Five student teams from Australia, China, France, Nigeria and the United Kingdom will compete in the final round of the fifth edition of Airbus’ Fly Your Ideas global challenge, organised in partnership with UNESCO. The radical concepts selected cover a wide range of innovations going from an alternative to satellite imagery, to improved aircraft taxiing, clever ways of boarding, new areas for luggage storage or offering a new business model using existing Airbus aircraft.
Representing nine different nationalities and eight universities across Africa, Europe and Asia-Pacific, the five finalist teams embody true diversity, which is a key driver of innovation and performance. The students, competing for a €30,000 prize, also demonstrate a wide variety of disciplines from Natural Sciences to Engineering and Business.
Their inventive ideas, which were selected from over 350 entries, had to answer one of five challenges identified by Airbus to provide sustainable future solutions. The innovations proposed by the five finalist teams look at alternative business models, passengers’ experience and flight operations.
The five finalist teams will soon travel to Toulouse, France, where they will spend a week at the Airbus ProtoSpace facility to prototype, test and visualise their ideas using state-of-the-art equipment with personal guidance from Airbus. At the end of their week at Airbus, the students will present their innovative projects and the newly developed prototype in front of Airbus and UNESCO experts and personalities from the aerospace and academic world. The competition offers a unique opportunity for students worldwide, working in diverse teams of 3-5 members, to develop valuable skills, including teamwork, project management, communications and presentation, and to get involved in engineering.
The ideas competing for the final prize are:
Airborne Earth Observation - Team SkyVision
University of Surrey, UK
A radical concept that turns a commercial airliner into an ‘Earth Observation Device’ by installing equipment into the belly of the aircraft to monitor ground activity during flight. An alternative to satellite imagery, it opens up new opportunities such as ecology analysis and urban planning.
Improving Airport Taxi Flow and Efficiency - Team Nevada
Obafemi Awolowo University, Nigeria
An airport taxiing system that uses sensors and algorithms for automated Ground Traffic Control, both in the tower and on the aircraft, to significantly improve aircraft traffic at airports and thus reduce emissions.
Compact Luggage Strategy Mobile App - Team PassEx
Institut d’Administration des Entreprises – IAE Toulouse, France
A revolutionary boarding system that uses a real-time mobile app to assign boarding status to passengers according to their luggage size. The Compact Luggage Strategy (CLS) addresses current storage issues in over-head compartments by distributing passengers across the aircraft according to the size of their baggage.
Private Stowage Compartment - Team DAELead
University of Hong Kong, China
A clever aircraft cabin design that locates a Private Stowage Compartment (PSC) underneath passengers’ feet, utilizing the space between the cabin floor and the cargo ceiling.
A400M Aerial Firefighting Platform - Team Aquarius
Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, Australia
A fire-fighting solution that incorporates modular systems using pressurized fire retardant containers fixed to fast-loadable pallets for a network of Airbus A400M aircraft, to create a system of aerial firefighting platforms that can be used for rapid wildfire suppression.
- Rovani Sigamoney
Assistant Programme Specialist, UNESCO
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