Boeing, the company that brought you jets and the madcap '60s farce Boeing Boeing, is now determined to make jetpacks and hover cars a reality. Last September, the company sponsored “GoFly,” a personal flying machine design contest open to teams around the world, and on Thursday, ten Phase I winners were chosen.
These designs, among others, will be brought to life and flown by real human people as part of the second stage of the competition, which takes place in late 2019. While all of this innovation and creativity is certainly cool and all, it’s also a tad terrifying.
Some Phase I winners were designed with rider safety in mind; others appear that they are really trying to kill you. So, in the spirit of American innovation and should you find yourself on deck to be a Phase II tester with your choice of flying device, The Outline will now helpfully rank GoFly’s 10 Phase I winners by how likely they are to murder you.
Death potential: 1
With its many protective grates over the blades and a clearly-defined seating ara, the FlyKart 2 seems safe as hell. Crashes are probably the only thing that’d take you down in one of these.
Death potential: 2
I honestly have no idea what this upside-down helicopter is or how a person is supposed to use it, and being surrounded by blades that appear meant to support you in the air seems like a potentially harrowing experience. But it has grates covering the propellers, which warrants an A+ in my book.
Death potential: 3
It seems rather unlikely that this large flying Dr. Roboto egg machine will kill the strange yellow egg person contained within, given that the propellor blades are located at the bottom. Though since they’re exposed, they could possibly kill a passerby.
Death potential: 4
The Tetra 3 is stylish and pretty chill looking. Though the blades of the rotors are exposed, it seems somewhat unlikely you’d end up getting killed by them so long as you stay in the seat.
Death potential: 5
The Aviabike combines all of the deathly properties of the motorcycle with the terror of the open sky. None of the 16 turbines appear to have any sort of protective grate, making the Aviabike ripe for Incredibles-style cape misadventures and general maiming, however their relatively small size means you would be more likely to lose a finger or appendage than your life.
Death potential: 6
The rotor blades here are somewhat exposed, and located near where I’d assume your feet are supposed to go. Unless you’re really great at strategically dismounting an air bike (or whatever this is), or you have the time to wait for the blades to stop completely, death seems like a legitimate possibility!
Death potential: 7
It’s hard to decide which one seems more terrifying, the giant unexposed propellor blades, or what appears to be a total lack of safety features designed to tether you to this flying metal death box!
Death potential: 8
Its creators describe the S1 thus: “This device is a canard-wing configuration around a person in motorcycle-like orientation powered by two electric motors with ducted rotors. The aircraft makes a 90 degree transition from vertical take-off to horizontal cruise flight.”
Now imagine being flanked on either side by turbines located approximately two inches behind you while the S1 transitions from vertical take-off to a horizontal cruise flight. Keep in mind that you’re only attached to this thing by your upper arm strength.
Death potential: 9
While the Pegasus wins points for not being an airbike, its exposed propellers are are perfectly situated for maximum death (RIP anyone who even thinks about extending their arms or moving slightly backwards).
Death potential: 10
Okay, it’s very pretty and sleek, but the giant exposed turbine blades are surrounding the rider’s legs, pointed directly at them like spears. Death city, baby. (Though the “NO STEP” warning was a nice touch.)