Just launched is a new competition to encourage innovators to create a safe and easy-to-use personal flying device.
Called GoFly, the two-year competition encourages teams from around the world to leverage recent advances in propulsion, energy, light-weight materials, and control and stability systems to make the dream of personal flight a reality. Prize money of $2 million will be awarded to the most innovative teams.
Teams will be challenged to create a personal flying device that can be used by anyone, anywhere. Think jetpack or flying motorcycle.
The personal flying devices must be capable of carrying a person 20 miles without refueling or recharging with vertical or near vertical takeoff and landing capability.
GoFly will provide teams with access to experienced mentors in design, engineering, finance, law, and marketing, but the ultimate design and functionality of the device will be up to the imagination of the competitors.“There is perhaps no dream more universal than the dream of human flight. GoFly is going to make that dream a reality,” said Gwen Lighter, CEO of GoFly. “GoFly is a shift towards embracing innovative solutions to expand the desire to explore the unknown and push ourselves to new heights. Today we look to the sky and say ‘look at that plane fly,’ but two years from now we’ll look up and say ‘look at that person fly.’”
The major sponsor of the competition is Boeing.
“The GoFly Prize competition aligns with our company’s goals of inspiring people across the globe and changing the world through aerospace innovation,” said Boeing Chief Technology Officer Greg Hyslop. “We’re excited to see how the visionaries of the future will take on this ambitious and exciting challenge.”
Competition prizes will be awarded in three phases:
- Phase I will include 10 $20,000 prizes awarded based on written technical specifications;
- Phase II will include four $50,000 prizes awarded to teams with the best prototypes and revised Phase I materials; and
- Phase III will unveil the Grand Prize Winner, awarded at the Final Fly-Off in the fall of 2019. The final Fly-Off will be judged by a team of experts from Boeing and other organizations.
Teams will have the opportunity to compete for additional prizes during the final Fly-Off, including one $100,000 prize awarded for disruptive advancement of the state of the art aviation technology, one $250,000 prize for the quietest compliant entry, and one $250,000 prize for the smallest compliant entry.
The Grand Prize Winner will be awarded $1 million for the best overall Fly-Off score, calculated by measuring speed, noise, and size.
The first registration deadline for teams participating in Phase I is April 4, 2018, followed by a Phase II registration deadline of Dec. 8, 2018.
For more information about The GoFly Prize, or to sign up for the competition, go to GoFlyPrize.com.