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Society of Women Engineers

GoFly Seeks Innovators to Create a Personal Flying Device

GoFly will award $2,000,000 in prizes over three phases, starting with 10 prizes of $20,000 each based on paper technical submissions.

Published On: November 2017

GoFly is a Boeing-sponsored competition pushing the boundaries of innovation, engineering, and transportation to create a personal flying device for anyone, anywhere.

As a child, did you ever spread your arms with a makeshift cape or tinfoil wings, pretending to soar through the air? We’re on a mission to turn that childhood dream of flight into reality.

Indeed, throughout human history, perhaps no dream has been more shared than that of flying. From Leonardo da Vinci’s ornithopter to hot-air balloons to solar-powered planes, humankind has always looked up, imagining new ways to explore the skies.

We’re calling on the world’s greatest thinkers, designers, engineers, and inventors to make the impossible possible. Today we look to the sky and say, “That plane is flying.” We challenge innovators around the world to create a device that makes us look to the sky and say, “That person is flying.”

The goal of the GoFly Prize is to foster the development of safe, quiet, ultra-compact, near-VTOL (vertical takeoff and landing) personal flying devices capable of flying twenty miles while carrying a single person.

Over the next two years, individuals and teams from around the globe will compete for $2 million in prizes, accessing global experts to bring their ideas to life.

Together, we will make people fly.

We encourage innovators, inventors, engineers, and makers to develop and build a personal flying device that can be used by anyone, anywhere. GoFly will award $2,000,000 in prizes over three phases, starting with 10 prizes of $20,000 each based on paper technical submissions. April 4, 2018 is the Phase I registration deadline.

GoFly welcomes revolutionary design, and our Technical Rules provide room for invention. The personal flying device must be safe, quiet, ultra-compact, and near-VTOL—capable of carrying a single person for a distance of 20 miles without refueling or recharging. The invention should be user-friendly and, of course, provide the thrill of flight. Outside of these requirements, the function and design are up to innovator teams.

GoFly is offering $2,000,000 in total prizes over the course of the 24-month competition. This purse will be spread out over three prize phases. Phase I will include 10 $20K prizes awarded based on written technical specifications; Phase II will include four $50K prizes awarded to Teams with the best VTOL demonstration 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.

Boeing, the world’s largest and most forward-thinking aerospace company, has partnered with GoFly to turn dreams into reality. Since its founding more than a century ago, Boeing has been at the forefront of innovation and exploration, pushing the limits of what is possible through game-changing technologies that impact the world and meet the needs of the global community. Through GoFly, Boeing will help empower the next generation of dreamers and thinkers to take on one of the most ambitious and exciting opportunities of our day. As the Grand Sponsor of the GoFly competition, Boeing is sponsoring tomorrow.

Teams will keep all of their intellectual property, except that teams will grant limited media rights to GoFly so that GoFly can publicize and promote the Competition and the Teams.

The Boeing-sponsored GoFly Prize launched this fall and we’re excited to announce that more than 1,000 innovators from over 70 countries have signed up to take part in our challenge to design and build a safe, compact and quiet personal flying machine capable of being flown by anyone, anywhere.

This interactive map shows where our international community hails from. We are thrilled that the prize has created so much international excitement, motivation, and engagement.

We’ve brought on Masters to help guide these Teams and kicked off the Master Lecture series, in which industry experts share their insight and answer questions from competitors. Additionally, over 20 leading aviation and STEM organizations have partnered with GoFly to help spread the word. We’re pleased to continue to grow our network and provide support to our innovator Teams. Find our full list of partners on GoFlyPrize.com.

The aspiration of flight extends beyond our core group of engineers, inventors, and aviation professionals who have accepted our challenge and make up our 447 officially registered Teams so far. Students from over 60 top universities across the globe have already registered to take part and will put up some strong competition. We have also received countless messages from ambitious students who fall just under our age requirements, but who want to be a part of the future of flight. To that end, in 2018 we’ll be rolling out a series of mini-challenges for those K-12 students so that they too have the opportunity to join in our network and shared future.

We are thrilled that the competition has elicited so much excitement from the community, and we’re looking forward to many more months of collaboration, team-building, and innovative design.

There’s still plenty of time to get involved and submit a competitive design. Rules can be found here, and you can register here.

Ready, Set, GoFly!

Sponsored by:
Brown – Executive Master
SWE – Diverse Podcast