Boeing’s New Passenger Drone Competition

C O N T E N T S:


  • With companies like Ehang, Airbus, Boeing, Uber, and a wide variety of other giant tech and aircraft companies innovating and competing, we’re hoping everyone learns from each other, and a refined, safe, environmentally friendly passenger drone is eventually birthed into the world.(More…)


  • Companies are exploring VTOLs and battery-powered drones flying at an altitude of about 1000 feet for short-haul flights that could speed up mega-trips.(More…)


Boeing's New Passenger Drone Competition
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With companies like Ehang, Airbus, Boeing, Uber, and a wide variety of other giant tech and aircraft companies innovating and competing, we’re hoping everyone learns from each other, and a refined, safe, environmentally friendly passenger drone is eventually birthed into the world. [1] Companies are exploring VTOLs and battery-powered passenger drones that fly at an altitude of about 1,000 feet for short-haul flights that could speed up mega-commute times. [2] An exclusive report by German automotive news site Automobilwoche claimed on Saturday that Porsche is so eager to join the passenger drone industry that the car company would soon be ready to present some concept art. [1] While Porsche AG hasnt officially confirmed its plans to join the passenger drone industry, the companys sales director thinks itd make sense. [1] The Chinese drone companys tested its passenger drone more than a thousand times, bringing the dream of a sky-taxi closer to reality. [1] Porsche joining in would certainly ramp up the pace and serve to make passenger drones a reality sooner rather than later. [1] With names like “HummingBuzz” and “Blue Sparrow,” the winning designs are a bonkers-looking assortment of hoverbikes, passenger drones, and a few that defy comparison. [3] In January, the Vahana passenger drone project by Airbus claimed it successfully completed a test flight. [1]

With this acquisition Boeing is looking to keep pace with startups such as Velocopter, which recently conducted a test flight in Dubai, and Passenger Drone as well as large aerospace firms such as Airbus which announced the Airbus Popup concept earlier this year. [4] They aren’t alone, Airbus has also successfully tested its passenger drone this week, adding its name to an increasing list of serious companies shooting to make the flying car dream a reality. [5] Electric passenger drones, seating two to five travelers and looking like distant cousins of today’s helicopters, could come on the market within the next two years, according to a new study by Deloitte. [6] When Ehang revealed its 184 passenger drone at CES in 2016, drone industry veterans had reason to be suspect. [5] The eight-rotor VTOL craft only left the ground for 53 seconds to an altitude of 16 feet, but the test marked Airbus’ entrance into the passenger drone market. [5]

With the increasing popularity of small unmanned aerial vehicles or drones, and regulations increasingly supporting their commercial use, passenger drones and flying cars appear to be moving closer to reality, with aerospace and aircraft design technology being developed rapidly. [7] Although the company may not be as far along as EHang or Boeing – they are only rumored to be showing off their first design sketch soon – this is an indication that passenger drones will soon be a reality. [8] Looking to compete with EHang and build its own passenger drone is industrial company giant Boeing. [8] Companies in this space, which own a significant portion of today’s large passenger aircraft, could play a similar role in financing and leasing smaller passenger drones and flying cars to shared fleet operators, with payments based on either flat rates or usage. [7] Passenger drone and flying car manufacturers should consider refining their concepts, work with regulators, and communicate their onboard technology needs to and collaborate with on-demand urban transport operators to establish a scaled market for their aircraft. [7]

