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The $1 million prize was not awarded at the event, which GoFly had called the “Final Fly Off.” The prize remains available, however, and several teams have reported progress since then—although that progress has generally been slow, primarily because of the coronavirus pandemic (see “Personal VTOL on the Cusp” in the November 2020 AOPA Pilot).
“Given the global pandemic, GoFly has adjusted its format to reflect this new normal,” the organization said in a November 12 statement. “While the Grand Prize remains $1,000,000, we will now provide for an individual team demonstration rather than a large event gathering. The requirements of the competition have not changed, only the process to a flight demonstration to be eligible for the grand prize.”
GoFly said new teams are welcome to join the competition, and that more details are available in the competition guidelines and FAQs online. Any new teams should email GoFly for details on how to begin the process.
The GoFly Prize was founded with the goal of fostering the development of safe, quiet, ultra-compact, near-VTOL personal flying devices capable of carrying a single person 20 miles, explained Gwen Lighter, GoFly founder and CEO, at the February event. At that point the challenge had drawn 854 teams comprising more than 3,800 innovators from 103 countries. Designs ran the gamut from flying cars, flying motorcycles, hoverboards, and jetpacks to human-carrying drones. The $1 million GoFly Prize originally was to be awarded at a Final Fly Off event in October 2019, which was postponed to February 2020.
Boeing is sponsoring the $1 million grand prize that has been on the table since February. However, the teTra Aviation team from Tokyo won the $100,000 Pratt & Whitney Disruptor Award at the Moffett Field event, in what organizers later called the Inaugural GoFly Prize Final Fly Off. Engine manufacturer Pratt & Whitney awarded that prize.
GoFly also shared its February Fly Off video compilation.
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