A year ago, under the patronage of Boeing, the Go Fly competition was launched with a prize fund of $ 2 million. Its participants were invited to design a personal flying vehicle with the most simple operation and maintenance. Key requirement: Transporting one person 20 miles (36 km) with a single fueling of the power plant. And now it's time to take stock of the first stage.
According to the organizers, more than 3, 000 applications from 95 countries were submitted, among which ten most promising applicants were selected. Now engineers from Latvia, the Netherlands, Japan, the United Kingdom, Taiwan and the United States will have to transform sketches and blueprints into metal, building a fully functional version of their invention. It doesn't matter if it's called HummingBuzz or Blue Sparrow.
It is noteworthy how different the concepts are offered by the teams. The Latvians from Aeroxo LV make an air bike, a tiny tiltrotor, with vertical takeoff and horizontal flight. Mamba has a futuristic hexacopter, Georgia Tech has a single rotor "flying chair", Scoop has a small helicopter with three propeller legs. According to Gwen Larter, co-organizer of the competition, the best engineers in the world really got the idea to create a small personal flying machine.
The $ 2 million award is not a payment for an aircraft, much less the price of the technology to create it. Rather, encouraging creativity, a material incentive to generate new ideas. It is not so important what look the "flying bike" will acquire when its project is officially purchased and launched into series by Boeing, Airbus or even Uber. The main thing is to give people the opportunity to think in categories in which an economical and low-noise unit should become everyday.