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 is a $2,000,000 challenge 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 $2,000,000 in prizes over three phases, culminating in a Final Fly Off in the Autumn of 2019.
Prizes will be awarded for each phase of the Competition as follows:
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. In fact, every month (and sometimes multiple times each month), 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 DARPA chiefs, 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.
A list of important dates is set forth below:
Competition Launch and Open of Registration September 26, 2017
Phase I submission deadline April 18, 2018
Phase I awards issued June 12, 2018
Phase II registration deadline December 8, 2018
Phase II submission deadline February 6, 2019
Phase II awards and Phase III fly-off invitation issued March 28, 2019
Phase III - Flight readiness review September 2019 [TBD]
Final Fly-off October 2019 [TBD]
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:
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 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 of the GoFly Prize. Should any work be done off-paper before being accepted into Phase II 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:
Of note, Phase II and III Teams must register and participate as legal entities, and not as individuals. See “Eligibility” below for further details.
FOR ALL PHASES OF THE COMPETITION:
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 must complete all Phase II legal documents by the Phase II registration deadline. New teams who have not participated in Phase I are still eligible to participate in Phase II by completing registration documents by the Phase II registration deadline.
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 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) 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.. 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:
INDEPENDENT JUDGING PANEL
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.
ROLE OF THE JUDGING PANEL
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.
GROUNDS FOR JUDGING PANEL DECISIONS
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.
DECISIONS OF THE JUDGING PANEL ARE FINAL
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).
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
GoFly In-kind Sponsor Benefit Request Form - Use this form to request access to benefits provided by GoFly In-kind Sponsors
Navigating United States Regulations for Your Flight Testing - Posted 12/1/17
Flow chart to help guide you to some resources where you can learn more about some of the rules and regulations that may be relevant to you on your GoFly journey.
Technical Rules Q+A Webinar - 10/26/17
Reviews the Technical Rules for the GoFly Prize and includes a question-and-answer session.
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
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.
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.
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.
Will Porteous is the General Partner & COO at RRE Ventures where he works with media and hardware companies such as BuzzFeed, Paperless Post, Spaceflight, and Spire. Watch his master lecture on the aerospace funding landscape.
Dr. Arvind Sinha is the Director of Engineering, Helicopter Systems Division, for the Australian Department of Defence. Watch his master lecture on aircraft optimization.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.