GoFly Prize

Design and build a safe, quiet, ultra-compact, near-VTOL personal flying device capable of flying 20 miles while carrying a single person.
Final Fly Off
Be a Mentor



Remember when you were a child and wanted to fly?

We are going to make that dream a reality. We challenge you to make people fly.

The GoFly Prize offered a $1,000,000 Grand Prize to create a personal flying device that is safe, useful, and thrilling.

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

What we are seeking is an “everyone” personal flying device, capable of being flown by ANYONE, ANYWHERE. It should be a device for ALL: young and old, city-dweller and country-dweller, expert and novice.

Now is the time. Recent advances in propulsion, energy, light-weight materials, and control and stability systems have combined to produce a moment of achievable innovation. What can be accomplished today could not have been attained even a few years ago. Technological and scientific advances have resulted in a time when our most audacious dream—the dream of pure human flight—is now achievable.

GoFly is about flying people, not flying taxis. Today we look to the sky and say “that plane is flying.” We challenge you to create a device where we look to the sky and say, “that person is flying.” The device is for a single person, but what it looks like or how it works is up to you. We welcome revolutionary design, and while all devices must be able to fly a person, you have the option to use a mannequin to simulate the user and can operate the device as a remotely piloted or autonomous UAV. The device should function safely in both crowded cities and rural areas; it should be lightweight and maneuverable enough so that anyone can move it around, and it should be quiet not only for the user, but also for the general public. We are propulsion agnostic, but like all great inventions, the device should be user-friendly--almost an extension of the user’s body, and provide the thrill of flight.

The GoFly Prize is designed to capture our imagination. Indeed, throughout human history, perhaps no dream has been more shared than that of soaring in the skies. It has been pursued by the greatest minds from every corner of the world. It captivated the thoughts of Leonardo Da Vinci, culminating in his ornithopter.  It consumed the thoughts of Wendell Moore and his Bell Labs team, resulting in the first “jet pack.” It charmed an entire generation of children as they followed the chronicles of Superman.

Our goal is the same as Da Vinci’s and children of wonder throughout the ages: Make people fly – safely and effortlessly.

Ready… set… GoFly.



The GoFly Prize Competition will award a $1,000,000 Grand Prize and additional early round prize money over three phases.

Prizes will be awarded for each phase of the Competition as follows:

Phase I                   

  • Up to ten $20,000 prizes awarded based on a written report.

Phase II                  

  • Up to five $50,000 prizes awarded based on revised Phase I material (or for new teams new Phase II material) and demonstrated performance of progress to date.

Phase III                    

  • One $1,000,000 Grand Prize awarded for the best overall fly-off score.
  • One $100,000 prize, the Pratt & Whitney Disruptor Prize, awarded for disruptive advancement of the state of the art.

A complete set of Technical Rules can be found here



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 details relating to media rights are addressed in the Phase I Competition Agreement and the Media Rights Agreement.  Other than these media rights, any rights a Team has in its inventions, drawings, patents, designs, copyrights and other intellectual property remain with the Team.   

The prize submission information that Teams provide to GoFly as part of the Competition will only be shared with the Judging Panel and representatives of GoFly who are involved in administering the Competition.  Anyone who has access to a Team’s confidential prize submission information will have signed a confidentiality agreement and agreed not to share or use such confidential information, except as may be required by law.  In addition, Teams will not have access to any nonpublic information about other Teams or their technology or performance during the Competition.



Even the best and brightest minds can use a little help sometimes.  GoFly empowers innovator teams by providing access to experienced Mentors and Masters in design, engineering, finance, law, and marketing. Teams will have the opportunity to listen to and engage in discussions with the Masters of Aerospace and Business in global webinars. Have a couple of questions on conceptual design or configuration management? Looking for insight into cutting edge noise mitigation techniques? Trying to raise funding to support your build? Masters lectures speak to those disciplines and more. Learn from FAA leads, NASA gurus, Boeing Senior Technical Fellows, and the luminaries who actually wrote the textbooks. Hear about the aerospace fundraising landscape, and take a deep dive into financing decks and pitching VCs. Learn how to protect your intellectual property from patent specialists. A list of Masters along with their bios can be found in the Advisors section.

When one-on-one help is needed, all Teams will have access to our Mentor program, where Teams work directly with Mentors in their specific areas of need. Operationally, the Mentor program is organized so that Teams contact GoFly to request a Mentor within a particular discipline. Upon contact, that Team will be matched with a Mentor (or multiple mentors) in that area. During these Mentor sessions, a Team works directly with the Mentor to answer the Team’s specific questions related to their technical build (or financing, or corporate documents, etc.).  This is one-on-one support for the Teams, geared to the precise needs of each Team. GoFly believes that providing this type of support is the best way to help aspiring inventors all over the world create the kind of ground-breaking devices that the Competition seeks.



GoFly believes that solutions can come from anyone, anywhere. Scientists, engineers, academics, entrepreneurs, and other innovators with new ideas from all over the world are invited to form a Team and register to compete. To participate, a Team may organize their own members, recruit additional experts to join them, and can add new members at any time throughout the Competition. 

To be eligible to participate in the GoFly Prize, Teams must complete all registration and administration forms, including a short bio for each Team member, certain legal documents, and be accepted by GoFly into the competition.

For more information, see “Eligibility” below.



The GoFly Prize Competition is a two-year Competition launched on September 26, 2017.  There will be three sequential rounds of the Competition.

Phase I                   

  • Submission of a written report and preliminary drawing

Phase II                  

  • Submission of an updated written report and demonstration of progress in development of the personal flying device

Phase III                 

  • Final Fly Off competition and Grand Prize award  

A list of important dates is set forth below:

Description                                                                                                                               Date

Competition Launch and Open of Registration                                                          September 26, 2017

Phase I submission deadline                                                                                            April 18, 2018

Phase I awards issued                                                                                                         June 14, 2018 

Phase II registration deadline                                                                                           December 14, 2018

Phase II submission deadline                                                                                            February 6, 2019

Phase II awards and Phase III Fly Off invitations begin to be issued                      March 26, 2019

Phase III Fly Off planning review and Registration deadline                                     October 1, 2019

Fly-Off Planning Review complete                                                                                    January 31, 2020

Final Fly Off                                                                                                                               February 26-29, 2020

Competition Ends                                                                                                                   September 26, 2023

Dates and other information are subject to change at the discretion of GoFly. GoFly will post changes on the Competition website to ensure that all registered teams are informed of any change. All submissions must be submitted electronically through the GoFly Competition website.



To compete in the GoFly Prize, the participant must be a registered Team that has been approved by GoFly.   Note that the information below is only a summary for your convenience.  For full details, please refer to the legal documents for each phase referred to below.


Innovators can compete in Phase I both as Individual Innovators and in groups.  To begin the registration process for Phase 1 (the Paper Report phase of the Competition) and be accepted to participate, you must:

  1. Sign the Phase I Competition Agreement
  2. Sign the Release of Liability and Indemnification Agreement

All forms can be found here, and all may be accepted and submitted online.   

Submission of the documents will enable access to the Phase I submission form for competing.  There is no registration fee, but upon submission of a Team’s Phase I competition entry, there will be a fee of $250 for Individual Innovators or a fee of $500 for Teams with two or more persons.



