News & Events to Inspire STEAM Education

Joe Caravella Jr. at the 2nd Annual Fly Your Ride Competition | SD Air & Space Museum

Joe Caravella Jr. at the 2nd Annual Fly Your Ride Competition | SD Air & Space Museum

Apr 22, 2014

The San Diego Air & Space Museum held the Fly Your Ride!” finals competition for students in middle school and high school teams from all over San Diego County. Teams design and build “flying cars” to compete and test launch them over a ramp that is 6 ft 1/2 inch tall by 2 ft and 9 inches wide and 6 ft long to see which team can clear the largest gap.

Joe Caravella Jr., founder of Caravella Aerospace is currently working on a ‘flying car’ roadable aircraft called the Caravellair. He was one of the judges for this year’s 2nd annual competition and last year’s inaugural “Fly Your Ride” competition. Joe has been involved with the rocket industry and project engineering. He is providing leadership experience by taking teams and hardware from concept-to-demonstration. His passion for aviation inspired him to found Caravella Aerospace with the distinct goal of developing an affordable roadable aircraft. QGITS met up with Joe at the Fly Your Ride competition at the San Diego Air & Space Museum and a had chance to chat with him after the event.


QGITS: How did the Caravella Aerospace become a supporter of the fly your ride competition?

Joe Caravella Jr: We reached out to the San Diego Air & Space Museum when he heard about the inaugural “Fly Your Ride” competition last year. We decided that we would love to support them and they were generous enough to offer an opportunity for us to publicize what we were doing. So last year I was a judge and we actually drove the prototype Caravellair down and displayed it during the competition. It was a very synergistic approach when we were working with the kids and keeping them engaged in math and science. That carried forward to this year when they asked me again to be a judge with a little bit of extra activity involvement. The teams were welcomed to reach out through the museum to the panel of judges of which I was one of four this year and we were able to provide some insight and advice during the building and testing phases of their vehicles.

In photo: Joe Caravella along with three other judges awarded teams with prizes for not only the vehicle that can reach the furthest gap but also most creative design and idea.

QGITS: Will the Caravellair be on display next year?

Joe Caravella Jr: We are looking forward to next year’s “Fly Your Ride” competition and hope to bring the prototype Caravellair down here and put it on display again. This year we were unable to do that because we are working on connecting the propeller to the motorcycle engine. The vehicle is in a state of dis-assembly so we can reassemble it to it’s next stage of development.

In photo: The competition begins with teams having their vehicles go down the ramp to jump the widest distance. Click Here for more details about the competition.

QGITS: What’s new with the CaraVellair flying car roadable aircraft?

Joe Caravella Jr: There are two parts: the first part is that last year we spent doing a little bit of a PR campaign driving the roadable aircraft prototype around to show the public what a folded up airplane will look like when it drives next to them on the highway and street..following that we started working heavily on the engineering and design of the mechanisms and the parts that will connect the motorcycle engine to the propeller. We are now in the process of manufacturing and installing those parts. We hope to get that concluded by the end of summer 2014 and we are looking forward to accelerating the development of the Caravellair and testing the propeller drive system. That will be our first time we spin the propeller using the motorcycle engine.

In photo: Ben Dinklage 2nd place winner for distance with judges Joe Caravella Jr., founder of Caravella Aerospace; Brooks Pauly, Chemical and Civil Engineer; Taylor Olson, Education and Volunteer Coordinator at the San Diego Model Railroad Museum; Chuck Niskey, Manager of the San Diego Wind Tunnel. View more photos here of the event.

Thank you Joe for catching up with QGITS at the “Fly Your Ride” competition at the San Diego Air & Space Museum and we look forward to see what’s next for Caravellair.

Caravella Aerospace


For more information about the Caravellair flying car roadable aircraft please visit:

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