GoFly Prize program rewards disruptive tech in personal aviation, but it’s no-go for $1M grand prize

teTra aerial vehicle
TeTra’s aerial vehicle looks like a cross between a motorcycle and an ultralight. (teTra Photo via Twitter)

The Boeing-backed GoFly Prize program gave out a $100,000 award during its inaugural fly-off in California, but the $1 million grand prize went unclaimed because none of the competitors could go fly.

  • Competitors converged on Moffett Federal Airfield in California’s Silicon Valley over the weekend for what was billed as a final fly-off, to see who could fly their one-person aerial vehicles far enough and high enough to win the $1 million grand prize. Another $500,000 was set aside to recognize the quietest and smallest vehicles to go into the air.
  • Technical problems and high winds kept the GoFly Prize finalists grounded, however, and prize organizers decided to postpone the fly-off to a date that’s yet to be determined. That’ll give the finalists more time to fine-tune their machines.
  • One prize was awarded over the weekend: Japan’s teTra Aviation won the $100,000 Pratt & Whitney Disruptor Award for its effort to create a rotor-equipped vehicle that looks like a cross between a motorcycle and an ultralight airplane. Geoff Hunt, senior vice president of engineering at Pratt & Whitney, said in a news release that the award is designed “to recognize the team that challenged the status quo, delivered unique thinking into a complex issue and considered safety, reliability, durability and system integration.”

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