Last year, Boeing bought Aurora Flight Sciences, which showed its interest in pilot-less passenger drones; Aurora’s main project was a new flying taxi being developed with Uber Technologies. [8] Otherwise known as drone taxis; flying taxis; or pilotless helicopters, passenger drones may soon become a reality. [8] If safety and regulatory hurdles are cleared, passenger drones are expected to get wings by 2018-2020, and traditional flying cars by 2020-2022, while revolutionary vehicles could be a reality only by 2025. [7] Revolutionary vehicles: Revolutionary vehicles, which are expected to be a combination of passenger drone and traditional flying car, would be fully autonomous vehicles that can start or stop anywhere, with speed and range (distances greater than 200 miles) beyond passenger drones and the traditional flying cars. [7] For the scaled adoption of passenger drones and flying cars (particularly fully autonomous) to occur, the operators of these vehicles would likely need to demonstrate a near-flawless safety record, covering both mechanical integrity as well as safe operations. [7] For passenger drones and flying cars to be widely accepted, they would likely have to be both ubiquitous and as versatile as an automobile–people should be able to fly the vehicle to a store or take it to the beach, and it should be able to cover longer distances safely. [7] Figure 1 lists and compares some of the major flying car and passenger drone manufacturers and their proposed vehicles. [7] The passenger drone operators may have to provision the fleet either by owning or leasing the vehicles, and be directly responsible for the full set of operational requirements, much like the on-demand executive jet market operates today. [7] The ultimate goal is a pilotless passenger drone that can either be parked outside your house like an ordinary car, or even summoned with a smartphone app, like a taxi. [9] That means that, although the eventual goal is fully autonomous flight, the first passenger drones are likely to be fitted with manual controls and to require some sort of pilot’s licence to operate–just as the first self-driving cars require licensed humans to keep their hands on the wheel at all times. [9] Sitting in your company’s passenger drone on one of its maiden flight tests is a different matter. [10] Step-by-step, Florian Reuter, Volocopter’s chief executive, hopes to persuade regulators that passenger drones are safe enough for more ambitious flights and pilotless operations. [9] In the short to medium term, the obstacles in the way of passenger drones and other autonomous vehicles are more legislative than technical, in the West at least. [10] The Ehang 184 personal drone, the Autonomous Passenger drone, and Workhorse’s Surefly taxi drone, that is supposed to be demo-ed for real (no simulator) at CES 2018. [11] Chinese entrepreneurs unveiled the first passenger drone – the EHang 184 back in 2016, and since then companies and individual developers have not looked back. [8] One issue many companies developing passenger drones has, is with battery technology. [8] While battery technology is rapidly improving, in order to increase passenger and cargo capacity and extend the ranges of passenger drones, it will need to improve further, or alternatives would need to be found. [7] Passenger drones : A passenger drone is expected to be an electric or hybrid-electric quadcopter (although some may have more than four rotors) that can be used to move people or cargo between both established and on-demand origination and destination points. [7] The electric 184 and passenger drones like it remain far beyond the boundaries of what current legislation in Europe and North America has been developed for. [10] One of the main problems that every company creating a passenger drone is facing is the lack of air-traffic management network, as nothing like this has been done before and therefore there is nothing certified. [8] Like most other passenger drones being built, the idea is to make it mainly autonomous. [8] There would have to be a robust air traffic management system in place to guarantee safe and efficient operations of passenger drones and flying cars, which would meet the requirements of the FAA and the European Aviation Safety Agency. [7] Volocopter, for instance, is hoping that the European Aviation Safety Agency can be persuaded to classify its passenger drone as a “light sports aircraft”, which would mean that it can be flown by a person holding a simplified pilot’s licence which requires less training. [9] Passenger drones are designed to fly directly from place to place, rather than making use of existing airfields, as conventional aircraft do. [9] Passenger drones may be classified as an entirely new type of aircraft. [9] While widespread use of passenger drones and flying cars is likely decades away, their arrival could dramatically reshape a mobility landscape that is already in transition. [7] The study explores how widespread use of passenger drones could reshape urban mobility, and suggests some key steps players in aerospace and other industries can do now to prepare for this exciting possibility, as well as what disruptions to possibly expect. [7] The promise of passenger drones has moved from science fiction to reality in recent years. [10] CEO Dennis Muilenburg says he thinks passenger drones will shape a new transportation ecosystem and will be a regular thing in society within a decade, and real prototypes are already being built. [8] At least at first, passenger drones will cost supercar money: mooted prices tend to be around $200,000-300,000. [9] China’s Ehang has already tested its self-flying passenger drone, named 184, which was showcased at the Consumer Electronics Show in 2016. [7] Many passenger drone and flying car manufacturers have already passed the conceptualization/design phase, and a majority of them are currently in the prototyping and testing stage, with most manufacturers expecting delivery by 2020 (figure 2). [7] For many of the current crop of electric passenger drones that rely solely on their own batteries, though, 30 minutes is around the limit of their endurance. [9] According to Automobilwoche, Porsche is now developing passenger drones too. [8] EHANG has released footage and further details of successful manned test flights of the EHang 184 passenger drone. [10]

The key players of the global passenger drones market include AeroMobil (Slovakia), Airbus S.A.S. (France), Boeing (U.S.), Cartivator (Japan), EHANG (China), Joby Aviation (U.S.), Lilium (Germany), TERRAFUGIA (U.S.), Uber Technologies Inc. (U.S.), and Volocopter GmbH (Germany). [12] Airbus, Boeing, EHANG, Uber Technologies, Inc., and Volocopter GmbH collectively accounted for more than 80% of the market share of the global passenger drones market in 2017. [12]

