Since January 2018, a team of more than 30 students at Ryerson Univeristy have been working to make an electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) aircraft to compete in Boeing’s GoFly Prize contest worth $2,000,000.00 USD.
It has been reported that Lior Saprikin, at the time, a third-year aerospace engineering student, saw a post about the GoFly Prize contest and talked with a few of his friends to see if they would want to take the next few years to join Boeing’s contest.
Representing the team at Ryerson include undergraduate and graduate students from the Faculty of Engineering and Architectural Science (FEAS), Faculty of Communication and Design (FCAD), Faculty of Science and the Ted Rogers School of Management and more.
The team is subdivided into specific smaller teams to handle each major aspect of the aircraft, including the main aircraft structure, propulsion, power source, user experience, guidance/navigation/control, outreach, and business planning.
The aircraft holds one person, can travel 20 minutes on one charge, is a small compact aircraft, is quiet and is specifically focused on safety and the experience of the user, including music selection and comfortable ergonomic seating. The instrument panel is an easy to read and use intuitive flat screen with all information for point to point UAM flying and to track status of aircraft and make course corrections, if needed.
The team has created a sub-scale prototype and is now working on a full scale prototype.
- Aircraft type: eVTOL
- Capacity: 1 person
- Piloting: Semi-autonomous
- Propellers: 12
- Electic motors: 12
- Power source: Batteries
- Instrument panel: Easy to read and use and intuitive flat screen instrument panel with all data needed for UAM flying.
- Canopy: Panoramic window with forward, left and right and top visibility for spectacular views for the passenger.
- Landing gear: Skid type landing gear
- Safety features: Distributed Electric Propulsion (DEP), provides safety through redundancy for its passengers and/or cargo. DEP means having multiple propellers and motors on the aircraft so if one or more motors/propellers fail, the other working motors/propellers can safely land the aircraft.
- Ryerson University Helium website
- Ryerson University Helium Facebook
- Ryerson University Helium Twitter
- Article: GoFly Enters Phase II, Vertiflite, July/August 2018
- Article: GoFly Hits 40, evtol.news, Feb. 6, 2019
- Article: The sky’s the limit for this interdisciplinary team of 30+ students building a flying car, Ryerson University, Mar. 5, 2019
- Article: The Sky Is[n’t] The Limite: Team Of Rye Students Building Flying Car, The Eyeopener, Mar. 26, 2019
- Article: AHS Supports GoFly!, Vertiflite, Nov/Dec 2017
- Article: Flying Solo: GoFly Advances Single-Passenger Air Mobility Solutions, Vertiflite, May/June 2019
- Article: GoFly Inspires Innovation, Vertiflite, May/June 2020
- Article: GoFly Teams Prepare to Fly Again, Vertiflite, Nov/Dec 2020