Your Dreams of Flying in Your Own Personal Passenger Drone Just Got Closer to Reality

Japan's team teTra, a group of aerospace professionals who came together to compete in the GoFly Prize, has won the GoFly Final Flyoff for their personal flying machine design – but the big prize is still in the offing.

It may sound like a dream, but the GoFly Prize is a $2+ million USD, two-year competition to create "a personal flying device that can be safely used by anyone, anywhere," says GoFly. "With Boeing as its Grand Sponsor and Pratt & Whitney as its Corporate Sponsor, The GoFly Prize will provide teams with expertise, mentorship, prizes and global exposure as they compete to create the world's first safe, ultra-compact, urban-compatible personal flying device."

Now, the GoFly Prize has announced that teTra Aviation has won the $100,000 Disruptor Award at the GoFly Final Fly-Off held at Moffett Federal Airfield at NASA's Ames Research Center – a successful conclusion to the team's two years of research. Nobody has yet won the $1 million Grand Prize – but GoFly says that award is coming in "the near future."

The following is a GoFly Prize press release.

(Mountain View, CA, Feb. 29, 2020) – teTra Aviation, a team from Tokyo, Japan, has won the $100,000 Pratt & Whitney Disruptor Award in the Inaugural GoFly Prize Final Fly-Off, the world's first global competition to create personal human flyers. The team, captained by Tasuku Nakai, a doctoral student at the University of Tokyo, won the award for its teTra 3 machine.

The GoFly Prize has catalyzed the creation of personal flyers as a first step towards transforming the future of transportation with flying cars, flying motorcycles, hoverboards, jetpacks, human-carrying drones and other personal flyers. Some 854 teams comprising 3800-plus innovators from 103 countries took up the GoFly challenge and, over the past two years have been crafting their machines and testing them as manned, mannequin-bearing, and unmanned machines.
"After much anticipation, we are thrilled to announce that teTra Aviation is the winner of the Pratt & Whitney Disruptor Award," said GoFly Founder and CEO Gwen Lighter. "The team displayed the technical design and creative prowess that we set out to inspire when we created the GoFly Prize. teTra created a unique personal flyer and we look forward to supporting them as they take the next steps towards revolutionizing human mobility."

"Innovation has always been at the core of our DNA at Pratt & Whitney and we applaud GoFly's efforts to transform the industry," confirmed Geoff Hunt, Senior Vice President, Engineering. "We're proud to sponsor such an exceptional competition and we designed the Disruptor Award to recognize the team that challenged the status quo, delivered unique thinking into a complex issue and considered safety, reliability, durability and system integration."

"This is beyond my imagination," said Nakai. "The whole team is glad to celebrate this achievement. Personal flying is the future of transportation and I know there will be a day when every person will be able to take off and land anywhere.

He added, "On behalf of my entire team, I want to say thank you to GoFly and Pratt & Whitney."

Prior to the Final Fly-Off, held at Moffett Federal Airfield during Leap Day, 10 teams were named Phase I winners and were awarded $20,000 prizes for their concepts, while five teams were named Phase II winners and were awarded $50,000 for their prototype submissions. At the moment, no team captured the Grand Prize title, but GoFly looks forward to awarding that $1 million prize in the near future.

The GoFly Prize is supported by Grand Sponsor Boeing, Disruptor Award Sponsor Pratt & Whitney, as well as more than 20 national and international aviation and innovation organizations. All teams participating in the competition also benefited from the guidance and expertise of a dedicated Mentors and Masters program.

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