Airbus Encouraging Aviation Innovation with Their Fly Your Ideas Challenge Finalists

The five Airbus finalists.

The five Airbus finalists.

About two months ago I wrote about a pretty cool challenge that Airbus was issuing to student innovators all over the world.  The Fly Your Ideas Challenge asked these students to come up with eco-efficient ideas to help take the aviation industry into the 21st century a little bit cleaner.  The top prize is €30,000 with the runners-up receiving €15,000.

Airbus announced the finalists today that will come to Airbus’ headquarters next month to present their ideas to a group of industry experts with the winners being announced in Paris on June 14th.

The official press release from Airbus gave the following short descriptions of the finalists:

  • Australia – Team CLiMA, Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, for the development of aircraft fueled by a blend of sustainably produced liquefied biomethane and liquefied natural gas (Bio-LNG).
  •  Brazil – Team Levar, University of São Paulo, for a luggage loading and unloading system for airplane cargo compartments to reduce the workload of airport baggage handlers with an air cushion solution inspired by air hockey tables.
  • India – Team AVAS, SRM University, for reduced propulsion noise thanks to jet exhaust shape modification using intelligent materials (shape memory alloys). These alloys are energized by harvested electricity generated by advanced thermoelectric materials using engine heat source.
  • Italy – Team Flybrid, Technical University of Milan, for an electric/turboprop combination for hybrid propulsion in regional aircraft. This system uses batteries pre-charged on ground and not in-flight.
  • Malaysia – Team Embarker, Universiti Putra Malaysia, for a self-sustaining aircraft cabin concept in which the excess body heat from seated passengers is used as an alternative source of energy to power small electronics in the cabin.

The team members include both men and women, students pursuing bachelors, masters, and PhDs, and students from nine different countries.  I love to see such diversity working to make the future of aviation even brighter.  Who knows, maybe one of these ideas will be what we are talking about a decade from now as the newest and best technology in the industry.

All images from the Airbus Press Release.