The challenge is up! High-flying engineers, mad inventors and daredevils are on the starting line to win the GoFly Prize. This challenge, essentially financed by Boeing, promises Jetpack’s top designers $2 million. The participants have two years to design the best equipment to turn a human being into a rocketeer !
2 years of hard work to build the most powerful Jetpack
It is a unique Open Innovation operation in the aeronautics sector that is about to start. The GoFly Prize will allow the designers of Jetpack to compete to design the best performing equipment. Funded by Boeing and various American aeronautical associations, the competition will be held in 3 major phases of increasing complexity, culminating in an aerial test phase of the Jetpacks still in the race. 2 years of work await the participants since the competition will end in October 2019 with the best Jetpack title. 50 days after the registration opening, the project registered its 1,000th participant. This success goes far beyond the United States alone, since these inventors come from 70 different countries.
A real technical challenge for designers
The GoFly Prizerules is quite precise, especially regarding the expected flight profiles and performance. The Jetpack will have to be capable of taking off and landing vertically, but will also have to cover a distance of about 30 km. If the competition does not impose a propulsion mode or even an energy (kerosene or electric), the requested flight characteristics will quickly be sorted out in the solutions. Thus, the vertical take-off will exclude the flying wings of Yves Rossy (a. k. a. Jetman), as well as the autonomy required will pose problems for Jetpacks with micro-reactors coming from aeromodelism such as the Jetpack Gravity.
It is difficult to say today which formula will prevail since the evaluations will cover many criteria of performance, maneuverability, noise and safety. The criterion of compactness will also be taken into account, which could put Martin Aircraft Company’s impressive Jetpack, one of the most successful on the market, at a disadvantage. This challenge will undoubtedly give new impetus to research in this field, which has never really opened up outside a niche of enthusiasts. Does Boeing really aim at this market and is it aiming for industrialisation after the competition? See you in October 2019!
Source: “After Just 50 Days, The GoFly Prize Has Over 1,000 Innovators”, 15 November 2017
Translated with www.DeepL.com/Translator