There is a big difference between designing on paper and actual building/flying, so the documents involved for the different phases of the GoFly Prize vary as well.   In order to proceed from Phase I (the paper, technical specifications phase of the competition) into the actual building (Phases II and III of the Competition), ALL Teams must submit an additional application and be accepted as a Phase II or Phase III Team by GoFly. Under no circumstances should any off-paper work, building or testing take place before a Team is formally admitted into Phase II or Phase III of the GoFly Prize. Should any work be done off-paper before being accepted into Phase II or Phase III in contravention of the foregoing, such work is done entirely outside the scope of the GoFly Prize.

The Phase II and III Application forms will be available in May 2018.  Each Phase II and III Team is required to complete the package of legal documents which will govern the Competition, including the following:

  • Master Team Agreement
  • Certificate of Insurance (as required by the Master Team Agreement)
  • Updated Team Release of Liability and Indemnification Agreement
  • Updated Team Member Release of Liability and Indemnification Agreement
  • Media Rights Agreement
  • Participant Equity Agreement, including the Company Questionnaire and the other documents referenced therein.

Of note, Phase II and III Teams must register and participate as legal entities, and not as individuals.  See “Eligibility” below for further details.


Teams must sign all legal documents and comply with all requirements therein to be admitted to the Competition.  Once GoFly determines that a Team has complied with all requirements of the legal documents and these Competition Guidelines, it will notify the Team that it is approved for entry into the Competition.

Team shall designate a Team Member to act as “Team Leader”. The Team Leader will be responsible for communicating with GoFly and the Judging Panel. The Team Leader (and all Team members) must be at least 18 years old (or the age of majority in their jurisdiction of residence, if such age is older than 18 years). Team may add and/or remove Team Members at any time through the Team Portal.  Team has sole responsibility for adding and removing Team Members.

At registration, each Team must list each individual that is part of the Team, and such list shall include all individuals or entities involved in the design, development, or testing of the Submission, including employees (“Team Members”). All Team Members must register at the Competition website and sign the Phase I Competition Agreement. Team may add and/or remove Team Members at any time through the Team Portal.  Team has sole responsibility for adding and removing Team Members. 

Teams may revise registration information at any time and are responsible for keeping information up to date. All Teams wishing to continue on to Phase II and III must complete all Phase II and III legal documents by the Phase II and III registration deadline. New teams who have not participated in Phase I or Phase II are still eligible to participate in Phase III by completing registration documents by the Phase III registration deadline.

As part of this Competition, GOFLY may receive some of Team’s and Team Members’ personal information. The collection, use, and disclosure of this information will be governed by GOFLY’s Privacy Policy. The Privacy Policy includes several ways to contact GOFLY with questions.  By submitting such information, Team agrees that (i) GOFLY may use the personal information collected as described in the Privacy Policy and (ii) GOFLY may disclose such Team’s and Team Members’ contact information and Competition registration information to Boeing, other Competition sponsors, and GoFly affiliates and investors.  Team expressly authorizes each of the foregoing to contact Team if Boeing so desires.  Teams have the right to access, withdraw, and correct their personal information. 



Phase I Eligibility:

Individual Innovators: The Competition is open to individual Innovators who (a) are at least 18 years old (or the age of majority in his/her jurisdiction of residence if it is older than 18), (b) comply fully with all terms and conditions of the Phase I Competition Agreement, and (c) are able to participate without violation of any third-party rights or obligations, including without limitation an employer’s policies or procedures.

Exclusions: Individual Innovators may not be (a) a Boeing employee or a member of any Boeing employee’s immediate family, (b) located in a jurisdiction where participation in the Competition is prohibited or otherwise restricted by law (or an individual with a residence in or who is a national of Cuba, Iran, Syria, North Korea or Sudan) or (c) subject to export controls or sanctions of the U.S.

Business Entities:  The Competition is open to legal entities that wish to compete as a team and (a) are validly formed and in existence under applicable law, (b) comply fully with all terms and conditions of the Phase I Competition Agreement, and (c) are able to participate without violation of any third-party rights or obligations.    

Exclusions:  Entity Innovators must not have any presence in Cuba, Iran, Syria, North Korea or Sudan or be subject to export controls or sanctions of the United States.

Phase II and Phase III Eligibility:

Among other requirements, the Competition is open to business entities that wish to compete as a team and (a) are validly formed and in existence under applicable law, (b) comply fully with all terms and conditions of the Master Team Agreement, (c) have completed the full package of required legal documents, and (d) are able to participate without violation of any third-party rights or obligations.    

All Team Members must (a) be at least 18 years old (or the age of majority in his/her jurisdiction of residence if it is older than 18), (b) comply fully with all terms and conditions of the Master Team Agreement and all other GoFly legal documents, and (c) be able to participate without violation of any third-party rights or obligations, including without limitation an employer’s policies or procedures.

Exclusions: A Team Member may not be (a) a Boeing employee or a member of any Boeing employee’s immediate family, (b) a Pratt & Whitney employee or a member of any Pratt & Whitney employee’s immediate family, (c) located in a jurisdiction where participation in the Competition is prohibited or otherwise restricted by law (or an individual with a residence in or who is a national of Cuba, Iran, Syria, North Korea or Sudan) or (d) subject to export controls or sanctions of the U.S..  Additionally, Teams must not have any presence in Cuba, Iran, Syria, North Korea or Sudan or be subject to export controls or sanctions of the United States. In all cases, each Team’s legal documents, forms and questionnaires are subject to GoFly’s review and approval.

Each Team’s compliance with these requirements and eligibility for the Competition will be determined by GoFly in its sole discretion.  Only Teams meeting all of the eligibility requirements set forth in the Master Team Agreement as determined by GoFly and who are otherwise qualified and accepted by GoFly will be recognized as participants in the Competition. 

Each Team must obey all local, national, and international laws in undertaking any activities related to the Competition.  Team must fully comply with all applicable laws and acquire all necessary licenses, waivers, and/or permits from the applicable regulatory bodies or other applicable third parties. GoFly is not required to advise Team regarding such legal and regulatory compliance, and GoFly shall have no responsibility for Team’s compliance with laws applicable to Team and disclaims any responsibility for advising on the applicability of laws or regulations applicable to a Team’s participation in the Competition or Team’s compliance therewith.  GoFly’s acceptance of Team into the Competition does not constitute approval of Team’s compliance with laws applicable to Team.



For each Phase of the Competition, Teams will be required to submit the materials and writings described in these Guidelines (“Submissions”).  All Submissions must comply with the following requirements:

  • Except for purchased or licensed content, any Submission must be original work of Team;
  • Submission must include only content (including any technical information, algorithms, designs, music, audio, visual or illustrative content, including logos, images, graphics, art, or other content, information, or materials protected any intellectual property right) that Team owns or has proper rights to use;
  • Team is required to disclose any purchased or licensed content that is part of a Submission.
  • Submissions must not contain any incomplete, corrupt, damaged, or malicious material;
  • Submissions must not contain material that violates or infringes another’s rights, including but not limited to privacy, copyright, trade secret, patent, trademark, publicity or any intellectual property rights;
  • Submissions must not disparage GoFly, any Competition sponsor, any GoFly affiliate or investor or any of their respective affiliates, officers, directors or employees;
  • Submissions must not contain material that is inappropriate, offensive, indecent, obscene, tortious, defamatory, slanderous or libelous and must not contain material that promotes bigotry, racism, hatred or harm against any group or individual or promotes discrimination based on race, gender, religion, nationality, disability, sexual orientation, or age; and
  • Submissions must not contain material that is unlawful, in violation of, or contrary to laws or regulations.




