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11593The Great AWES FlyOff Nears... (Update)

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  • dave santos
    Feb 17, 2014

      An AWE FlyOff has been proposed for at least a decade, so we are that much closer, with considerable R&D progress and growth since.

      While the US DOE failed to create an open AWE evaluation process (choosing instead to exclusively subsidize Google R&D, with high secrecy), new EU H2020 funding could include an open AWE evaluation component. AWEC Pay-to-Play conference planning consistently avoided planning serious flight sessions that might disruptively reveal merit winners. Perhaps AWEC2014 will do better. None of the many stealth-ventures so far has sought open comparative testing, but a well-capitalized smart-venture might emerge.

      Another option is for open-AWE, to coordinate open competition. The Texas AWE Encampment is an informal start by kPower. All are invited to bring prototypes to fly cheek-to-cheek with others (like Jalbert-Mueller's Aerology Lab SkyBow and NAV markers flying with KiteLab prototypes on an ongoing basis). The Encampment restarts in March, with intensive AWEfest rehearsals planned, so please make plans to join. Ventures can hire extended open AWES testing as well.

      A n ideal AWE FlyOff entails broad participation. Even the GoogleX Makani venture might feel enough high-stakes pressure sign up and risk all in an EU hosted FlyOff. The top academic teams, like TUDelft and KULeuven, would surely show. A crisis for "prestige" players is that a motley pack of garage-starts might well dominate. Despite the causes of inaction, the FlyOff idea will not go away (see note at bottom).

      Some new players are actively drafting rigorous AWE FlyOff protocols for H2020 funding to players like Fraunhofer, and the general AWE R&D world. The actual FlyOff is almost a side-show to the other key validation aspects, like integrated simulations and rigorous scoring matrices. The Forum has exhaustively covered many needed aspects, and data-mining this trove is underway.

      A serious FlyOff process could begin within a year or two and conclude in five. The tiny clique of known AWE skeptics could be satisfied, or forever silenced.

      ======= Flyoff | Define Flyoff at Dictionary.com- dictionary.reference.com/browse/flyoff‎ ========

       1) a competition between aircraft of various manufacturers to establish superior performance,
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