GoFly Prize Will Have a Sequel

Dean Sigler Batteries, Electric Powerplants, Sky Taxis, Sustainable Aviation Leave a Comment

A well-produced video looking like a Christopher Nolan trailer for an upcoming Batman film — Silverwing’s preview of its coming attraction wraps us in a cocoon-like cockpit with a heads-up display to envy.  Silverwing’s S1 was one of 20 machines to show up at Moffett Field in Mountain View, California for the GoFly Prize flyoff. As Beth Stanton reported in the May issue of Sport Aviation, the gathering represented the best of 854 teams from 103 countries who made it through the first phase of the competition over two years ago.  The attrition rate may seem high unless one considers the difficulty level posed by the contest’s constraints. Beth’s article, “On the Edge of Possibility,” draws its title from a …

Go Fly’s Phase II Winners

Dean Sigler Announcements, Electric Powerplants, Sky Taxis, Sustainable Aviation Leave a Comment

One complaint frequently heard is that aviation doesn’t necessarily encourage participation by women, despite historical examples from Harriet Quimby to Jeanna Yeager.   GoFly is a competition thought up by Gwen Lighter, a lawyer with degrees from Brown (summa cum laude) and Harvard (cum laude) Universities. It has a $2 million prize package backed by Boeing and others.  Ms. Lighter describes her brainchild as follows: “The $2 million GoFly competition encourages mad scientists and daredevils to come as close as possible to Star Wars’s light cycles, James Bond’s jetpack, Marty McFly’s hoverboard, or any other flying dream.” Five Phase 2 winners exemplify the open rule-book approach around which the contest is organized.  Lighter explained it two years ago in an NPR …

GoFly Announces First Round Prize Winners

Dean Sigler Announcements, Batteries, Electric Powerplants, Sky Taxis, Sustainable Aviation Leave a Comment

Boeing just announced the ten winners of Phase I in its GoFly competition, in which entrants design, build and fly a “personal flying device.”  As Boeing explains, contest rules are designed to enable entrants “To foster the development of safe, quiet, ultra-compact, near-VTOL personal flying devices capable of flying twenty miles while carrying a single person.”  The list of partners and co-sponsors is impressive and includes virtually all major American aviation advocacy groups. As the Green Flight Challenge demonstrated seven years ago, prize money encourages a grand series of investments by individuals in hopes of winning a prize.  In this case, 3,000 entries by 725 teams from 95 countries presented drawings and documents describing their proposed PFD, with a select …