Japanese team teTra Aviation has won the $100,000 Pratt & Whitney Disruptor Award in the Inaugural GoFly Prize Final Fly-Off.

The Tokyo-based team was awarded the prize, the world’s first global competition to create personal human flyers, on Saturday. The team, captained by Tasuku Nakai, a doctoral student at the University of Tokyo, won the award for its teTra 3 machine.

The GoFly Prize served as a catalyst the creation of personal flyers as the first step towards transforming the future of transportation. The competition welcomed personal flyers from flying cars, flying motorcycles, hoverboards, jetpacks, human-carrying drones to other personal flyers.

Some 854 teams comprising 3800-plus innovators from 103 countries took up the GoFly challenge and, over the past two years have been creating and testing their machines as manned, mannequin-bearing, and unmanned flyers.

GoFly Founder and CEO Gwen Lighter said: “After much anticipation, we are thrilled to announce that teTra Aviation is the winner of the Pratt & Whitney Disruptor Award. The team displayed the technical design and creative prowess that we set out to inspire when we created the GoFly Prize. teTra created a unique personal flyer and we look forward to supporting them as they take the next steps towards revolutionising human mobility.”

Geoff Hunt, Senior Vice President, Engineering at Pratt & Whitney said: “Innovation has always been at the core of our DNA at Pratt & Whitney and we applaud GoFly’s efforts to transform the industry. We’re proud to sponsor such an exceptional competition and we designed the Disruptor Award to recognize the team that challenged the status quo, delivered unique thinking into a complex issue and considered safety, reliability, durability and system integration.”

‘Personal flying is the future of transportation’

teTra Aviation team leader Tasuku Nakai added: “This is beyond my imagination. The whole team is glad to celebrate this achievement. Personal flying is the future of transportation and I know there will be a day when every person will be able to take off and land anywhere. On behalf of my entire team, I want to say thank you to GoFly and Pratt & Whitney.”

The Final Fly-Off was held at Moffett Federal Airfield during Leap Day, February 29. Prior to the final, ten teams were named Phase I winners and were awarded $20,000 prizes for their concepts, while five teams were named Phase II winners and were awarded $50,000 for their prototype submissions. At the moment, no team has captured the Grand Prize title, but GoFly looks forward to awarding $1 million prize in the near future.

The GoFly Prize is supported by Grand Sponsor Boeing, Disruptor Award Sponsor Pratt & Whitney, as well as more than 20 national and international aviation and innovation organisations. All teams participating in the competition also benefit from the guidance and expertise of a dedicated Mentors and Masters programme.

Image courtesy of @GoFlyPrize