GoFly Launches Competition to Bring Personal Flying Devices to the Masses

Boeing to Sponsor $2 Million, Two-Year International Incentive Competition 

(Photo: Boeing)

A new competition to encourage innovators to create a safe and easy-to-use personal flying device launched today at one of the aerospace industry’s premiere engineering technology conferences. Gwen Lighter, CEO of The GoFly Prize opened registration for the competition at the SAE 2017 AeroTech Congress & Exhibition. The two-year competition, managed by GoFly with Boeing as Grand Sponsor, 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 $2M 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. GoFly is calling upon the world’s greatest thinkers, designers, engineers, inventors and builders to construct safe, ultra-compact, quiet, urban-compatible, personal flying devices capable of carrying person 20 miles without refueling or recharging with vertical, or near vertical take-off and landing capability. GoFly will provide teams with access to experienced Mentors and Masters 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,” Lighter said. “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 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 ten $20K prizes awarded based on written technical specifications; Phase II will include four $50K 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 leading organizations. 

Teams will have the opportunity to compete for additional prizes during the final Fly-Off, including one $100K prize awarded for disruptive advancement of the state of the art aviation technology, one $250K prize for the quietest compliant entry, and one $250K prize for the smallest compliant entry. The Grand Prize Winner will be awarded $1M for the best overall Fly-Off score, calculated by measuring speed, noise, and size.   

Innovators from all walks of life, including hobbyists, academics, engineers, and students are all encouraged to submit their ideas and participate in the competition. The first registration deadline for teams participating in Phase I is April 4, 2018, followed by a Phase II registration deadline of December 8, 2018

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