No Judge, nor any member of Judge’s immediate family, shall participate in any team.  All members of the Judging Panel will promptly disclose to GoFly any such current, former, or expected future conflict of interest with GoFly, Boeing and/or any Team or Team member.


The duties and responsibilities of the Judging Panel will include, but not be limited to: (i) evaluating teams’ compliance with the Competitors Agreement, these Competition Guidelines, and the Rules and Regulations for the purposes of the Competition; and (ii) the awarding of points and selection of teams that will receive prizes for each phase of the Competition.


Official decisions made by the Final Round Judging Panel will be approved by a majority of the Judges that vote on such decision after careful consideration of the testing protocols, procedures, guidelines, rules, regulations, criteria, results, and scores set forth in the Master Team Agreement and these Competition Guidelines. If any vote of the Judges results in a tie, then the Judging Panel shall determine, in its sole and absolute discretion, the mechanism to settle the tie. Similarly, if one or more teams are tied at any stage during the competition, the Judging Panel shall have the sole and absolute discretion to settle the tie. 


The Judging Panel shall have sole and absolute discretion: (i) to allocate duties among the Judges; (ii) to determine the degree of accuracy and error rate that is acceptable to the Judging Panel for all competition calculations, measurements, and results, where not specified in the Rules and Regulations; (iii) to determine the methodology used by the Judging Panel to render its decisions; (iv) to declare the winners of the competition; and (v) to award the prize purses and other awards. Decisions of the Judging Panel shall be binding on teams and each team member. Teams agree not to dispute any decision or ruling of the Judging Panel, including decisions regarding the degree of accuracy or error rate of any competition calculations, measurements, and results. Teams shall have no right to observe other teams’ testing or evaluation, or to be informed of other teams’ calculations, measurements, and results, unless such information is made publicly available by GoFly. 



The official language of the Competition is English. All communications with GoFly must be in English. All references to currency are expressed in United States Dollars (USD).


The $1,000,000 Grand Prize will be awarded to the first officially registered and approved GoFly Team that demonstrates meeting all GoFly Prize criteria and thresholds, as observed and verified by GoFly. GoFly will arrange a formal on-site observation for the Grand Prize in coordination with a Team after the Team has provided compelling evidence to GoFly that they have completed their own independent verification of compliance with all required tasks and measurements. 



Teams will provide their evidence through an online form, formatted as a checklist covering sections 2 and 4.1 of the guidelines where, for each item, the Team will describe the method of demonstrating each requirement and provide the evidence and documentation. 

GoFly will coordinate with the Team to choose a suitable demonstration site, with preference given to the site used for the Team’s prior flight demonstrations, though final determination of the location will be made by GoFly in its sole discretion. Note that prior to an on-site observation, Teams must also demonstrate safe and deterministic behavior in the event of lost RF link(s) and/or GNSS fix, as applicable.

As an optional step for Teams, GoFly is available to give feedback regarding acceptability of Teams’ planned means to demonstrate their own independent verification of compliance with all required tasks and measurements before they make a full flight demonstration. 

To initiate a review of planned means of demonstration or to gain access to the online form, simply email  a link to a full continuous video of a flight of your device meeting all of the following requirements:

  • 20 minutes in-air flight time
  • Operator/Dummy at full 200 lb weight
  • At least 6 nmi of ground track covered
  • At least 30 ktas reached at some point during the flight

Except for registration of new Teams (Teams that did not participate in Phase II or III should email  to begin the registration process), there is no action necessary for Teams to take until after Team has completed development of a fully capable device.


Scheduling and prize priority:

GoFly will review submissions in the order in which they are received. However, since some review and resubmission of evidence is to be expected, the order for scheduling an on-site observation will be based on GoFly’s determination regarding when a team has fully demonstrated compliance with all required tasks and measurements with evidence GoFly has deemed compelling. In other words, Teams may submit and complete their review while another Team is in the review and submission process.

GoFly will endeavor to set a firm date for an on-site observation within one month of determining that evidence is compelling, subject to travel restrictions and pandemic precautions. A formal observation will be scheduled for two days only (with acceptable weather conditions). If a Team is unsuccessful at claiming the Grand Prize during the formal observation, the team must restart the process (though data from the formal observation may be used as evidence, so, depending on the reason(s) the team is unsuccessful, the length of the restarted process may vary considerably). During that time, other team observations may occur.

If a Team cancels or postpones the formal demonstration by notifying GoFly at least one week ahead of the planned date, it may be rescheduled as soon as a suitable make-up date can be arranged, though other Team’s formal observations may proceed as planned. 

If GoFly must postpone a formal observation, other formal observations may occur but the postponed observation team retains its priority for the prize if a formal observation occurs within 60 days of the original date and the team meets all criteria and thresholds at that observation.




The goal of the GoFly Prize is 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 challenge consists of three progressive payout opportunities beginning in 2017:

Phase I:        

  • Up to ten $20,000 prizes awarded based on a written report.

Phase II:      

  • Up to five $50,000 prizes awarded based on revised Phase I material (or for new teams new Phase I material) and demonstrated performance of progress to date.


  1. One $1,000,000 Grand Prize awarded for the best compliant overall fly-off score.
  2. One $100,000 prize, the Pratt & Whitney Disruptor Prize, awarded for disruptive advancement of the state of the art.

Fly-off scores for the Grand Prize will be based on highly challenging criteria in the following areas:

  • Performance, including speed & endurance
  • The ability to achieve near vertical takeoff and landing
  • Quietness
  • Compactness
  • The experience of open-air flight

What the device looks like or how it works to accomplish the task, and accomplish it safely, is up to you.


1. Schedule and Deliverables

Dates and other information here are subject to change at the discretion of GoFly. GoFly will post changes on the challenge site and ensure that all registered teams are informed of any change. All judging decisions are final.

All materials must be in English and be submitted electronically by the appropriate deadline through the competition website. No exceptions.

1.1. April 18, 2018: Phase I submission deadline

Teams will submit a written report summarizing the project (submission form preview available here). To be eligible to enter a submission for Phase I of the GoFly Prize, competitors must complete all registration and legal forms and pay the submission fee.

Submissions will be scored in the following categories:

50 points               Technical content and feasibility

15 points               Novel innovation and market considerations

15 points               Safety considerations

10 points               Project execution feasibility

10 points               Organization, clarity, and succinctness

1.2. June 14, 2018: Phase I awards issued

Based on the Phase I submission scores, and at the discretion of the judges, Phase I winners will be announced and prize money issued. The winners will be announced publicly. However, their work will remain private (except for the publicly-releasable graphic).

1.3. December 14, 2018: Phase II registration deadline

Regardless of Phase I participation, all teams must register for Phase II by the Phase II registration deadline. To be eligible to participate in Phase II of the GoFly Prize, teams must complete all registration and legal forms, procure required insurance, and be accepted by GoFly into the competition. A complete list of documents are available at the competition website.

1.4. February 6, 2019: Phase II submission deadline

Teams will submit up-to-date Phase I material (all parts) with the addition of a status report. In addition to the Phase I scoring categories, an additional 50 points will be awarded based on project status and progress to date.