It will bolster the presence of Boeing in the global passenger drones market. [12] The global passenger drones market, in this report, has been segmented on the basis of application into two types, namely commercial and personal. [12] The global passenger drones market is set to grow from USD 154.4 million in 2017 to USD 851.2 million by 2024. [12] Global passenger drones market will exhibit a CAGR of 27.74% during the forecast period from 2018 to 2024 to cross a USD 800 million mark by 2024. [12] The global passenger drones market has been segmented by capacity into up to 100 kg and over 100 kg. [12] The global passenger drones market, in this report, has been segmented on the basis of rotor into two types, namely less than 10 rotors and more than 10 rotors. [12] Volocopter GmbH stood at the 5th position in the global passenger drones market. [12] In terms of the passenger drones market, EHANG is looking forward to developing products that will be user-friendly for the operators and can be functioned with the use of a smartphone, in the forthcoming years. [12] Ehang claims the 184 is the world’s first passenger drone capable of reaching speeds of more than 80 miles per hour. [13] Ehang created a buzz at the CES tech conference in Las Vegas in 2016 where it showed off a prototype of its passenger drone, the 184. [13] How long can it fly on battery power? U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) regulations dictate that aircraft have spare 20 minutes of ‘fuel’, which means the passenger drones mentioned above will need to account for in flight duration capabilities. [14] The company developed the “Vahana” passenger drone, which was flight tested in February 2018. [12] Concurrently, the company is focusing on new product development in collaboration with global companies to build the next generation of advanced passenger drones. [12] This country houses companies such as Boeing and Uber Technologies Inc. which are very active in the passenger drone market space. [12] Companies such as Uber Technologies Inc. are keen on the commercialization of passenger drones, which might not be viable if the drone has less capacity. [12] A number of companies are currently exploring the use of passenger drones as air-taxis, air-cargo, or for air-ambulance services. [12] Airbus is looking forward to establishing partnerships with companies such as Italdesign Giugiaro S.p.A. to manufacture passenger drones. [12] The extensive growth opportunities in passenger drones market are attracting heavy investments by the companies. [12] The passenger drones market in this report has been segmented on the basis of component into five types, namely airframe, controller system, a navigation system, propulsion system, and others. [12] Along with the market size, the study segments the passenger drones market based on component, capacity, application, rotor, and region, delivering actionable insights. [12] Led by Germany, Europe holds the largest share of the passenger drones market. [12] In Asia Pacific is the second largest market and the passenger drones market in this region is poised to expand at the highest CAGR during the forecast period. [12] Leveraging the ever improving recharging speeds and capacity of the electric car batteries into passenger drone technology. [14] If the last few decades are any indicators, passenger drone technology is evolving and advancing every day. [14] A communications system that allows passenger drones to detect and avoid collisions, determine flight corridors etc. [14] The U.S. Department of Transportation is focusing on the process which is similar to approving traditional commercial air carriers for the approval of passenger drones as well. [12] The U.S. is at the forefront in developing passenger drones, and this country is the single largest market on the global scale. [12] Based on the present designs, the number of rotors is in direct correlation with the speed, range, and capacity of the passenger drones. [12] Now, the race is well and truly underway to launch viable passenger drones or sky taxis the future of public transport. [14] Till date, apart from a few exhibits and test flights, there is no wide-scale implementation of passenger drones. [12]

The Volocopter 2X autonomous passenger drone lifted off on the stage at CES 2018. [15]


Companies are exploring VTOLs and battery-powered drones flying at an altitude of about 1000 feet for short-haul flights that could speed up mega-trips. [16] Greg Hyslop, Boeing’s Chief Technology Officer, says it could take the form of a jetpack, a personal drone or even a motorcycle in the sky. [17]

Box Clevers concept design could potentially resolve whether self-driving cars prioritize the passengers life or the pedestrians life. [1] The Boeing GoFly sponsored design competition recently selected 10 winners from hundreds of submissions for the best designs to transport a 20-mile person without refueling or reloading and with a vertical take-off and landing ( VTOL ). [16] The Boeing-sponsored design competition GoFly recently selected 10 winners out of hundreds of submissions for the best designs to carry a person 20 miles without refueling or recharging and with a vertical take-off and landing ( VTOL ) capability. [2]

The competition is always open to new submissions even if the teams have not submitted or won a vehicle design. [16] The competition is still open to new submissions even if teams didn’t submit or win a vehicle design. [2]

For Phase II of the competition, each winning team will need to build a fully functional version of their personal flying devices, and ideally not harm anyone in the process. [3] To be played out over three phases, the first stage of the competition requires teams to submit written reports outlining the technical specifications of their concepts, with ten US$20,000 prizes to be awarded to the winning entries. [17] Think of it like the first X-Prize competition, which effectively spurred the private space industry, or the DARPA Grand Challenge, which gave birth to the current self-driving car craze. [3] The deadline for the first phase of the GoFly competition is April 4, 2018. [17]

Now it’s onto the next part of the competition: building these ideas into functional, working aircrafts. [2] The competition distributes approximately $ 2 million in rewards up to 2019. [16] The competition is doling out about $2 million in awards through 2019. [2]

