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Design your own personal flying taxi and you could win $2 million

Design your own personal flying taxi and you could win $2 million
[Photo: Steven Coffey]

Traffic is bad, Uber is annoying, and you might get hit by a bus if you ride a bike. Why not get from point A to point B in your own flying taxi?

Although personal short-haul aircraft are something of a pipe dream, there’s clearly interest in getting them in the air. That’s the theory behind The GoFly Prize, a $2 million competition announced today that seeks to inspire the design and creation of “personal flying devices [for] the masses.”

Sponsored by Boeing, the competition urges teams “to leverage recent advances in propulsion, energy, lightweight materials, and control and stability systems to make the dream of personal flight a reality.” To be eligible for prizes, teams’ flying taxis should be usable anytime, anyplace, and by anybody. They should be “safe, ultra-compact, quiet, urban-compatible” and be able to fly one person up to 20 miles without refueling or recharging. They also need to take off and land vertically.

Registration for the contest is open now. Entrants will go through numerous phases, with a grand prize winner expected to be announced in two years.DT