The doers, dreamers, and innovators who are ready to change the way people fly have until June 15 to submit their best ideas for the 2017 Founder’s Innovation Prize competition hosted by the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) and presented by AIRBUS.
The second annual competition again welcomes ideas to counter loss-of-control accidents in amateur-built aircraft. The final entry deadline is June 15. The top five entries will be invited to showcase their innovation at a “Shark Tank”-style public presentation at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, in July. The top innovation will be awarded $25,000, with additional cash prizes for second and third place.
“We already have a number of outstanding entries for this year’s competition, but we want to make sure that potential entrants don’t miss the June 15 deadline,” said Sean Elliott, EAA’s vice president of advocacy and safety. “We have no doubt we will build on the originality, practicality and imagination shown in the competition’s first year in 2016. We encourage individuals, groups and educational institutions to all get involved in our ultimate mission- improving flight safety by reducing loss-of-control accidents.”
The inaugural competition in 2016 drew more than 140 entries covering a wide spectrum of proposed solutions. Ihab Awad of San Jose, California, earned the top prize with his entry named “Airball,” which continually synthesized flight data so a pilot could quickly understand the current flight state of an airplane.
This year’s judging panel is made up of respected aviation experts including former NASA astronaut Charlie Precourt, noted safety investigator Gregory Feith, aerobatic performer Micheal Goulian, test pilot Dave Morss and Van’s aircraft founder Dick VanGrunsven.
“Airbus is dedicated to all forms of innovation throughout the aviation industry,” said Ken McKenzie, senior vice president, strategy and corporate development for Airbus. “This is a driving force behind our ongoing partnership with EAA to bring forward these ideas for members, wherever they might be, to continually improve flight safety.”
The Federal Aviation Administration and National Transportation Safety Board have identified loss-of-control scenarios as the leading causes of general aviation accidents. As part of EAA’s widely praised efforts to improve safety, the Founders’ Innovation Prize was created to encourage ideas from every source that could help reduce such accidents.
Complete entry information and rules are available at EAA.org/prize2017.