Boeing backs $2M contest for flying machines

GoFly contest
The $2 million GoFly Prize for personal flying devices aims to make a splash. (GoFly via YouTube)

For decades, if not centuries, people have been dreaming about flying free like a bird — and now there’s a $2 million contest to bring that dream closer to reality, made possible with a boost from Boeing.

Over the next two years, the GoFly Prize program aims to provide incentives for teams to develop one-person flying devices that are capable of making vertical or near-vertical takeoffs and taking 20-mile aerial trips — without refueling or recharging.

“Two years from now, we will be able to look to the sky and say, ‘Look at that person flying,’” GoFly CEO Gwen Lighter told GeekWire. Lighter, an entrepreneur based in Connecticut, has been working with NASA and other organizations for years to get GoFly off the ground.

The program was unveiled today at the SAE 2017 AeroTech Congress and Expositionin Fort Worth, Texas, kicking off a months-long registration period.

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By Alan Boyle

Mastermind of Cosmic Log, contributing editor at GeekWire, author of "The Case for Pluto: How a Little Planet Made a Big Difference," president of the Council for the Advancement of Science Writing. Check out "About Alan Boyle" for more fun facts.

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