Bird-deterring drones and game consoles inspire the future of flight
TOULOUSE, France, May 13, 2015 /PRNewswire/ —
Student ideas in final race for EUR30,000 Airbus biennial Fly Your Ideas competition prize
A wing-skin that harvests natural vibrations to power in-flight systems, drones that
lead birds to a safe haven “birdport”, and a games console-inspired infra-red system that
detects potential obstacles when taxiing, are among the ideas from university students
shortlisted by Airbus in its Fly Your Ideas contest, with the five finalists now vying for the EUR30,000 jackpot.
These pioneering ideas have already seen off competition from over 500 entries in
Airbus’ biennial global student challenge. Airbus created Fly Your Ideas, in partnership
with UNESCO, to inspire the next generation of innovators by giving them the chance to experience the exciting environment that the aviation industry has to offer.
Diversity is a key driver of innovation and performance and this year’s finalists
represent the most diverse line-up in the competition’s history, comprising of eight
nationalities from nine universities, with a mix of engineering and non-engineering backgrounds and a higher percentage of female students than ever before.
Responding to key issues in aviation, the ideas had to cover one of six challenges
identified by Airbus to provide sustainable future solutions where growth, efficiency and people will be at the heart of a thriving aviation industry.
The five finalist teams [http://www.airbus-fyi.com/article/559 ] – from Brazil, China,
Japan, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom – now travel to Hamburg, Germany, to make
their case for the top prize to Airbus and industry experts on 27th May; the runners-up will share EUR15,000.
In contention are:
‘Good vibrations’ energy-harvesting skin – Team ‘MULTIFUN’, Delft University of Technology, Netherlands
MULTIFUN is all about good vibrations. The team’s idea sees plane wings dressed in a
composite skin that harvests energy from natural vibrations or flex in the wings.
Piezoelectric fibres gather electrical charges from even the smallest movements during
flight, storing the energy generated in battery panels integrated in the fuselage and
using it to power auxiliary in-flight systems, such as lighting and entertainment systems.
This reduces the energy footprint of aircraft during flight and could even replace the entire power source for ground operations.
Drone-guided ‘birdport’- Team ‘BIRDPORT’, The University of Tokyo, Japan
BIRDPORT proposes deploying a flock of drones or UAVs (unmanned aerial vehicles) to
guide birds from airports to a comfortable habitat nearby. The drones use tactics of
separation, alignment and cohesion to manipulate flocks and divert them to Birdport, where
birdsong and decoys are used to create a natural and safe habitat for birds in the area.
The idea is designed to reduce bird strikes to aircraft significantly and to enhance aircraft availability.
Game console-inspired infra-red guidance system – Team AFT-BURNER-REVERSER, Northwestern Polytechnical University, China
AFT-BURNER-REVERSER has applied motion-sensing technology from a games console to an
aircraft guidance system for use when taxiing. The model uses infra-red and visual
information to warn the pilot and ground crew of high-risk obstacles. This is designed to
reduce the turnaround time of aircraft between flights and the cost of damage, saving airlines millions per year.
Faster trolley trash – Team RETROLLEY, University of Sao Paulo, Brazil
RETROLLEY has tackled the issue of reducing waste in-flight and cutting down the time
taken to collect and sort rubbish post-flight, speeding up airline operations particularly
on short-haul carriers. The team’s bespoke trolley is designed to intelligently sort
rubbish and recycling by minimising the volume of foils, paper and plastic and collecting
residual fluid. In doing so, the weight of galley equipment can be reduced by up to 30kg reducing fuel consumption and offering more space in-flight for refreshments.
Wireless and greener ground operations – Team BOLLEBOOS, City University London, UK
BOLLEBOOS has put forward its pioneering WEGO system that picks up energy during
taxiing. Transmitter sections on the ground, located just underneath the aircraft in the tarmac, transfer electrical power inductively to a receiver placed between the
nose-wheels. This provides a sustainable energy source to power ground operations, reducing carbon emissions by half.
Charles Champion, Airbus Executive Vice President Engineering, says: “I congratulate
the five teams for reaching the final of our Fly Your Ideas challenge. The competition as
always has been incredibly tough and they can all be very proud to have got this far. What
their ideas show us is that the next generation can bring fresh thinking to our industry
and help shape the future of flight. That’s what Airbus Fly Your Ideas is all about.”
Flavia Schlegel, Assistant Director-General of the Natural Sciences Sector, UNESCO,
says: “We are proud to partner with Airbus on Fly Your Ideas. With diversity key to
driving innovation, the competition gives students, both male and female, from all
different backgrounds and based all over the world, the opportunity to offer their
individual expertise and to experience the future of the aviation industry. We wish all the finalists good luck in the final round of the competition.”
The winning team will be announced at a ceremony in Hamburg on 27 May.
Fly Your Ideas is part of The Future by Airbus, the aircraft manufacturer’s vision of sustainable air travel in 2050.
More photos & videos: http://www.airbus.com/presscentre
For more details and to view videos of the finalists’ reactions on hearing of their success, visit http://www.airbus-fyi.com
Notes to Editors
Airbus Fly Your Ideas is a biennial global competition, organized in partnership with
UNESCO, which challenges students to innovate for the future of aviation. Taking part is a
unique opportunity for students to put their classroom learning and research to the test,
by working with a team of Airbus professionals on the real-world challenges facing the
aviation industry. It offers students a chance to apply their creativity in an exceptional
learning environment that will equip them in a highly competitive job market. Students can
chose from six subjects: Efficiency, Passenger Experience, Energy, Affordable Growth, Traffic Growth, Community Friendliness.
CONTACT: Contacts for the media: Sara Ricci +33-562117613