Boeing GoFly winners unveil exotic personal flying machines

We're way, way beyond jetpacks now.

Amanda Kooser
Freelance writer Amanda C. Kooser covers gadgets and tech news with a twist for CNET. When not wallowing in weird gear and iPad apps for cats, she can be found tinkering with her 1956 DeSoto.
Amanda Kooser

The Leap airbike concept comes from UK team Vantage.


The jetpack has long been at the forefront of our vision for futuristic personal flying transportation. 

In 2017, a  Boeing -sponsored competition challenged the world to invent a new kind of flying machine though the GoFly Prize, and hundreds of designs flew in. GoFly announced the 10 Phase 1 winners on Thursday and none of them look like a jetpack.

The competition criteria says the flying machines should be able to carry a single person for 20 miles (32 kilometers) without recharging or refueling and must be compatible with urban environments. The gadgets "must be safe, useful and thrilling, but the design and function of the device is up to teams." 

The winning teams hail from across the globe, all the way from the US to Japan. The designs show off creative ways of using rotors and many feature motorcycle-style sitting positions reminiscent of the speeder bikes in Star Wars.

The Phase 1 winners will each receive $20,000 (£15,000, AU$26,500). The second phase of the competition will involve judging actual prototypes, but teams don't need to have won in Phase 1 to compete in Phase 2. 

GoFly hopes to end the competition with a fly-off where all the teams with working machines take their gadgets for a test flight. 

Check out the winning concepts in our gallery. You may see them taking to the air in the real world sooner than you think.

Straight out of sci-fi: See the Boeing GoFly Prize winners

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