Boeing recently offered a first glimpse of its newest military aircraft, a large, stingray-shaped drone it hopes will win an intense Navy competition to build an unmanned aircraft capable of landing on an aircraft carrier. [18] While Boeing isn’t the first company to create vehicles for drone delivery, its prototype is much bigger and more powerful than designs already unveiled by the likes of Amazon, UPS, and Google. [19] Take the battery-powered flying platform that Boeing unveiled in January, a prototype cargo drone with the muscle to haul 500-pound loads over 20 miles. [6] The aerospace giant’s GoFly Prize wants you to create a drone, flying motorcycle or other wild personal device that can carry a passenger 20 miles in a single trip. [20] Autonomous air taxis and parcel-hauling drones have the potential to be the next disruption to sweep the aerospace industry, with Boeing and arch-rival Airbus SE among the manufacturers racing to stake a claim. [6] Airbus and Ehang might be behind, but the race to a full-scale drone taxi service is far from over. [5]

In 2013, Northrop Grumman’s X-47B became the first drone to take off and land from an aircraft carrier, the USS George H.W. Bush, in a flight that one top Navy official said marked “an inflection point in history on how we will integrate manned and unmanned aircraft on carrier flight decks in the future.” [18] Jenkins think drones will first be adopted to haul packages, like the three billion pizzas delivered annually in the U.S. Flying humans is far more complicated, and a host of issues still needs to be resolved. [6] Commuters aren’t going to embrace flying craft unless their safety is assured, but getting approval from aviation regulators for people-carrying drones will take millions of dollars and several years-and that’s once agencies such as the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration decide what the standards should be. [6] In recent years, the Pentagon has shown that drones are not just capable of flying from airstrips around the world, but from sea as well. [18] Drones have been a vital part of the Pentagon’s arsenal for years, but the competition for a Navy carrier-based version, dubbed the MQ-25, that can refuel jet fighters in midair would mark a significant advance in the technology — and become another sign how the military is increasingly integrating robots into the way it fights. [18] In addition to Boeing, two of the Pentagon’s top suppliers, General Atomics and Lockheed Martin, are vying for a contract to build as many as 76 of the carrier-based drones that could refuel jet fighters in midair. [18] Know how to build a human-carrying drone or jetpack? Boeing will pay you $2 million to make it happen. [21]

They look like hovering motorcycles, drones, and go karts that show off the wide range of ideas people had for vehicles that may pass GoFly’s final test. [22] Other large-scale UAV prototypes to be developed in recent years include the world’s first passenger-carrying drone, which was unveiled at CES 2016, and the world’s smallest flying car, last year. [19] The presentation of the UAV prototype at CES follows on from the unveiling of Boeing’s stingray-like MQ-25 drone last month. [19]

Previous Post Stop flying drones over the California fires. [21] A company YouTube video shows a drone zipping over a country lane dodging trees and adjusting its course, on its own, without the aid of a global positioning system. [6] The San Francisco based enterprise drone solutions company focused on commercial clients early on with a vision of a unified platform for a unified airspace. [5]

Though the Navy has not yet released the value of the contract, an earlier incarnation of the effort — in which the drones would both serve as refueling aircraft and have attack capabilities — would have been worth $3 billion through 2022. [18] Why the aerospace giant is buying up a drone and aviation tech innovator. [23] Frank Schroth is editor in chief of DroneLife, the authoritative source for news and analysis on the drone industry: it’s people, products, trends, and events. [4] Dubai’s transportation agency chief promised that human-ferrying drones would begin transporting people across the city in July of 2017, though that still has not happened on a wide scale. [21] The ability to refuel those jets in midair with a drone would allow them to strike deeper into enemy territory, even while the carriers stay off shore. [18] In addition to refueling fighter jets, including the F/A-18 Super Hornet and the F-35C, the drones could be used on surveillance missions, staying aloft for long stretches, Thompson said. [18]

Boeing also notes that the prototype complements an eVTOL passenger air vehicle prototype aircraft which is in development by Aurora Flight Sciences – a company acquired by Boeing late last year. [19] The competition uses a format similar to the XPrize to encourage the creation of a “personal flight device” that can carry a passenger for 20 miles (32 kilometers) without running out of fuel or battery power. [20] This included stress testing variables that could lead to potential failure, like battery redundancy, carrying 500 lbs, and stability in various inclement weather conditions to ensure passengers will be safe during flights. [5]

They also amplify Boeing’s R&D in UAV. Specifically in the area of unmanned passenger transportation. [4] “Our cargo air vehicle (CAV) prototype builds on Boeing’s existing unmanned systems capabilities and presents new possibilities for autonomous cargo delivery, logistics and other transportation applications,” said Steve Nordlund, Boeing HorizonX vice president. [19]

