Boeing Is Offering $2 Million To Anyone Who Can Build A Working Jetpack

Wednesday, 04 October 2017 - 11:19AM
Gadgets
Astrophysics
Science News
Wednesday, 04 October 2017 - 11:19AM
Boeing Is Offering $2 Million To Anyone Who Can Build A Working Jetpack
boeing jet pack youtube
Calling all Rocketeers! Calling all Rocketeers! Aerospace mega-company Boeing has launched a global competition that could turn one inventor's garage project into a very enticing $2 million payday, pending a successful demonstration.

According to The Verge, The GoFly Prize CEO Gwen Lighter unveiled the competition at the SAE 2017 AeroTech Congress & Exhibition with Boeing as the sponsor. In a nutshell (read the full rules and technical guidelines here), inventors are tasked with developing a "safe, quiet, ultra-compact, near-VTOL personal flying devices capable of flying twenty miles while carrying a single person," with the twenty miles achieved on a single charge or tank, without stopping to recharge or refuel.


"What the device looks like and how it works is up to the innovators," Lighter said at SAE 2017. "We do not mandate that it's something you get into like a car, or something that you strap on your back, or something that you stand on. We don't want to say that there is any right way of doing it, since that only limits the possibilities." The competition will dish out prizes in phases, with up to 10 possible winners for $20,000 written technical specs prizes, four possible winners of $50,000 best prototype prizes, and one winner of the $1 million Grand Prize at the Final Fly-Off event in 2019. Bonus prizes will also be awarded to the tune of $250,000 for the smallest and quietest jetpacks, according to NPR.

"What we are really talking about is making people fly," Gwen Lighter told The Verge. "There is no dream that is more universally shared than that of soaring through the skies. It unites us all." There are countless examples of jetpacks in pop culture that inventors can steal borrow from, including the aforementioned The Rocketeer, the police packs from Minority Report, the clunky and hilarious strap-on pack that Connery wore in Thunderball, or something closer in style to the Acme rocket that Wile E. Coyote repeatedly spent his credit card points to buy. Practical jetpacks already exist, but this competition seeks to give others the opportunity to help push the tech further into the future.

"Go Fly hopes to inspire a future where we use these personal flying devices to get around, to move around," Lighter said. "At the end of our two-year competition, we hope we have new technology and frankly a whole new industry, where we have a mini Ford and a mini GM and a mini Chrysler at the start of the automotive industry, except now we have those mini companies at the start of a personal flying device industry."

If someone needs a model to fly their jetpack after it has been approved and certified safe, I volunteer as tribute.
Science
Technology
Gadgets
Astrophysics
Science News
No