Boeing

GoFly: Competition’s on for $1 million

Personal flyer prize still up in the air

September 23, 2021 in Innovation, Technology

There’s a race into the future going on overhead. The GoFly Prize competition invites innovators worldwide to create a personal flyer. And that innovation up in the air could land one team $1 million.

GOFLY GATHERING: Innovators and leaders traded ideas at the GoFly Final Fly Off in Mountain View, California.
VIDEO: BOEING

Launched in 2017 with Boeing as its grand sponsor, the competition is to design and build a safe, quiet, ultra-compact personal flyer that can achieve near-vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) and fly 20 miles while carrying a single person. So far, 855 teams across 103 countries have vied for the $1 million grand prize. New teams are still welcome to join.

AIR TIME: Team VertiCycle’s device rises above Moffett Airfield during the GoFly Final Fly Off in February 2020 at the NASA Ames Research Center near Mountain View, California. The team is based in Anderson, Indiana.

PHOTO: JOSH ROBINSON/BOEING

THUMBS UP: DragonAir Aviation team Captain Mariah Cain rides aboard the Panama City Beach, Florida-based team’s Airboard during the Final Fly Off.

PHOTO: KENNETH I. SWARTZ/VERTICAL FLIGHT SOCIETY

Scores for the grand prize will be based on:

  • Safety.
  • Performance, including speed and endurance.
  • The ability to achieve near VTOL.
  • Quietness.
  • Compactness.
  • The experience of open-air flight.

TEAM TETRA TRYOUT: Team teTra of Tokyo won the $100,000 Pratt & Whitney Disruptor Award at the Final Fly Off. Team members (from left) Ben Grubb, Pritish Debasis Tripathy and Akihiro Mizutani display their craft, the teTra Mk-3.

PHOTO: JOSH ROBINSON/BOEING

Boeing Chief Engineer Greg Hyslop is amped about how high this could go.

“The competition aligns with our company’s goals of inspiring people across the globe and changing the world through aerospace innovation. We’re excited to see how the visionaries of the future will take on this ambitious and exciting challenge,” Hyslop said.

GO TEAMS GO: Boeing Chief Engineer Greg Hyslop and GoFly CEO Gwen Lighter speak during the GoFly Final Fly Off at the NASA Ames Research Center in California.

PHOTO: JOSH ROBINSON/BOEING

Gwen Lighter, GoFly CEO, said the organizers look forward to going even bigger.

“Our teams around the globe continue to make the impossible possible,” Lighter said. “It is a privilege to support these pioneers in their flying and engineering endeavors.”

TREK TALK: Team Trek’s Jose Fierro (right) shows off his team's FlyKart 2. Trek Aerospace, of Folsom, California, completed Phase II of the GoFly competition.

PHOTO: KENNETH I. SWARTZ/VERTICAL FLIGHT SOCIETY

Discover how you can GoFly here.


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