The Phase II submission must also act as sufficient documentary proof that a prototype, demonstrator, or the device itself has flown and successfully performed at a minimum the following maneuvers (tethered and sub-scale testing are acceptable):

  • Vertical or near-vertical takeoff followed by steady flight out of ground effect
  • Aborted landing
  • Vertical or near-vertical landing

1.5. March 26, 2019: Phase II awards and fly-off invitations begin to be issued

Based on the progress to date as exemplified in the Phase II submission, and at the discretion of the judges, Phase II winners will be announced and prize money issued. The winners will be announced publicly. However, their work will remain private (except for the publicly-releasable graphic).

Fly-off participation is by invitation only. GoFly will issue invitations to the Final Fly Off based upon Teams meeting Phase II submission requirements and/or Phase III document requirements, Fly Off document requirements, and adherence to all GoFly Agreements and Rules. There are pre-fly-off requirements such as the prior flight minimums and the fly-off planning review.

1.6. October 1, 2019: Fly-Off Registration and Airworthiness Questionnaire Deadline

Team registration must be complete by this time for new teams that did not participate in Phase II.

To maximize the chances that you will be legally authorized to fly at the fly-off event, by this time (and earlier is required for teams that are already registered) you will need to provide information via a questionnaire related to your device and personnel certifications and pathways used for airworthiness and operations, such as:

  • What FAA pathway/rules are you using for flight, e.g. section 44807 (formerly section 333) exemption, Part 103, etc.?
  • Have you been issued or do you anticipate any certifications, authorizations, waivers, or other FAA exemptions?
  • Device information: Will your device be manned or unmanned? What is the approximate empty weight? What is the make and model? What is the registration number or other identification, if issued?
  • Pilot information: What is the pilot’s address? What is the pilot’s certificate number and rating, if any?

1.7. January 31, 2020: Fly-off planning review must be complete

An earlier review is recommended to address any discovered issues for follow-up by the deadline. Beginning in November 2019, teams may schedule a fly-off planning review, to be held via video teleconference. 

Representative operational experience with your final device is required prior to scheduling a fly-off planning review. Experience operating your device must be in ways representative of tasks you will perform at the fly-off, including flight representative of all of the flight demonstration tasks and other operational aspects such as startup and shutdown procedures.

The fly-off planning review will also require teams to know their detailed procedures for fly-off tasks, such as demonstrating ground transport, reserves, reusability, etc.

1.8. February 26-29, 2020: Final Fly-Off

Teams must have completed the required logged safe prior flight described in section 4.2.3 prior to the fly-off.​ 

Teams must arrive at the fly-off prepared with device, operator, crew, supplies, and support equipment necessary to complete all fly-off tech inspection and flight demonstration tasks.

1.9  Grand Prize still open

The $1,000,000 Grand Prize remains open until September 26, 2023.


2. Fly-Off Tasks and Measurements

The fly-off will consist of two phases: tech inspection and flight demonstration. Various scored and unscored attributes will be measured or validated in each phase. The scored parameters are size, noise, and speed.

2.1. Tech Inspection

Teams must report to tech inspection at the fly-off with their device in flight-ready condition at fully fueled weight.

2.1.1. Conformance

Teams must certify that their entry is one-in-the-same as the device that has been represented to GoFly and other authorities and that has completed the documented and logged testing.

Teams who will fly the flight demonstration unmanned with a dummy instead of a human operator must show that the dummy is not structurally or mechanically integral to the device (beyond the level that a human operator would be) by removing the dummy and exhibiting the operator interface using a human operator.

2.1.2. Size measurement (SIZE)

The scoring parameter for size is the maximum single dimension in any direction between two planes, measured in feet.

The operator is not included.

Non-rigid elements, such as harnesses and straps, are included in their position with a 5’ 9” operator in place.

If the device has more than one configuration used for a normal full flight profile (as demonstrated in the flight demonstration), the measurement is taken for the largest of any non-transient configuration used in flight or on the ground. Components that continuously rotate are treated as a full disc.

2.1.3. Sightlines

The operator field of view is the GoFly metric for the open-air flight experience. A cone with 90° aperture (provided by contest organizers), with the apex at the design eye position (the bridge of the operator's nose while in flight posture), must not intersect or overlap any part of the device other than transparencies that are not primary structure.

The axis of the cone must be within 20 degrees of the operator's line of sight vector. The line of sight must be horizontal and forward-facing for some steady and trimmed flight mode (e.g., hover or cruise), chosen by the team.


Conical keep-out zone illustration. Inner cone represents allowed deviation of axis from line of sight vector.


The operator (with clothing, helmet, etc.) is not included.

The entire swept path of any continuously moving or spinning component is considered opaque.

2.1.4. Ground transport

During tech inspection, teams will be required to demonstrate that the device, unpowered and unoccupied by the operator, can be moved from one ground location to another over a level hard surface. Unpowered ground aides such as dollies are allowed. All tasks required for the ground transport demonstration must be achievable by a single individual. Required lifting (not including carrying) should not exceed 80 lbs; required pushing/pulling should not exceed 50 lbs.

2.2. Flight Demonstration

For the flight demonstration, the device, with full operator (or dummy stand-in) weight, must complete a single flight profile that successfully includes all of the following tasks:

  1. Takeoff and climb without violating the takeoff/landing envelope.
  2. Conduct a speed run of six laps around a 1 nmi course.
  3. Demonstrate the capability to abort a landing by performing a touch & go without violating the takeoff/landing envelope.
  4. After loitering such that total flight demonstration endurance is greater than 20 minutes, descend and land without violating the takeoff/landing envelope.

2.2.1. Takeoff/landing envelope

The takeoff/landing envelope is a 30 foot diameter cylinder. The virtual walls of the envelope are 12 feet high.

Illustration of 30 ft diameter, 12 ft high takeoff/landing envelope

In addition, 2.25” x 3.75” x 8” (nominal dimensions) bricks (available here) will be arranged to define the boundary on the ground. The bricks will be arranged approximately every 24 inches and stood upright to rest on the 2” x 8” side. If, at any time during the flight demonstration, a brick is knocked over by the device, operator, or downwash, the boundary is considered violated.

No part of the boundary may be violated by any part of the device or operator. Violating the boundary during any flight demonstration phase constitutes a failed flight demonstration attempt.

2.2.2. Noise measurement (NOISE)

Sound pressure level will be measured at locations equidistant from the center of the takeoff/landing envelope, corrected to 50 feet. The sound pressure level will be measured and analyzed in decibels relative to 20 micropascals, with A frequency weighting and S time weighting.

The maximum sound level will be determined at each of six measurement locations. The arithmetic mean of the highest three of these values yields a sound level rating.

A sound level rating will be determined during the flight demonstration during takeoff and climb and during descent and landing (not during the touch & go). The higher of the two sound level readings in dBA is the noise score.

2.2.3. Speed measurement (SPEED)

The course is defined by two pylons (physical markers with infinite vertical projections) located 0.5 nmi apart.

A lap involves crossing the start/stop plane in the air, flying around both pylons, and then crossing the start/stop plane again.

Speed run sample course illustration showing start/stop plane and pylons with vertical projections (not to scale).

The 6 nmi nominal length of the course is divided by the total time for the speed run to yield the speed score in units of knots.

The speed run may be flown at any safe altitude out of ground effect (defined as at least 1 x the size measurement at all times). There is no guarantee that the entire course will be obstacle-free at altitudes below 50’ AGL.

2.2.4. Touch & go

The touch & go maneuver must begin and end above 12 ft AGL. Contact with the ground must be inside the takeoff/landing envelope.

Contact with the ground must be only momentary. The device must be designed such that aborting a landing is possible with or without first touching the ground.

