. The 16-member team designed a hybrid electric plane, built to carry 50 passengers.
The FAA was so impressed the agency recently awarded the group first place in an international competition.
"They designed a system that produces lower emissions, lower fuel burn and less noise," said James McDaniel, the UVA engineering professor who led the team.
McDaniel says the undergraduate students are thrilled they beat a graduate team from Georgia Tech.
The FAA will officially present them the first place award Wednesday.
Sign up to receive NBC29 news and weather updates in your inbox daily.