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