2.2.5. Total endurance

The timing for total endurance begins during takeoff at the moment when every part of the device or operator is no longer touching the ground.

The timing stops during landing at touchdown.

A total endurance less than the requirement constitutes a failed flight attempt.

Loitering flight to fulfill the endurance may be flown at any safe altitude out of ground effect.

2.2.6. Reserves

Emergency reserves for an additional ten minutes of flight and a landing will be demonstrated by weighing fuel consumed during the mission and fuel remaining.

Teams with devices that do not significantly change weight consuming energy during a flight must provide a means to demonstrate the full emergency reserve capability.

2.2.7. Harsh operator conditions

To prevent unacceptably harsh conditions for the operator, a contest-provided sensor package may be used during the flight demonstration to ensure that the operator or dummy does not endure extreme sustained g forces greater than 5 g or dangerous impulses from hard landings. Violating these limits during any flight demonstration phase may require repeating some or all of the flight demonstration.


3. Fly-Off Scoring

The final score is a function of the scored parameters as described in the Fly-Off Tasks. From each value, a score factor, θ, is determined, as shown in the following table and figure.



The various score factors are combined to determine the final score as follows:

To be compliant and eligible for the Grand Prize, smallest prize, or quietest prize, each scored parameter must meet the threshold.


4. Additional Requirements

The device must be designed and built to maximize the fly-off score while meeting or exceeding the following specifications.

4.1 General

4.1.1. Fly-off completion

The device must be able to successfully complete all fly-off tasks and judging criteria.

4.1.2. Flying conditions

The density altitude at the fly-off will be no more than 5000 ft. Maximum winds for a flight attempt will be no more than 15 knots (including no more than 5 knot gust factor).

The fly-off will be conducted under day VFR conditions. Low visibility, low ceilings, or precipitation should not be expected. No team will be expected to fly in unacceptable weather.

4.1.3. Unmanned option

The device must be designed to carry a human operator of normal size and weight. However, unmanned flight as a remotely piloted or autonomous UAV is allowed. The “operator” for an unmanned device must be an anthropomorphic test dummy (ATD) defined by 49 CFR part 572, subpart B (50th percentile male) or a GoFly-approved equivalent. Pre-approved equivalents are the Simulaids Rescue Randy models 9000 (with water ballast) and 1436. A dummy may be modified within reason to include necessary avionics and actuators required for remotely piloting the device.

4.1.4. Operator weight

The operator (or ballasted dummy) weight must be 200 lbs or more. This includes clothing, gloves, helmet, personal parachute, other personal protective equipment, contest-provided sensor package, and any necessary operator-carried ballast to achieve the minimum operator weight.

4.1.5. Airworthiness

Teams are responsible for ensuring their device and operator are legally allowed to fly and are not in conflict with any FAA or other regulations both during testing and practice and at the fly-off.

4.1.6. Single unit

The device must remain a single unit throughout operation. No add-on, detachable, or disposable launch/landing aides are allowed.

4.1.7. Energy sources

Refueling or recharging of the device must utilize readily available and safe sources. Approved energy sources are electricity, automotive fuels, and aviation fuels. Other energy sources are allowed with pre-approval from GoFly.

Swapping of battery packs is allowed between flight attempts, but teams must still utilize rechargeable battery chemistries.

4.1.8. Reusability

The device must be reusable, i.e., it must be designed such that only the energy source (see above) must be replaced between flights.


4.2. Safety

4.2.1. Human-ratable

The intent of this competition is to develop technologies that can be rated for people to safely fly in the future. Consequently, the competition requires that all device architectures are, at the fundamental concept level, "human-ratable." The organizers define "human-ratable" as follows:

A device that has no systems or components, except for primary structure, in which a single point failure results in loss of an operator's life or limb.

Systems or components which, in the event of their failure, permit safe landing of the operator, may be of single string design.

4.2.2. Structure and component suitability

The primary structure may be a single point of failure if:

  • adequate proof testing is performed, or
  • it is designed to loads significantly higher than expected loads (safety factor ≥ 1.5) and its structural integrity is regularly inspected.

Adequate quality, performance, and service life of all components must meet appropriate requirements for the intended application.

4.2.3. Logged safe prior flight

Prior to the fly-off, you must have flight logged that totals the equivalent total maneuvers of at least ten full flight demonstrations. This must include at least 10 takeoffs, 1 hour total of flight analogous to speed course flight, 10 go-around maneuvers, and 10 landings to a full stop and power-down. This must be without incident, and any configuration changes made during this testing period must be documented.

In addition, the most recent logged flight, defined as including maneuvers totaling the equivalent of at least two full flight demonstrations and to the full extents of the mission performance envelope, including pre-takeoff and post-landing operations and remaining within a set demonstration area (in other words, rehearsals of your flight demonstration), must be without incident and with no changes whatsoever to the configuration. The restriction on changes is in the strictest possible sense, and “configuration” is used here in the broadest sense to include not just the device itself, but also personnel, ground equipment, procedures, software, etc.

4.2.4. Safety report

Teams are required to maintain and periodically submit a safety report. The safety report has no page limits or file size limits.

In the safety report, teams must:

  • Identify any single-point system failure that makes the device unsafe as defined above.
  • Propose design mitigations to the identified single point failures such that the design could be made fail-safe and human-ratable. Examples of mitigations may include enhancing component reliability, software development and testing, or utilizing emergency rescue ejection and parachute systems. Teams are strongly encouraged to incorporate as many of these mitigations into their fly-off entries as possible.

In addition, teams are strongly encouraged, but not required, to include in the safety report:

  • Documentation of structural analysis and/or testing.
  • Documentation and logs of flight testing or any other testing to date.
  • A functional hazard analysis.

4.2.5. Team safety responsibility

Competition teams are solely responsible for the safe operation of their vehicles. This includes the safety of the operator, the vehicle, and any object or person on the ground. The organizers of the competition will verify that each report submitted addresses the above requirements. If the test teams do not address the above requirements, they will not be allowed to proceed in the competition. However, the organizers will not assess the adequacy of the submission from a safety perspective. The competition team is solely responsible for identifying all risks, mitigating them to the maximum extent possible, and determining if the residual risk is acceptable.


Click here to download a PDF copy of the rules (V1.6 - 3/2020)

Click here to download a PDF copy of the rules. (V1.5 – 8/15/19)

Click here to download a PDF copy of the rules. (V1.4 – 8/1/19)

Click here to download a PDF copy of a previous version of the rules. (V1.3 - 6/10/19)

Click here to download a PDF copy of a previous version of the rules. (V1.2 – 5/23/19)

Click here to download a PDF copy of a previous version of the rules. (V1.1 - 1/3/18)

Click here to download a PDF copy of a previous version of the rules. (V1.0 - 9/26/17)

Final Fly Off


Phase 3 Documents and Resources

GoFly Regulatory Preliminary Questionnaire

GoFly Fly-Off Expectations and Reminders (Updated 11.8.19)

GoFly Onboard Equipment 8.19.19

Noise Scoring for GoFly Competition 10.24.19

FAA Documents and Resources

Test Site Assistance

FAA Resources on the GoFly website

FAA GoFly Contact List

Volume 3, Chapter 2, Section 1: Exemptions, Deviations, Waivers, and Authorizations

Volume 3, Chapter 6, Section 1: Issue a Certificate Waiver or Authorization for an Aviation Event

Volume 3, Chapter 6, Section 2: Requirements for Air Class Accreditation

Volume 6, Chapter 11, Section 13: Surveillance of Ultralight Vehicle Operations

AC 103-7 The Ultralight Vehicle

AC 103-6 Ultralight Vehicle Operations: Airports, Air Traffic Control, and Weather

Aircraft Certification Options for GoFly Participants

FAA_Order_8130.2J Airworthiness Certification of Aircraft

FAA_Order_8130.34D Airworthiness Certification of Unmanned Aircraft Systems

Pilot Certification Requirements for Aircraft with Special AW Certs

UAS Special AW Certs and SFA’s

GoFly Certification and Operation Options-2

GoFly Master Lecture: Earl Lawrence, FAA, Presentation Slides


FAA Dirty Dozen


Mentor Request Form - Use this form to request a mentor with specific expertise. 

