Boeing Creates $2 Million Prize For ‘Personal Flying Device’

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Boeing is offering $2 million in prize money to encourage innovators to create a “safe and easy-to-use personal flying device,” the company announced on Tuesday. The two-year competition, called “GoFly,” is open to teams from around the world. Boeing hopes the project will leverage recent advances in propulsion, energy, lightweight materials, and control and stability systems “to make the dream of personal flight a reality.” The flying device should be easy to use by anyone, anywhere, Boeing said. It must be safe, ultra-compact, quiet, urban-compatible, capable of carrying a person 20 miles without refueling or recharging and must have vertical, or near-vertical, takeoff and landing capability.

GoFly will provide teams with access to experienced mentors and experts in design, engineering, finance, law and marketing who will conduct monthly webinars, but the ultimate design and functionality of the device will be up to the imagination of the competitors. The competition will culminate in a final fly-off in fall 2019 when all the teams will debut their personal flying devices. “There is perhaps no dream more universal than the dream of human flight,” said Gwen Lighter, CEO of The GoFly Prize. “GoFly is going to make that dream a reality. 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.’”

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Comments (2)

It would be a lot easier to have the 2 million up front to work with!

Posted by: Don Lineback | September 28, 2017 1:47 PM    Report this comment

This "news" item is getting scant attention, and rightly so.

It appears that some committee lumped together every juvenile daydream about flying into a notional, even chimerical, wish list; and then arrogantly declared science to be far enough advanced to make all these ill-defined dreams come true right now.

What transparent nonsense!

Over the last few decades, we've seen a steady stream of technologies that were going to make spectacular breakthroughs in aviation -- composites, canards, stir welding, diesel engines, biofuels, fuel cells, solar cells, electric motors, better batteries, larger and larger multi-rotor drones, flying cars that aren't cars, and near-jets, to name a few .

We always have dreamers in aviation. Some go through other peoples' $ Billions, get lots of media attention, and then disappear. In the end, the Laws of Physics always win, regardless of all the credulous media hype.

Not satisfied with the way technology has so-far failed to revolutionize aviation, GoFly now offers (drum roll, please) -- finally -- Unfettered, Undisciplined Wishful Thinking!

Historically, nonsense on this scale is left to children and politicians. Where are the adults?

Oh, sure, it's a fun wish list, even if it ignores the unyielding realities of gravity, gusty winds, the physical limitations of humans, Newton's Laws, common sense, the FAA's airspace system, and the public's disdain for anyone and everyone flitting about willy-nilly anywhere.

I just hope no one gets killed in the pursuit of this.

Posted by: S. Lanchester | October 4, 2017 7:29 PM    Report this comment

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