Editor’s Note: We’re excited to introduce you to the innovative, bold, and talented individuals competing in GoFly. Our teams come from all over the world, shaped by their diverse backgrounds and unique life experiences. We can’t wait to see what they’ll build, but in the meantime, get to know the people behind the devices.
When Rishav Shrestha, captain of Nepal-based Team Garudeus, was 10 years old his parents took him on a flight to a city in Southern Nepal. The plane was a Twin Otter, and since he was in the first row, he could see the pilots in the cockpit flying the plane. “While everyone was praying as the plane was passing through areas of turbulence, I was watching with gleaming eyes the view from near the cockpit. For the first time, I saw an aerial view of the clouds, then hills & mountains, more clouds, then the plains, and then settlement!”
Needless to say, that experience — coupled with the documentaries on the Wright brothers and the space shuttle program that he’d watch on Discovery – had a profound influence on Rishav. So much so that at a time when many kids his age are dreaming of becoming a professional athlete or an international singing star or just following in the vocational footsteps of their parents, he had already proclaimed that “I want to be a pilot and astronaut” …much to the mockery of many around me!” Of course, life turned to be way different and after a long, circuitous route, “it seems I’m back in aviation”.
Rishav says that he sees tremendous potential, both personally and commercially, in the global challenge to create personal human flyers. Rishav believes GoFly has enabled him to “expedite the creation of a personal air-land vehicle to change urban mobility forever. It’s something I probably would have never done had I just remained a hobbyist. I am so glad GoFly happened!”
He envisions that people will be “happier” going to work or on trips because they will “conveniently fly or drive our vehicle as per need.” He also sees the GoFly Prize as an instigator of new industries, notably ride and fly hail services, along the lines of Uber and Lyft. Rishav predicts that while more people will travel, there will be a decrease in traffic jams on roadways, and law enforcement and civil defense will become faster and safer while rescues and emergency response will be done quicker and smoother.
While being based in Nepal has been difficult for Garudeus to source parts and materials for his flyer, he is confident that being able to fully access GoFly’s technical mentors will be “our way to go forward to solve this.” Participation in GoFly has provided Rishav and Team Garudeus with a way back to their love of aviation. Through all the twists and turns of his life, Rishav has learned some tried-and-true lessons that continue to inspire and propel him forward. “Mistakes make a man perfect,” “Focus, Focus, Focus,” and “Life is hard, plan for it and do things step-by-step” are the best pieces of advice I’ve gotten to date.”
Think you have what it takes to create a personal flyer, win close to $2M, and change the world? There is still time to join the challenge here: https://www.herox.com/GoFly.