Flying cars are the stuff of sci-fi. But will Boeing make jetpacks a thing of reality?
In our opinion, modern technology is quite simply, beautiful! Futuristic machines and things that have previously only been seen on the big screen are now starting to become a familiar part of everyday life. Autonomous vehicles are a reality; AI technologies are learning to talk with us rather than at us; and robots have been almost universally integrated into industrial practices.
So, it would have been a fair guess that the jetpack, archetypal of the futuristic technology category, would also become a reality within our lifetime. And it looks like it just might.
A new two-year, $2 million global competition, aptly named the ‘Go Fly Prize’, has been announced at a Texas aerospace conference. Organisers of the contest want to incentivise teams of students, engineers, and inventors to develop a vertical take-off and landing device. It must be safe, ultra-compact, quiet and capable of carrying a passenger over a 20-mile minimum distance. As the organisers of the competition put it, a system that can be “used by anyone, anywhere”.
Boeing have confirmed that they will be a key partner of the event. They, along with other leading organisations from throughout aerospace and aviation, will provide their services, knowledge and skills to help support competing teams.
The money itself will be awarded in a three-phase system. Ten teams will be given $20,000 for their interesting and unique written concepts. $50,000 will then be given to four teams who produce the best prototypes of their specifications, with the final $1 million prize is awarded to the overall winner. Supplementary prizes include $100,000 for ‘disruptive advancement’, $250,000 for quietest entry, and $250,000 for the smallest jetpack design.
So, what are you waiting for? We hope that this is catalyst that will drive innovators to make the jetpack a thing of reality. Needless to say, it would definitely revolutionize the morning commute!