Given Boeing’s traditional retirement age of 65, he will more than likely be around to deal with the aftermath of product strategy plotted today-from an all-new jetliner family nicknamed the ‘797’ by analysts to the autonomous vehicles he expects to reach the market in large numbers by the mid-2020s. [6]

The registration deadline for Phase I of Boeing’s GoFly competition is April 4, 2018. [21] Created as Boeing’s entry to a U.S. Navy competition, the MQ-25 will be used for refuelling fighter jets mid-air. [19]

For Boeing and Lockheed, which teamed up on the bomber contract but lost, the Navy competition represents a significant opportunity to build a new military airframe. [18] The competition organizers announced the winners of this first round. [22] The competition is open to just about any type of technology that can meet the 20-mile range requirement and is also “safe, quiet, ultra-compact and near-VTOL (vertical take-off and landing),” according to the official registration page. [20] Though it developed the X-47B, Northrop Grumman suddenly dropped out of the competition in October, stunning many in the industry that had thought it had a good chance to win. [18] The GoFly Prize Competition will award up to ten $20,000 prizes awarded based on a written report. [21]

To win the Final Fly-Off challenge, which will happen in Fall 2019, the vehicle must take off vertically and carrying a passenger a distance of 20 miles. [22] The infrastructure plan includes urban “vertiports” for passenger boarding and vehicle servicing. [4] The eVTOL will be used for short-haul transport of passengers or cargo. [4]

“Thanks to recent advances in materials, propulsion and autonomy, we believe the world is ready to make the next leap in flight innovation,” Greg Hyslop, Boeing’s chief technology officer, said in a video statement. [20] That requires leaps in artificial intelligence and sensor technology from today’s personal drones, which mostly fly within sight of operators. [6] The next generation of Uber and Lyft Inc. vehicles can’t arrive by air until manufacturers and regulators figure out how to keep them from bumping into buildings, commercial planes, personal drones and each other. [6]

” Flying cars, air taxis, passenger drones–an industry snapshot,” Drone Industry Insights, April 27, 2017. [7] Drone are getting bigger and more serious, both in the passenger transportation space (drone taxis) as well as in the cargo transportation industry. [11]

According to The Verge, Boeing said that the cargo drone development would “complement” the drone taxis that Aurora is developing for Uber. [11] Boeing unveiled an “unmanned electric vertical-takeoff-and-landing (eVTOL) cargo air vehicle (CAV) prototype”, which boils down to a giant cargo carrying drone, capable of airlifting 500 pounds of payload. [11] Boeing said its drone is completing engine runs before heading to the flight ramp for deck handling demonstrations early next year. [24] Boeing is not the only company developing drones with impressive payload carrying ability. [11] Recently we reported on the Russian company ARDN technology that is developing the SYF drone, which is capable of carrying a 400-pound payload for up to eight hours. [11] Drone technology providers should consider collaborating with the drone manufacturers to fully understand their needs and integrate the technology–software, sensors, materials, motors, and energy management–into the vehicles. [7] Most conventional drones achieve this with a number of small, electrically powered rotors mounted on the corner of the vehicle, or on extended arms. [9] Their method appears to be to capture and utilize existing capability and capacity in the traditional automotive and helicopter markets and new drone markets to produce vehicles. [7]

Traditional aircraft, helicopter, and drone design and manufacturing companies are entering this market. [7] Since a company can have only a limited number of warehouses, it appears that drone delivery, even if it becomes a reality, for now may be limited to shorter distances–although companies such as Amazon and UPS have started using delivery trucks to serve as mobile warehouses, from where drones can be launched. [7] CityAirbus is a design for an air taxi, with multiple propellers and the appearance of a small drone. [7] For Porche’s design, you would apparently have some control over the drone, but would not need a pilot’s license. [8]

Developments in electric power, batteries and autonomous-flight systems have led to a boom in sales of small drone aircraft. [9] As with smartphones and electric cars, the lithium-ion batteries used in drones usually stop discharging when they are about 80% drained in order to protect themselves from damage. [9] The cargo drone is powered by an electric propulsion system and eight has eight rotors to allow for vertical take of and landing. [11] Electric, rotary-wing drones have multiple points of failure, and so have everything to prove in commercial applications. [10]

In total, the Chinese drone manufacturer has conducted thousands of manned flights to date. [10] In 2013, Amazon hosted a 60-minute demonstration of its ambitious drone delivery program, Amazon Prime Air. [7] UAVs, or drones, have become increasingly popular over the years and have been used by both hobbyists and the military. [8] Over the past year, there have been various pilot programs featuring drones completing a successful delivery. [7]

Trek Aerospace’s Flykart 2 goes for more of a reclined racing seat position, with the rider in the center, surrounded by 10 rotors, like a comfortable, scaled-up quadcopter drone. [25] Since obtaining its permit to fly, EHang, a dronemaker based in Guangzhou, has been putting its drone, the EHang 184 (shown above), through its paces. [9]

