The $2 million GoFly competition for personal flying devices is set to award its remaining $1.6 million in prizes at a final fly-off in February.
GoFly has now confirmed that the final fly-off will take place Feb. 28 and 29 at the NASA Ames Research Center’s Moffett Federal Airfield in Mountain View, California. Teams from around the world will compete for the $1 million grand prize, plus $250,000 prizes each for the quietest and smallest entries that meet the specified performance goals, and a $100,000 prize for the design deemed to be “most disruptive.”
“After much anticipation, we are excited to announce our final fly-off will take place at Moffett Federal Airfield, a pinnacle of flight and innovation,” stated GoFly CEO Gwen Lighter in a press release. “The level of ingenuity and dedication from each of our GoFly competitors is truly impressive. We are excited to see each unique personal flyer and the opportunity they collectively bring to revolutionize human mobility.”
Launched two years ago, the GoFly Prize is supported by grand sponsor Boeing, as well as Planetary Ventures, a subsidiary of Google; disruptor prize sponsor Pratt & Whitney; and more than 20 international aviation and innovation organizations. The multi-phase competition aims to give rise to “safe, ultra-compact, urban-compatible personal flying devices,” as GoFly describes them.
More than 850 teams comprising 3,800 people from over 100 countries have joined the competition. In March of this year, GoFly awarded $50,000 prizes to five “Phase II” winners with personal flyer prototypes.
For the final fly-off, teams will compete to fly a course of six miles (9.7 kilometers) at a speed of at least 30 mph (48 km/h), perform a touch and go, and hover for a total flight time of 20 minutes before sticking a controlled vertical descent within a landing zone. Fly-off scores will be based on performance, including speed and endurance; the ability to achieve near-vertical take-off and landing; quietness; compactness; and the experience of open-air flight.