Sponsor Approval Form - Use this form to seek GoFly approval for potential sponsors


Phase 2 Documents and Resources

GoFly Phase II Submission Form 9.25.18

GoFly Phase II Technical Submission Requirements and Scoring Rubric Webinar

GoFly Phase II Applicant Document Flow

Phase II Interim Agreement

GoFly Phase II Scoring Rubric Detail

GoFly Prize Phase II Guidelines Checklist

GoFly Safety Resources from Master Dave Neely

V/STOL Aircraft and Propulsion Concepts

NASA History Series V/STOL Aircraft

Navigating United States Regulations for Your Flight Testing​ - 12/1/17


Phase 1 Documents

Phase 1 Challenge Specific Agreement

Phase 1 Submission Preview


GoFly Webinars


Technical Rules Q+A Webinar - 10/26/17

Reviews the Technical Rules for the GoFly Prize and includes a question-and-answer session.

How to Launch a Successful Kickstarter Campaign - 2/2/18

We know it takes more than just imagination and grit to get up in the air. In this session, Kickstarter’s Clarissa Redwine provides information about how to launch a successful crowdfunding campaign.

Also see this Kickstarter Getting Started Guide

Procuring Insurance w/ Global Aerospace's Nick Methven - 6/28/18

Nick Methven is a Senior Vice President and Underwriting Executive at Global Aerospace, a leading provider of aircraft insurance and risk management solutions for the aviation and aerospace industries. In this session, Nick lectures about Procuring Insurance.


Phase II Technical Submission and Scoring Rubric Review – 9.28.18


GoFly Press Webinar – 10.22.18

GoFly's Master Lecture Webinar Series

Master Lecture:  Aircraft Conceptual Design - 11/6/17

Aerospace design expert and AIAA fellow Dr. Daniel P. Raymer wrote the world's best-selling book on aircraft design. Listen to his Master Lecture for advice on designing your personal flying device.

Master Lecture: Vertical Flight and Powered Lift​ - 11/16/17

Dr. Paul Bevilaqua invented the dual cycle propulsion system that made it possible to build a stealthy supersonic VSTOL Strike Fighter. Watch his Master Lecture for advice on vertical flight and powered lift.

Master Lecture: Helicopter Flight Dynamics and Controls - 11/29/17

In 2013, WIRED Magazine named Dr. James Wang “the Steve Jobs of Rotorcraft” for his ability to think “out of the box” and pushing the transportation technology boundaries. Watch his master lecture on helicopter flight dynamics and controls.

Master Lecture: The Aerospace Funding Landscape - 12/7/17

Will Porteous is a General Partner with RRE Ventures. He works primarily with media and hardware companies and is Director of BuzzFeed, Paperless Post, Spaceflights, and Spire. He is former Director of Whiptail Technologies (acquired by CSCO), Frictionless Commerce (acquired by SAP), Skyhook Wireless (acquired by Liberty Media), Tacit Network (acquired by PKTR), and Xobni (acquired by Yahoo!). Watch his lecture on the aerospace funding landscape.

Master Lecture: Aircraft Optimization - 1/8/18

Dr. Arvind Sinha is the Director of Engineering, Helicopter Systems Division, for the Australian Department of Defence​. Watch his master lecture on aircraft optimization.

Master Lecture: Rotary-wing Flight Controls & Vehicle Safety Management - 1/23/18

Fernando Dones’ expertise in the Flight Controls was developed over a 37 year career making technical leadership contributions in various programs. Watch his master lecture on rotary-wing flight controls and vehicle safety management.

Master Lecture: Soft Skills and Networking for Founders - 1/25/18

Jeremy Conrad is the CEO of a new robotics company focused on the future of automation. Previously he was a founding partner at Lemnos, an early stage hardware focused venture fund. Watch his master lecture on how to make it in the aerospace start-up world with soft skills and networking for founders.

Master Lecture: VTOL Aircraft are VERY hard: Turning Lessons Observed into Lessons Learned - 1/30/18

Dr. Ken Rosen has over fifty five years of experience in the aerospace, propulsion, turbomachinery, manufacturing, and systems engineering community. Watch his master lecture on turning lessons observed into lessons learned in the world of VTOL aircrafts.

Master Lecture: Rising from the Rooftops: The History and Vision of Aviation in the Urban Core - 2/8/18

Roger Connor is the Curator for Vertical Flight, Unmanned Aircraft Systems, Instruments & Avionics, Aeronautics Department at the Smithsonian Institution. Roger is also an experienced fixed wing commercial pilot with over 4,000 hours of flight time, including over 3,000 hours in dual instruction.

Master Lecture: Aircraft Safety & Reliability - 2/16/18

Dr. William Lewis is Director for Aviation Development for the U.S. Army and is responsible for the success of the Army's multi-million dollar aviation science and technology program. Watch his master lecture on Aircraft Safety & Reliability and Managing Tech Dependencies.

Master Lecture: Rotary-wing Aircraft Configuration Design - 2/22/18

Dan Newman is a Senior Technical Fellow of The Boeing Company in aircraft configuration design and development and serves as the Chief Engineer for vertical lift aircraft research and development. Watch his master lecture on rotary-wing aircraft configuration design.

Master Lecture: A Test Pilot's Expertise on Conceptual Design - 3/16/18

Nick Lappos is Senior Technical Fellow for Advanced Technology at Sikorsky Aircraft where he oversees the introduction of advanced technologies into new and existing products. Nick began his Aerospace career in the US Army as an attack helicopter pilot in Vietnam. Watch his master lecture on conceptual design based on his experience as a test pilot.

Master Lecture: Air Vehicle Design and Project Management - 3/20/18

Bruce Kay is a retired Sikorsky Tech Fellow for Air Vehicle Design and was responsible for changing the paradigm that helicopter airframes had to be metal, which resulted in the world’s first composite airframe helicopter, the Sikorsky S-75. Bruce has numerous recognition awards from AHS, the Army, and NASA and holds 6 patents. Watch his master lecture on air vehicle design and project management.

Master Lecture: Rotary-Wing Noise - 4/4/18

As members of the NASA Langley Research Center, Dr. Stephen Rizzi is a Senior Researcher for Aeroacoustics, Dr. Douglas Nark is a Senior Research Scientist, Technical Lead for Acoustics for the NASA Advanced Air Transport Technology Project of the Advanced Air Vehicles Program, and Dr. Nikolas Zawodny is a Research Aerospace Engineer for Aeroacoustics Branch. In this lecture, they discuss rotary-wing noise and hold a question-and-answer session.

