Panama City Beach, Florida, USA
DragonAir’s Airboard 3 is a one person electric Vertical Take-Off and Landing (eVTOL) hoverbike that is part of the GoFly competition. The team includes Jeff Elkins who is the creator and designer, and began working on his eVTOL aircraft in 2015. Mariah Cain is the co-designer, pilot and project manager. Ray Brandes is the design specialist and is also an an engineer and machinist. To date, they have no website.
The pilot stands and has two large “ski pole” controls. There is no cockpit yet, and the aircraft is very easy to fly. Several videos online confirm that there have been multiple manned test flights and some of the flights have reached a height of several hundred feet for approximately one minute.
Work on Airboard 3 began in June, and more safety features are a key focus. “Once we go through all the flight tests with the new design, we’ll build three more and we’ll start training people on them. We are developing a series of unique demonstrations with our disruptive technology for youth education, which should be really cool,” said Cain.
On Oct. 24, 2020, DragonAir posted a video of the Airboard 3. Details of the earlier Airboard 1 and Airboard 2.
The GoFly Prize challenge was issued in September 2017; however, the DragonAir team only learned about the prize in April 2018. Even though they missed the Phase I submissions deadline, the team applied for and were admitted into Phase II competition on March 26, 2019. On March 26, 2019 GoFly Prize announced that DragonAir completed Phase II of the GoFly challenge and will receive $50,000.00 USD in prizes.
The team has stated that their DragonAir eVTOL aircraft will most likely be sold first to people as a personal flyer for recreational use and they also feel the uses of their aircraft can easily expand into the agriculture industry and search and rescue operations and possibly more.
- DragonAir YouTube Channel
- GoFly Prize website
- Video: Woman Flies Drone!, Jeff Elkins, Jul. 16, 2017
- Video: Mariah Cain Training on the MegaDrone, Jeff Elkins, Jul. 12, 2017
- Article: AHS Supports GoFly!, Vertiflite, Nov/Dec 2017
- Article: GoFly Enters Phase II, Vertiflite, July/August 2018
- Article: Meet the Teams, GoFly Prize, Jan. 1, 2019
- Video: DragonAir Aborted Landing, DragonAir, Feb. 4, 2019
- Article: GoFly Hits 40, evtol.news, Feb. 6, 2019
- Article: Meet the women making “personal flying machines” a reality, Fast Company, Mar. 26, 2019
- Article: Meet the 5 Winners Of GoFly Phase II, GoFly Prize, Mar. 26, 2019
- Video: GoFly Prize: Announcing the Phase II Winners, GoFlyPrize, Mar. 26, 2019
- Article: Panama City Beach tech company a finalist for $1 million Boeing competition to help humans fly, Panama City News Harold, Apr. 1, 2019
- Video: Airboard DragonAir #GoFlyPrize, Jeff Elkins, Apr. 5, 2019
- Article: Meet The Teams, GoFly Prize, Apr. 9, 2019
- Article: Panama City Team Dragonair takes off in a flying machine that belongs in a fantasy movie, Tallahassee Democrat, May 3, 2019
- Article: Flying Solo: GoFly Advances Single-Passenger Air Mobility Solutions, Vertiflite, May/June 2019
- Article: GoFly Inspires Innovation, Vertiflite, May/June 2020
- Video: DragonAir Airboard 3 in flight, Oct. 24, 2020
- Article: GoFly Teams Prepare to Fly Again, Vertiflite, Nov/Dec 2020
- Article: DragonAir Stands Tall, Vertiflite, Nov/Dec 2020