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GoAERO Launches $2+ Million Competition to Inspire Creation of Versatile Emergency Response Flyers

Updated: Apr 16

Three-year, Global Competition Will Reward Teams for Designing, Developing and Building Aerial Solutions That Serve the Public Good

SANTA CLARA, Calif., Feb. 6, 2024 /PRNewswire/ -- Today, at the Vertical Flight Society's 2024 Transformative Vertical Flight conference, GoAERO announced the launch of its three-year, global competition – the GoAERO Prize, which aims to inspire the creation of portable, versatile and autonomy-enabled Emergency Response Flyers. Throughout the competition, teams will compete for more than $2 million in total prizes.


The competition is a global call to entrepreneurs, engineers, students, and businesses to create aerial solutions that rescue people in danger and respond to challenges posed by medical emergencies, humanitarian crises, climate change, and natural disasters. Teams will be challenged to design, develop and build emergency response aerial technologies that rescue people, deliver first responders, provide emergency supplies, and aid in humanitarian efforts.


"Emergency responders put their lives on the line to help those in need," said Gwen Lighter, CEO of GoAERO. "They deserve the best, most capable technologies that can perform a wide array of rescue missions. The GoAERO Prize hopes to inspire and catalyze the creation of affordable, portable, versatile, and autonomy-enabled Emergency Response Flyers that will help close a critical gap in emergency response technology."

The GoAERO Prize is supported by an extensive network of internationally recognized leaders in aerospace including Boeing, NASA, RTX, Iridium, Xwing and other aerospace organizations. As part of the competition, teams will have access to mentors and technical experts at many of these organizations, as well as trainings, lectures, and software.

Speaking alongside Lighter at the conference, Bob Pearce, Associate Administrator, Aeronautics Research Mission, NASA ARMD, said, "NASA has a long history of trailblazing new technologies that improve daily life and support disaster response. GoAERO shares in our vision that aviation can be harnessed to explore, discover and build a better future for humanity."

The competition consists of three stages. The first stage – the "paper stage" – requires the digital submission of technical papers. Stage 2 is the building phase, which requires concept validation through a subscale or full-scale flyer. Stage 3 is the last stage and features the Final Fly-Off, during which teams must complete five real-world emergency response missions with their flyers.


During the Final Fly-Off, flyers will be judged on precision, productivity, adversity, adaptation, and maneuvering. The team that accumulates the most points across each category will win the $750,000 Top Prize. Teams also have the opportunity to win a $100,000 Disruptor Award from RTX and a $100,000 Autonomy Award. Other monetary prizes will be awarded throughout the competition.


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