Boeing led the development of the CAV prototype, which complements the eVTOL passenger air vehicle prototype aircraft in development by Aurora Flight Sciences, a company acquired by Boeing late last year, according to and a Boeing press release. [26] Project Vahana is designed for both passenger and cargo transport, and Airbus plans to conduct flight tests of the prototype by the end of 2017. [7] Energy management is crucial: carrying an energy load sufficient to transport passengers or cargo, maintain a safety margin, and reload for the next flight. [7] Airworthiness is the ability of an aircraft to operate without significant hazard to passengers, cargo, the general public, or property over which such aircraft are flown. [7] The results aren’t quite ” flying cars ” (WIRED’s accepted term for the aircraft the likes of Uber hope to deploy for passenger service ). [25] Digital infrastructure would be key to ensuring safe, secure, and reliable communications between fleets of passenger aircraft. [7]

This year, a startup funded by Google’s Larry Page called Kitty Hawk unveiled a kind of flying jet ski that can carry a single passenger aloft over bodies of water. [27] It is an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) that carries passengers. [8] “What we’re doing isn’t an extreme sport, so the safety of each passenger always comes first. [10] EHang also says it is working to add in manual controls, so that if passengers have piloting experience, they have a choice to take over the controls. [8] In the passenger transportation space, we have Uber/Bell Helicopter and they are not alone. [11] The EHang 184 is still a work in progress, and it is a slow process to make sure everything is completely safe for passengers before it is released to the public. [8] Other test flight passengers have included the deputy mayor of Guangzhou and more than 150 technical engineers. [10]

Not everyone has ready access to venture capital money, so the Boeing competition might provide an opportunity to an individual or small team to bring innovative design ideas to a larger audience. [27] With heavy investment from the likes of Intel and Boeing, competition is fierce. [10] These groups are taking part in a two-year competition backed by Boeing, with $2 million up for grabs. [25]

They may never lead to a commercial aircraft, but competitions like this inspire students and innovators, in a similar way to Elon Musk’s Hyperloop Pod competition. [25]

The real opportunity for personal transportation technologies might be in the realm of personal drones. [27]

A group called GoFly, funded by aerospace giant Boeing, launched a $2 million competition to spur the development of jet packs, hoverboards, human-bearing drones and assorted other flying objects for personal use. [28] Jetpacks, solo drones, and maybe even personal wings no idea is too crazy for a new competition hosted by some of the biggest names in aerospace. [28]

Back when this competition began, the Navy invited four big defense contractors to bid to build its new carrier refueling drone — designed to safely deliver jet fuel to fighters in flight, extending the range of the Navy’s F/A-18 Super Hornets and EA-18G Growlers. [29]

Air New Zealand said Tuesday that a drone came within meters of a flight descending into Auckland Airport from Tokyo, putting the safety of 278 passengers and crew at risk. [30] New flying technology requires plenty of trial and error, and Ehang CEO Hu Huazhi says in the video that it took him “a while” to get comfortable with actually putting passengers in the drone. [13] Chinese company Ehang offered a glimpse this week of what could lie ahead, releasing its first video of passengers climbing aboard its autonomous drones and taking off with the push of a button. [13] Ehang says it first managed to carry passengers in its drones back in 2015 and has since racked up at least 40 successful journeys. [13] Dubai’s RTA has also partnered with China’s Ehang, developing the Ehang184 single passenger autonomous drone. [14] Its video teased footage of an even bigger drone capable of carrying two passengers at a time. [13]

“There is no excuse for anyone flying a drone near an airport without authorisation or in the flight path of aircraft,” Graeme Harris, the director of civil aviation, said in a statement. [30] The Navy is reportedly envisioning an eventual purchase of up to 72 MQ-25 tanker drones for its aircraft carriers, breaking down into flights of one “system” of four drones for each of nine aircraft carrier air wings (36 drones total), and one backup system per each air wing (so another 36 drones). [29] Air New Zealand said the pilots of Flight NZ92 spotted the drone about 5 metres (16.4 feet) from their Boeing 777-200 at a point in their descent when it was impossible to take evasive action. [30] A Boeing official said the drone will be ready for flight testing when the contract is awarded in September. [31] The MQ-25 drone is designed to extend the combat range of fighter jets such as the Boeing F/A-18 Super Hornet, Boeing EA-18G Growler and Lockheed Martin F-35C, which are deployed from aircraft carriers. [31] In contrast to General Atomics, which has so far only shown artwork, and Lockheed Martin — which hasn’t even released a picture of an entire plane, Boeing says its drone prototype is already “ready,” to fly, albeit it hasn’t yet been flight-tested. [29] The invention can be a jetpack, drone, or even a “motorcycle in the sky,” Boeing CTO Greg Hyslop said in a YouTube video, as long as it’s capable of taking off vertically and carrying one person for 20 miles. [28]

