I have a design concept that meets all of the GoFly requirements and is capable of winning the fly-off. I am looking for experienced team members in a few technical disciplines to carry this project through to the end. Also need funding for the project. My cost estimates are very high.
Joseph - Thanks for your invitation and interest. California is a long way from N. Carolina but that is not a big issue. I am looking for qualified people to join my team (Team Gordon). I am also looking for a major sponsor. My design concept will require at least $600K to develop, build and safely fly. Does your concept have adequate funding?
Its a little disturbing to hear about all this money needed. In my design report i have a parts list that comes to about 30,000$ for high quality items off the shelf. If i build it myself in my garage, Labor is not an item. So where are these big costs coming from? name them. My opinion is if your costs are too high then your design probably isnt viable in the market place either. That means you have to change your design to compete. Just the Physical laws of free enterprise. Anyone can say they are an expert and ask for big money. Only an experienced con-man can get away with this. Jeff
Cost depends heavily on design ? yes. Going straight to building without R&D ? definitely lower cost. No custom motor or controller ? lower cost. No custom machined metal, titanium alloys, or carbon fiber parts ? lower cost. No facility or infrastructure ? lower cost. Bill Of Material comparable to Sikorsky Firefly for prototype ? NOT low cost. (Even when you exclude all labor and you are building the parts in house all by yourself) Cost of manufacturing for sale ? much lower than prototype. (I will spill a bit of the beans here. My design is "at least" twice as complex as Sikorsky Firefly though it is a quarter of the size)
Most of the designs that I have seen images for are simple variations on the multicopter or a Hiller flying platform. That is easy and inexpensive to build and has been done numerous times all over the world. The multicopter design does not incorporate any innovation and is basically a man size toy. I don't think that meets the intention of the Gofly Prize. The Gofly Prize is trying to inspire new solutions to safely getting a person airborne quietly and in as small a vehicle as possible.
Building a man size version of a toy is cheap, just order what you need from Hobbyking. Creating a new solution that meets the Gofly criteria will be expensive and involve considerable development.
Nothing in my vehicle is a part I can order. Every part is designed and optimized for the mission, i.e expensive. Cost for innovation and prototypes has nothing to do with successful market penetration. If that was true an Iphone would cost $100,000.
@Milo Yea, you got me pegged, man sized toy, Joking. As a member of the EAA since the 1960's, i have seen lots of home-built airplanes, different styles and constructing technique, In my world building an airplane is using whats available. In that time i have seen expansion of aviation, first was mostly tube and fabric,then sheet metal, composites, also hangliders,then ultralights, powered parachutes and gyroplanes, now winged skydivers, electric RC, FPV drones. Some of it was done by big business, some of it by individuals, Like you say, depends on your background. I think the money can be a hindrance, A good design on a low speed vehicle doesnt need a high priced budget, all you have to do is look whats on YOU Tube. People are building them in their garages already.Think beginning of Apple computer . Think hot rod stock racing cars. Think robotic clubs. Just my opinion. Jeff
Aviation trivia, in the early 1900, lots of people working on an "airplane". chanute, Lelienthal, langley, Wright brothers, Gustav Whitehead, etc. Langely had a big budget, he was director of the smithsonian and used public money. He launched a steam driven aircraft off a flat toped boat. Didnt work. Too heavy and under powered. Wright brothers being successful business men in bicycles and printing and modest funding developed their airplane with more success. Before the Wright brothers, Gustav Whitehead produced engine driven aircraft 3 years before them. He was a small engine builder. Throw in Glen Curtis then history gets muddled up with who did what. My point here is there are lots of approaches to doing things. Doesnt have to be expensive, but for things like space travel and large airlines, big buget is only way to go,big money is available. For a low speed vehicle, my opinion, not that complicated. We just havent built it yet. Jeff
@Birdman ALL the greatest innovations in the history of the human race, came from the little guy..... every last one of them.
Even our abilities to use the internet to use this forum... Couldn't do it, without the little guy... Windows 95 entered market by Microsoft Bill Gates and Paul Allen... they were the little guys, and an investor saw the potential and superior innovation. Allowed them to then expand... Win 95 entered market, and sparked the entire tech boom, to what we have today. Normalized usage by the general public.
Without them, we'd still be using paper as spreadsheets and ledgers, and the internet would still be a novelty only a few could use. Green screens and all.
Yep. Elon started as the little guy too, immigrant from South Africa. Even Space X. He originally talked with the russian's wanted to use old icbm's. They wanted to "over charge" for them... So he said, He'll do it himself.... 15+ years later, Space X is #1 for space launch now. Innovations for rocket launching is significant and lower cost.
@Birdman Ditto. check ur inbox. sent you a pic. Very advanced. Not Go Fly. posted it on Linkedin yesterday, 3,000 views since last night. And I can say, Elon has seen it. And some others. Aerospace sorcery LOL
Just a comment and observation, almost all the examples that the engineering heads, of the large aerospace Co's give during their masters webinars, as to showing what are good examples of what "Go Fly", is really looking for, are almost 100% created by small, garage aviation enthusiasts. On the other hand, the ultralight industry was born by amatures also. But, But, But, I watched NASA scientist Francis Rogallo, drop testing his Rogallo wing in the NASA VAB before UL's were born. Hiller was aerospace when he developed his flying platform, and the military was Sikorski's customer. So having said that, I think a good mix of aero talents and home innovation can work well together. It just doesn't happen often enough, it should be encouraged. Is Go Fly one of those good collaborations? We will see.