Japan's team teTra, a group of aerospace professionals who came together to compete in the GoFly Prize competition, has won the GoFly Final Flyoff for their personal flying machine design – although the big $2 million grand prize is still in the offing. GoFly Prize is a two-year competition primarily sponsored by Boeing that requires participants to present ideas for vehicles designed for personal flight.

Passenger drones closer to reality

TeTra Aviation was announced as the winner of the competition's inaugural $100,000 Pratt & Whitney Disruptor Award at the GoFly Final Fly-Off, successfully concluding the Tokyo-based company's two years of research. The team, captained by Tasuka Nakai, won the award for its teTra 3 machine, as reported by New Atlas.

The teTra 3 is a essentially a passenger drone-like vehicle with a seating arrangement surrounded by a quadcopter airframe. While the two forward rotors face downwards, the rear ones are angled in such a way that they thrust the vehicle forwards instead of downwards.The vehicle is designed more for high-speed forward flight than for hovering, and is also equipped with a small wing for vertical life as airspeed picks up.

TeTra 3 passenger drone
TeTra's teTra 3 passenger drone concept presented at the GoFly competition. GoFly

"After much anticipation, we are thrilled to announce that teTra Aviation is the winner of the Pratt & Whitney Disruptor Award," said GoFly Founder and CEO Gwen Lighter. "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." Check out the video of teTra 3's test flight below

wcolby / YouTube

Competition Guidelines

GoFly participants were required to come up with a VTOL (vertical take-off and landing) vehicle that fits within the confines of an 8.5-foot sphere. It also needed to have enough power to cruise at 30 knots and noise levels below 87 A-weighted decibels at 50 feet (the equivalent of a passing diesel truck).

Moreover, the vehicle had to be able to carry a person weighing up to 200 pounds safely for at least 20 minutes without having to stop for refuelling or charging. Unfortunately, since no team met all the qualifications, no one was eligible for the $1 million Grand Prize but but GoFly looks forward to awarding that $1 million prize in the near future.