EAA Innovation Prize Goes To Head-Up Display
A team of three high-school students from Alexandria, Virginia, won EAA’s $25,000 Founder’s Innovation Prize on Tuesday night, after a live judging event at the Theater in the Woods at Oshkosh. Their concept, titled “Remora System,” displays airspeed and angle of attack on a head-mounted display. A pod mounted under the wing provides the sensor inputs. Team member Justin Zhou said last year’s winner, Ihab Awad, was generous in helping them to prepare. “It was amazing how much effort he put into telling us how the competition worked,” Justin said. “We had no idea. We had never been to Oshkosh. The fact that we are here now is amazing.” Thomas Baron and Max Lord rounded out the team. The five finalists each had 10 minutes to present their ideas to the judges, followed by five minutes of questions.
Second place and $10,000 went to Andy Meyer, who developed a device that provides progressive aural cues as an aircraft approaches attitude regimes where loss of control may be imminent. Third place and $5,000 went to former astronaut Mike Foale for his “Solar Pilot Guard,” which provides voice cues to the pilot when it detects the potential for loss of control. The judging panel consisted of Charlie Precourt, a former NASA shuttle commander and chairman of EAA’s safety committee, aerobatic champion Michael Goulian, former NTSB air safety investigator Gregory Feith, civilian test pilot Dave Morss, and Van’s Aircraft founder Dick VanGrunsven. The judges sorted through more than 70 submissions before selecting the five finalists. “Comparing last year to this year, the presenters were much more prepared from a technical, in-depth understanding of what they were trying to accomplish, and what the limitations were,” Precourt said. “Each of them showed that they had great, broad knowledge of the capabilities and limitations of their concept.”