The first contract will be for one complete system, i.e., four drones, plus a control station and any engineering modifications needed to be made to the host aircraft carrier to accommodate the drones. [29] While drone makers and would-be electric aircraft manufacturers are waiting for better batteries, hydrogen fuel cells are rapidly. [31] From airport IT systems to military imaging system and electric drones, this domain demands an absolute grasp of Technology, Weapons and Ammunitions, Aviation services, Airport Operations, MRO, Def. [12] Drones which are being developed by Volocopter GmbH, JOBY Aviation, and Lilium fall under more than 10 rotors category. [12] New Zealand’s Civil Aviation Authority said it supported the airline’s call for better education, and that a government-led group was considering new drone regulations. [30] Under current regulations, drone operators who breach aviation rules can be fined up to 5,000 New Zealand dollars (US$3,600). [30]

When Northrop Grumman built its two X-47B carrier drone prototypes (a test-bed preceding development of MQ-25) for the Navy a few years ago, those cost $744 million total. [29] Lately, the company has become a pioneer in the global civilian drone industry. [12] Xiong said the deputy mayor had asked the company for a test ride in the drone. [13]

From studying wildlife to building drones that “think,” unmanned vehicles are changing the ways scientists work and the questions they probe. [32] Ehang specializes in aerospace transportation technologies, consumer electronics, and in the R&D, manufacturing, and sales of smart drones. [12] Ehang says it may announce the price and other details about the drone this summer. [13]

Should the MQ-25 carry a similar price tag, it’s conceivable that a full contract for the production of 72 drone aircraft could cost taxpayers as much as $26.8 billion. [29] The airline said it was the second example of reckless drone use this month, after an Air New Zealand pilot reported the presence of a drone within controlled airspace on March 6 at Auckland Airport. [30] Harris said New Zealand was not alone in trying to grapple with a rapid rise in the use of drones in its skies. [30] “It’s clear the time has now come for tougher deterrents for reckless drone use around airports to safeguard travellers,” David Morgan, the airline’s chief operations and integrity standards officer, said in a statement. [30]

Personal flying devices, from jetpacks to drones, have always captured the imagination of the world. [28] General Atomics released an artist’s conception of a fully formed tanker drone (one closely resembling its Sea Avenger drone in design). [29] Factors such as growing urban population, rising traffic congestion problems, rapid technological advancements and decline in drone costs, and rising participation of companies are driving the market growth. [12] On Jan. 3, the Navy’s deadline for submitting bids to build its next-generation, carrier-capable “MQ-25 Stingray” drone aerial refueling tanker came due. [29] The increasing urban population, rising disposable income and focus on drones for transportation purposes will bolster the market growth in this region. [12] Ehang CEO Hu Huazhi conducts a manned test flight on the Ehang 184 drone. [13]

A group of aviation companies and advocacy groups, backed by aerospace behemoth Boeing, have announced a $2 million competition to develop a safe and easy-to-use personal flying vehicle in the next two years. [28] Boeing announced an engineering competition in partnership with GoFly that gives teams two years to develop an “easy to use, personal flying device.” [28] A new competition to encourage innovators to create a safe and easy-to-use personal flying device launched today at one of the aerospace industry’s premiere engineering technology conferences. he two-year competition, managed by GoFly with Boeing as Grand Sponsor, encourages teams from around the world to leverage recent advances in propulsion, energy, light-weight materials, and control and stability systems to make the dream of personal flight a reality. [28] Sponsored by Boeing, the competition urges teams “to leverage recent advances in propulsion, energy, lightweight materials, and control and stability systems to make the dream of personal flight a reality.” [28]

The GoFly Prize, a two-year global competition, was established to encourage the creation of a “personal flight device” that can carry a passenger 20 miles without running low on fuel or battery. [28] A $2 million global competition called the GoFly Prize was introduced at an aerospace industry conference with the aim of designing and manufacturing “an easy-to-use, personal flying device.” [28] That’s the hope of the people behind the GoFly Prize, a competition announced Tuesday that will give teams up to $2 million to develop the first-ever practical personal flying machine. [28] Boeing is sponsoring the GoFly Prize, a two-year competition in which teams compete for $2 million in prizes as they attempt to invent a personal flying device for the mass market. [28] Boeing has announced it is backing the GoFly prize, which challenges inventors to come up with a jetpack-like “personal flying device” to the tune of $2 million.That sum will be disbursed across three competition stages. [28] Boeing is sponsoring the GoFly competition, which aims to create the first personal flying device with vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) capabilities. [28] Boeing is sponsoring a GoFly competition that challenges adults around the globe to build a flying device for one person. [28] With aerospace giant Boeing as the competition’s prime sponsor and other aerospace companies pitching in resources to assist teams, GoFly aims to do for jetpacks what SpaceX’s competitions are doing for the hyperloop. [28] Sponsored by Boeing and run by start-up GoFly, the competition will encourage teams from around the world to come up with designs. [28]