Master Lecture: The GoFly Vision with Boeing CTO Dr. Greg Hyslop - 4/10/18

Dr. Greg Hyslop is Boeing’s chief technology officer and senior vice president of Engineering, Test & Technology. Dr. Hyslop oversees Boeing’s central research and development organization, along with the test and evaluation and intellectual property management teams. He also plays a key role in decisions that affect the technical integrity of Boeing products, services and processes and leads more than 45,000 engineers worldwide Watch his special Master Lecture on the vision of GoFly, the challenges that Teams will face, and suggestions for success in both the competition and the future of innovation.

Master Lecture: Safety Through Design - "Development Testing" - 4/12/18

Peter Buck is a LockheedMartin Senior Fellow and co-designer of the Sonex, Waiex and Xenos Light Sport kit aircraft, which earned him the 2003 August Raspet Award. He has worked at the Advanced Development Programs (ADP), also known as the Skunk Works® since 1981. Watch his master lecture on the importance of achieving safety through design and development testing.

Master Lecture: Venture Capitalists - 4/24/18

Jim Murray has been a Partner at PJT Partners since August 2014. Over the past two decades Jim has built a broad network of contacts in the venture capital community that fuels ongoing technology and business model innovation in these industries. Watch his master lecture on venture capital funding and what it takes to turn your ideas into a sustainable business.

Master Lecture: Thinking Outside the Box​ - 5/1/18

Drs. Mark Yim, Bruce Kothmann, and Vijay Kuma are all members of the University of Pennsylvania’s Department of Mechanical Engineering and Applied Mechanics. In this Master Lecture, the three discussing ways to think outside the box when in regards to novel rotor/vehicle technologies, control for near-hover configurations and handling qualities, and the role of autonomy in human controlled flight.

Master Lecture: Rotary-Wing Aerodynamics Analysis - 5/4/18

Dr. Marilyn Smith received her PhD from Georgia Tech in 1994 while working in industry from 1982 to 1997. She joined the School of Aerospace Engineering in 1997, and is currently a full professor and Associate Director of the Vertical Lift Research Center of Excellence. Her research sponsors include all branches of the DoD, NASA, DoE, ARO, ONR, and NSF, as well as industry, and has authored or co-authored more than 200 publications. In this session, Dr. Smith will be lecturing about Rotary-Wing Aerodynamics Analysis and will include a question-and-answer session.

Master Lecture: Robotics - 5/16/18

Helen Greiner is Founder of CyPhy Works, a company that builds flying robots for military and industrial applications. In 1990, she co-founded iRobot Corporation, the most successful mobile robot company in the world with more than 15 million Roomba vacuuming robots delivered to date. Helen received a BS Mechanical Engineering and an MS in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science both from MIT and honorary PhDs from both WPI and Clarkson. In this session, she lectures about Robotics and holds a question-and-answer session.

Master Lecture: Aircraft Modeling & Simulation - 5/30/18

Dr. Shane Arnott, is the Director of Boeing Phantom Works International and a Senior Technical Fellow, at Boeing Defense, Space & Security. In this position, he is responsible for the Phantom Works international presence in Australia, the United Kingdom, Korea, India, and Saudi Arabia. As a Senior Technical Fellow with Boeing, Dr. Arnott if recognised as being within the top 0.1 % of Boeing engineers, and is the international spokesperson for the fellowship.

Master Lecture: Building Drones from the Ground Up - 6/19/18

Damon has been involved in the RC/drone industry for 15 years. After graduating from MIT, he went on to graduate from GE's Operations Management Leadership Program (OMLP) where he ran several military manufacturing lines for aircraft including V-22 and P-3. While in these positions, Damon received his Green Belt in Lean Six Sigma and manufacturing resource planning. His most recent endeavors involved structural and payload design for advanced rotorcraft and small UAVs at The Boeing Company.

Master Lecture: Protecting Your Inventions with Patents w/ Frank Occhiuti - 7/11/18

Frank is a highly accomplished intellectual property lawyer, with a specialized focus on building robust patent portfolios for global high-tech companies. In the field of aerospace, Frank has helped companies and universities build portfolios relating to aerospace technology including aircraft fuselage manufacture and drone flight.

Master Lecture: How to Start Up Successfully w/ Lori Hoberman - 7/13/18

Lori S. Hoberman is a well-known force in the in the New York City venture community. As a lawyer and mentor, she advises entrepreneurs and their investors on how to build successful businesses and strategically guides them through the emerging, later stages and exits of their companies. Lori works with clients in a range of industries, including software, mobile, biotechnology, AI, fintech, insurtech, fashion, e-commerce, consumer products and advertising. She also counsels angel and institutional investors in their investments and in the formation of investment funds. In this session, Lori S. Hoberman lectures about How to Start Up Successfully. 

Master Lecture: Assessing New Vehicle Concepts and the Demand for Air Travel - 7/17/18

Richard Golaszewski is Partner and Executive Vice President of GRA Incorporated. He has also conducted a number of assessments of technology development programs and written on the economics of aeronautical research and technology investments for NASA and other organizations. He was a member for the Aeronautics and Space Engineering Board of the National Academies for six years, and was named a Lifetime National Associate of the National Academy of Sciences in 2003 for his significant pro bono involvement in its aerospace and air transportation activities. In this session, he lectures about assessing new vehicle concepts, the demand for air travel.

Master Lecture: Small UAS & Delivery Drones - Challenges & Opportunities - 7/24/18

Dr. Inderjit Chopra received his Sc.D. (Aero & Astro) from MIT in 1977 and joined NASA Ames/Stanford University Joint Institute of Aeronautics & Acoustics before joining the University Maryland as a faculty member in 1981. He has worked on various fundamental problems related to aeromechanics of helicopters including aeroelastic stability, active vibration control, composite blades, rotor head health monitoring, aeroelastic optimization, smart structures, micro air vehicles, and comprehensive aeromechanics analyses.

Master Lecture: Aircraft Crashworthiness - 7/30/18

Dr. Bolukbasi is an internationally recognized expert in aircraft crash safety and impact dynamics. His technical knowledge spans multiple disciplines including structures and materials, dynamics, biomechanics, test and evaluation, subsystem design and integration, information technology, and computational methods. He was a program manager and principal investigator for over 20 IR&D, CR&D, and IAD projects.

Master Lectures: Fearless Ideas - The Gamera Project - 8/7/18

Dr. Darryll J. Pines currently serves as the Nariman Farvardin Professor of Engineering and Dean of the A. James Clark School of Engineering. In addition, Pines served as the 2015 chair of the National Academy of Engineering-NAE Frontiers in Engineering Education-FOEE Symposium which recognizes faculty from around the United States for their innovations in engineering education.


Master Lecture: BRS Aerospace - 8/13/18

Boris Popov founded BRS in 1981, and is currently the Director / Senior Vice President of Sales. He was born in Munich, Germany, and immigrated to the United States in 1949 through Ellis Island. He graduated from the University of Minnesota with a Bachelor’s in Economics and a minor in Aeronautical Engineering in IT. He holds rating as a Private Pilot and FAA Ground instructor and in Sailplanes, Hang-Gliding, and Floatplanes. 



Master Lecture: The Power of Autonomy in On-Demand Mobility – 8/21/18 
John Langford is the President and CEO of Aurora Flight Sciences Corporation, which he founded in 1989.  Aurora uses autonomy and robotics to develop advanced aircraft and was acquired by The Boeing Company in 2017. Dr. Langford is a member of the National Academy of Engineering and serves as President of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA).  He received his Bachelor’s degree in Aeronautics (1979), Masters in Aeronautics & Astronautics (1984), Masters in Defense Policy (1983), and Ph.D. in Aeronautics and Public Policy (1987) from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).  


