Airbus launches Fly Your Ideas student challenge

Executive vice president Engineering at Airbus and FYI 2013 patron Charles Champion ©Airbus S.A.S 2010; Image credit: exm company/H. GOUSSE

Airbus has unveiled the topics for its latest Fly Your Ideas challenge (FYI 2013) at the Going Global international education conference in London, giving students worldwide the chance to help shape the future of flight.

FYI 2013 asks students to develop ideas for the eco-efficient aviation industry of the future, as part of the aircraft manufacturer’s Future by Airbus programme – a vision of sustainable air travel in 2050.

The winners of the competition, which takes place every two years, will share the top prize of €30,000 and the runners-up will claim €15,000.

Proposals must address the key issues facing the industry: “Energy”; “Efficiency”; “Affordable Growth”; “Traffic Growth”; “Passenger Experience”; or “Community Friendliness".

“Solutions will require thinking out of the box,” said Charles Champion, Executive Vice President Engineering at Airbus and FYI 2013 patron.

“At Airbus we work in a world of unobtainiums, solutions for seemingly impossible challenges that shape the way we live – like those that made air travel a reality. We want students to adopt that innovative spirit in FYI 2013.”

In giving students the chance to work on future challenges, Airbus aims to better equip the future global talent pool.

University students of any nationality or discipline – from engineering to marketing, business to science, information technology to design – are invited to apply.

“It is diversity that makes a difference,” Champion added. “FYI 2013 attracts a broad spectrum of talented students and gives them the opportunity to work with us on the challenges we face and the opportunities they hold for aviation in tomorrow’s world.”

The challenge complements the Going Global conference, at which the “future world” and “connected world” are high on the agenda. For the international higher education community in attendance, it is a rare opportunity for students to work with industry and business leaders.

In FYI 2013 students and their academic mentors will have access to both an Airbus mentor to support the overall direction of their project and an Airbus expert in their chosen field.

The launch follows the success of FYI 2011 which drew entries from more than 2,600 students representing 287 universities and 75 countries.

‘Team Wings of Phoenix’ from China’s Nanjing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics won with their ground-based wind power generation system that exploits the wakes of aircraft during take-off and landing.

Xinyuan Zheng, spokesperson for the team, said: “To participate in the 2011 Airbus Fly Your Ideas challenge was a great experience for us and we were very proud to win.”

Team Condor from the Universidad Técnica Federico Santa María in Chile won the runner-up prize of €15,000 for a novel alternative design for aerodynamic speed brakes to recover energy for on-board reuse. All team members have been offered an internship at Airbus.

Spanish team ‘Ecolution’, from the Universidad Pontificia Comillas de Madrid, collected the Best Video prize for the creative way they presented a project on light-weight natural fibre composites in aircraft cargo containers.

To enter, students must register as a team of three to five members at and registration opens in May 2012, with the competition commencing in September.

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