An entry from the University of the Free State has progressed to Round 2 of Airbus’ “Fly Your Ideas” international competition.
The global plane-maker launched the competition on 14 October to challenge student teams worldwide “to come up with innovative ideas to shape the future of aviation and to develop eco-efficient ideas to bring further enhancements to our industry.”
Three South African entries qualified for Round 1 of the competition, but only the Free state entry qualified for Round 2.
Airbus say the competition “has seen an overwhelming response with over 2350 students registering to take part”, and 225 teams from 130 universities completing Round 1.
86 team proposals were selected to go through to Round 2.
“The proposals look at a wide range of topics including new materials, products and/or processes as well as aircraft performance, design, manufacturing and organisational and operational performance. Details about the successful teams and their proposals will be posted on line on the “Fly Your Ideas” website after Round 2 begins on 1 January.”
The next stage will involve Airbus employees working with the selected teams to further develop their proposals.
Airbus executive vice president engineering and patron of the “Fly Your Ideas” competition, Patrick Gavin says the company is delighted with the response “that we have received from the supporting universities and all the participating students.
“This confirms that, wherever you are in the world, the innovation that is at the heart of our industry can inspire the best in creative thinking,” he says.
“It also underlines the sincere interest that exists to tackle environmental issues within the younger generation. [The] ‘Fly Your Ideas` challenge provides a rare opportunity for students to influence the future of sustainable aviation. The quality of the proposals has been exceptionally high and we are looking forward to working closely with the successful teams to further develop their innovative ideas”.
The teams will now advance through further different competitive and challenging rounds, concluding with a live final at the Paris Air Show Le Bourget in June 2009. At stake is €30,000 for the team whose idea demonstrates the greatest potential for eco-efficiency improvement.