Fly your ideas

Environmental Technology

Today, we have finally found out the winner of Airbus’ ‘Fly Your Ideas’ competition. If you haven’t heard of it before, Fly Your Ideas is a biennial competition run by aircraft manufacturing giant, Airbus, which has been running since 2009. Teams of students are challenged to think up new and innovative ideas aimed at creating the future of aviation. The competition is supported by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and comes with the chance of winning €30,000 and a week backstage at Airbus.

This year, Airbus received more than 500 entries from applicants all over the world for round one, which were subsequently whittled down to the final five teams. All of the five projects that made it to the final round were certainly deserving of their places.

Among the finalists was team Bolleboos from City University London, who put forward their idea for a wireless power transfer to be used during taxiing, which would cut out the emissions created from using jet fuel on the ground.

Another team from Delft University of Technology also entered a project based around energy conservation called ‘good vibrations’, an energy harvesting skin for wings which harnesses natural vibrations to create electricity for in-flight systems. A more ‘out there’, but practical, idea was entered by a team from the University of Tokyo, which would see drones used to divert flocks of birds from airports and guide them to a more suitable location elsewhere, cutting down on those inconvenient bird strikes.

Addressing the issue of cabin waste was team Retrolly, from the University of São Paulo. They have designed a new type of cabin trolley, which enables flight crews to sort waste and recyclable material more efficiently, reducing the weight of galley equipment.

The last of the finalists was  Northwestern Polytechnical University in China, who came up with an infra-red guidance system for use during taxiing, which was based on games console motion detecting technology. This system flags up obstacles to pilots, reducing the time needed between flights.

All of these entries are great ideas, and, incidentally, are all inventive ways of cutting down on emissions. Still, we agree that in the end, the team from Delft University of Technology’s ‘good vibrations’ was a worthy winner. Congratulations to team Multifun!