Boeing has sponsored a $2 million (1.4 million) competition to find a personal flying machine that could be mass produced to fulfil ordinary people’s dreams of taking to the skies. [28] Boeing is sponsoring a $2 million competition to develop a safe, viable personal air vehicle. [28] Boeing will serve as a grand sponsor for a global competition to find the next great personal flying device. [28] The competition’s organizers, a mix of aviation engineers and enthusiasts, have spent the last two years working with aviation groups and authorities, and Boeing, to devise the rules and structure for the competition in such a way that they might spur the sort of innovation they?re after. [28] Boeing Phantom Works took the cover off its refueling-drone project on Tuesday, revealing for the first time its entry in the U.S. Navy’s competition. [31] Boeing has signed on as the grand sponsor for the competition. [28]

Kind of like an X Prize competition, the partners are giving teams two years to develop their tech before whomever impresses the judges at a “final fly-off” takes home money from the GoFly Prize pool. [28] A new competition aims to make flying devices for individuals a reality, and promises prize money of $2 million to the most innovative teams competing. [28] Four $50,000 prizes will be awarded to teams who make it to the competitions second phase, wherein proposals are refined. [28]

GoFly, a Boeing-sponsored competition announced today, wants to turn jetpacks from an aviation novelty to an everyday tool. [28] Northrop Grumman dropped out of the MQ-25 competition in October, leaving three companies in the race. [29]

The French aircraft maker is aiming at 2020 to launch (begins testing end of 2017) its version of the passenger sky taxi Vahana and CityAirbus, the two undertakings. [14] Dozens of passengers, including company executives and local government officials are shown taking rides in a 184. [13]

RANKED SELECTED SOURCES(32 source documents arranged by frequency of occurrence in the above report)

1. (31) Passenger Drones Market Research Report -Global Forecast to 2024 | MRFR

2. (28) Reimagining the future of mobility with passenger drones | Deloitte Insights

3. (26) In the News – GoFly Prize GoFly Prize

4. (15) Passenger Drones – From Sci-fi to Reality | Drone Examiner

5. (12) Passenger drones are a better kind of flying car – Free as a bird

6. (10) EHANG passenger drone boasts successful manned test flights | Internet of Business

7. (10) People are now flying around in autonomous drones

8. (10) Boeing unveils drone capable of landing on aircraft carrier, as Navy competition heats up | The Seattle Times

9. (9) Boeing Unveils Its MQ-25 Stingray Prototype

10. (9) Boeing is getting ready to sell flying taxis in the next decade – Chicago Tribune

11. (8) Boeing developed a cargo drone capable of carrying 500 pounds | DroneDJ

12. (8) “Height of stupidity?: drone nearly hits passenger jet landing in New Zealand from Japan | South China Morning Post

13. (7) Porsche to Develop Passenger Drone, German Report Claims – The Drive

14. (7) Passenger drones are here and Dubai is winning the sky taxi race! – TravelUpdate

15. (6) Boeing reveals delivery drone that can carry up to 500 pounds of cargo

16. (6) Two More Companies Started Test Flying Passenger Drones | InterDrone

17. (5) Boeings passenger drone competition winners imagine wild new flying car designs

18. (5) Boeing will pay you $2 million to build a human-carrying drone or jetpack

19. (5) Boeing Lays Foundation for Drone Passenger Travel – DRONELIFE

20. (4) Boeing Passenger Drone Competition Winners Imagine New Models of Wild Flying Cars | Tech News

21. (4) Boeing’s epic GoFly Prize could make us all rocket men – CNET

22. (4) Boeing’s $2 Million GoFly Challenge to Make Flying Fun Again | WIRED

23. (4) Boeing Unveils Refueling Drone – AVweb flash Article

24. (3) Boeing throws US$2 million behind contest to build personal flying machine

25. (3) Here Are The Best Candidates in the Competition to Design A Personal Flying Device

26. (3) Boeing offers $1 million prize for inventing a personal flying machine | Ars Technica

27. (3) Here are the finalists for Boeing’s $2 million “personal flying device? contest – The Verge

28. (1) UAV226 Drones at CES 2018 – The UAV Digest

29. (1) Boeing Buys Autonomous Drone-Maker Aurora Flight Systems

30. (1) Boeing Thinks it Can Win the US Navys MQ-25 Tender With This Drone – Avionics

31. (1) Boeings New Cargo UAV Prototype Announced – iHLS

32. (1) Boeings New Cargo Drone Prototype is HUGE : Drone360

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