PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Human flight like it’s never been imagined.
GoFly is a contest that wants ideas on how to fly. Organizers are looking to plug into innovative imaginations that can soar and one day it might just revolutionize how we travel.
For generations, there’s been an obsession with taking flight.
Superman and other skyward heroes helped plant the idea. And they had a little help, from shows like “The Jetsons” and their aerospace flying cars.
A million dollar prize is on the table for a contest fueled by the imagination through “GoFly,” which is being sponsored by Boeing.
“To develop a personal, quiet, ultra-compact… near vertical takeoff and landing machine,” says Daniel Newman, chief engineer for Boeing Advanced Rotary Wing.
In other words, personal flight.
Newman says he has no idea what a flying device might look like.
“GoFly has been very clear that we don’t know what the solution is, we don’t know the means, we don’t know the power source, we just have a set of objectives we have to meet,” said Newman.
Whatever it is, it has to be quiet. It can’t exceed 8-and-a-half feet in diameter. Designers envision a jetpack-type device.
“I think it’s been said technology is indistinguishable from magic. There’s breakthroughs that may make this possible. If it was easy, it wouldn’t be worth a challenge. Wouldn’t be worth the money to inspire people,” said Newman.
Nicholas Florio, a Villanova sophomore, is full throttle about the idea.
“It can be done. We’ve come far–from the Wright Brothers now to Boeing with the 747,” said Florio, who’s from Long Island and inspired by superheroes.
“You just kind of think, what would I use in an imaginary world. For me it’s creativity than technical stuff right away,” said Florio.
The folks with GoFly have no intention of ever marketing what may come of the contest.
“There’s no interest by Boeing in the deliverable here, it’s in the doing, it’s in the process, the enthusiasm,” said Newman.
The contest runs two years with prizes at various levels.
Florio is in the process of assembling a team.
“I think it’s cool. One of those childhood dreams,” says Florio, who puts flying at the top of the list.
Boeing has offered a support team for those participating.
The grand prize will be announced in 2019.
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