Master Lecture: How to Attract Startup Capital from Corporate Venture Capital Units – 9.10.18

Brian Schettler is managing director of Boeing HorizonX Ventures. Schettler leads the Boeing venture capital team chartered with investing in selected startups throughout the world. His team identifies and pursues opportunities to make strategic investments in startup companies with discriminating and disruptive technologies for next-generation applications.


Master Lecture: Prioritizing Safety to Allow for Rapid Development and Learning – 9.26.18

David Neely has been with The Boeing Company 14 years. He is currently the Chief Engineer for Boeing NeXt Cargo Air Vehicle Program. Prior to that role he was a Senior Manager in Phantom Works for the Integration of Advanced Operations and Quality. He was the IPT manager for 777x rudder/elevator prior to that assignment. David also served as the F-15 IPT wing manager supporting new development, production, flight test, fatigue test and fleet sustainment.


Master Lecture: The Regulatory Environment: Which Path is Right for You? – 10.5.18  

Earl Lawrence is the Executive Director of the UAS Integration Office and is responsible for the facilitation of all regulations, policies, and procedures required to support FAA’s UAS integration efforts. He also represents the FAA on the Senior Steering Group of the UAS Executive Committee, focusing on coordination and alignment of efforts among key federal government agencies. 


Master Lecture: Vertical Flight Technical Resources – 10.11.18 

Mike Hirschberg assumed the duties of the Vertical Flight Society Executive Director on June 1, 2011, after 20 years in the aerospace industry, primarily in vertical flight. As the Executive Director, he is responsible for the execution of the strategic direction set by the VFS Board of Directors. 

Dr. Marilyn Smith received her PhD from Georgia Tech in 1994 while working in industry from 1982 to 1997.  She joined the School of Aerospace Engineering in 1997, and is currently a full professor and Associate Director of the Vertical Lift Research Center of Excellence (VLRCOE).


Master Lecture: Ducted Fans for Hover and Cruise – 10.17.18 

Bob is a Technical Fellow at Aurora Flight Sciences, a subsidiary of Boeing. He works mainly on the design of non-traditional aircraft, including subscale and full scale prototyping. He has been working on VTOL aircraft professionally for 20 years, but has also worked on Mars aircraft, solar aircraft, submersible aircraft and even a few conventional aircraft.


Master Lecture: The Story of Terrafugia – 10.24.18

Carl is Co-Founder and CTO of Terrafugia. He received his BS, MS and Ph.D. from the Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) shortly after receiving the prestigious Lemelson-MIT Student Prize for Innovation in 2006. Carl has spoken internationally and is generally regarded as the leader of the emerging modern flying car industry.


Master Lecture: Pitching to VC’s – 10.31.18

Tess Hatch is an investor in Bessemer Venture Partners Silicon Valley office. She is focused on frontier tech, specifically commercial space, cyber security, and drones. She currently serves as board observer for Iris Automation, Rocket Lab, Spire, Auth0, Endgame, Distil Networks, Team8, Virtru, Claroty, CyberGRX, and Illusive Networks.


Master Lecture: Mastering the VC Pitch – 11.13.18

Mourad is a Principal at Paladin Capital Group. He is an investment lead for the firm’s Cyber Fund, which focuses on investing in early stage companies in the US and Europe with solutions for cyber security and digital resilience. 


Master Lecture on Social Media: Platform, Metrics, and Content – 11.16.18

Christina Polaski is the Global Social Media Manager at Pratt & Whitney where she leads the company’s global social media and audience engagement strategy across LinkedIn, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube in support of key business objectives, including product positioning, recruiting and growing brand awareness and affinity.



Master Lecture on Designing for Stability and Control – 11.21.18

Joe Nickerson is a Flying Qualities Manager and Associate Technical Fellow at Boeing Vertical Lift in Philadelphia with experience in handing qualities, wind tunnel testing, and aeronautical engineering.


Master Lecture on Risk Reduction During Testing – 11.28.18

Colonel John W. Jones serves as the commander of the US Army Redstone Test Center, where he directs a 1,300 person workforce of military, Army civilians and contractors conducting developmental testing on a portfolio of rockets and missiles, with 28 years of service as an Army aviator.


Master Lecture on Legal Guidance to Protecting Your IP and Sensitive Technologies – 12.6.18

Raja Maharajh is Pratt & Whitney’s vice president and general counsel, responsible for leading Pratt & Whitney’s Legal Services team with overall responsibility for the company’s legal matters, as well as contracts, corporate ethics, government compliance and government security.


Challenge Updates

Simon Gharibian Expert Lecture Recording

July 19, 2024, 7 a.m. PDT by GoFly Prize

Thank you for joining us this week for our expert lecture with Simon Gharibian, Director, Global Sustainment Centers of Excellence, Lockheed Martin Corporation. The recording can be found here:

Stay tuned as we announce our upcoming lectures for August. In the meantime, you can review all previous lectures here:

Be Inspired: Learn more about GoAERO from Dr. Marilyn Smith & Brian Yutko

July 17, 2024, 11 a.m. PDT by GoFly Prize

Dr. Marilyn Smith, Professor & Director of Vertical Lift Research Center of Excellence, Georgia Tech University


Brian Yutko, CEO, Wisk Aero

GoAERO Expert Lecture with Simon Gharibian tomorrow!

July 16, 2024, 10 a.m. PDT by GoFly Prize

Join us tomorrow for our next GoAERO Expert Lecture with Simon Gharibian. Register now. 

July 17 @ 1:00 pm EST

Title: Design for Aircraft Maintenance with Simon Gharibian, Director, Global Sustainment Centers of Excellence, Lockheed Martin Corporation

Bio: Simon Gharibian is the Director of Global Sustainment, Centers of Excellence (COE) within the Rotary and Mission Systems (RMS) business unit of Lockheed MartinCorporation. He is responsible for all functional resourceswithin the Global Sustainment organization, with six COEs delivering traditional sustainment products including technical publications, training, logistical support analysis, O&R depots, spares forecasting, and field support.

Registration Link:

John Everlove GoAERO Expert Lecture Recording + next lecture on 7/17

July 11, 2024, 9 a.m. PDT by GoFly Prize

Thank you for joining us this week for GoAERO's expert lecture with John Everlove, with the ACES Firm and EMS Chief. The recording can be found here:

Join us on July 17th for our next expert lecture:

July 17 @ 1:00 pm EST

Title: Design for Aircraft Maintenance with Simon Gharibian, Director, Global Sustainment Centers of Excellence, Lockheed Martin Corporation

Bio: Simon Gharibian is the Director of Global Sustainment, Centers of Excellence (COE) within the Rotary and Mission Systems (RMS) business unit of Lockheed MartinCorporation. He is responsible for all functional resourceswithin the Global Sustainment organization, with six COEs delivering traditional sustainment products including technical publications, training, logistical support analysis, O&R depots, spares forecasting, and field support.

Registration Link:

Be Inspired: Learn more about GoAERO from Dan Newman & Earl Lawrence

July 9, 2024, 9 a.m. PDT by GoFly Prize

Dan Newman, CTO, Advanced Air Mobility, Honeywell


Earl Lawrence, Chief Compliance & Quality Officer, Xwing

Be a Mentor