Boeing sponsored contest GoFly has drummed some very interesting personal flying vehicle designs. A giant egg with rotors and Transformers-style design are a couple of examples to cite from the creative flying bike renditions submitted in a $2-million contest that aims to develop new ways of personal flying. Phase one of the competition has resulted in 10 new blueprints to make human transportation through the air, with more focus of fun than the practicality of it. GoFly says its aim is to achieve "flying people, not flying taxis."
The objective of these transportation vehicles is to fly one person 32 km without having to refuel or recharge while allowing vertical take-off and landing. "In launching the competition, we wanted to inspire the world's greatest inventors and builders to create a device that will make people fly," says GoFly CEO Gwen Lighter in a statement.
The designs submitted hover pretty much between jetpacks and motorbikes. Among the teams competing is Team Leap, a European startup that has engineers with resumes that include jobs at Boeing, Airbus, and Lockheed Martin. Their design called Vantage is a futuristic looking motorbike with five large rotors underneath.
Another one is the S1, by Dutch team Silverwing, which says its design will make a 90-degree transition from vertical take off to a horizontal flight. Team teTra, from Japan, also designed a motorcycle-style base attached to powerful-looking twin rotors.
The contest had over 600 entries and a panel of 97 judges chose the best 10. Each of the selected teams has been awarded $20,000 in recognition of their achievements. "The ingenuity of these ideas shows how the GoFly Prize competition aligns to Boeing's mission of changing the world through aerospace innovation," adds Lighter.
The designs may never make it to commercial production or flights but these competitions inspire students, engineers, and innovators, along with providing an easy platform for Boeing to spot young talent and recruit engineers.
Phase two of the contest, involving the 10 shortlisted entries, will be a step ahead judging prototypes with a $50,000 prize that will be awarded in March 2019. Finally, the last stage will be a fly-off, that will be conducted later next year with a $1 million prize for the best overall entry.