Two African teams in second round of Airbus challenge


Two African teams have made it to the second round of the Airbus Fly Your Ideas Challenge, an initiative by the aircraft manufacturer for students worldwide to become part of its vision for sustainable aviation.

The five-man Stormhawks team from the University of the Witwatersrand’s submission for an aircraft control system to replace fly-by-wire technology with a visible light communication system has been given the nod by the judges to go through to round two.

Team members are Pitso Mangoro, Muhammed Dangor, Sambharthan Cooppan, Tshireletso Mango and Ashar Cassim.

The A.B.E. team from the University of Nairobi’s entry involves the use of engineering bamboo. This is incorporated in a honeycomb structure and embedded thermal acoustic foam as a replacement for non-recyclable materials used for manufacturing aircraft cabin items. The team behind this concept is Marian Muthui, Tony Mugita, Alex Njira and S. Karl Heinz Tondo.

The African teams are among more than 350, representing about 1 400 students, who submitted entries in the third iteration of the challenge.

In addition to a first prize of 30 000 euros (about R333 000) the winning team will gain the insights and experience of an Airbus mentor to support the overall direction of their project.
“This is an opportunity to gain valuable insight into an industry supporting over 56 million jobs worldwide and responsible for more than US$2 trillion in global Gross Domestic Product,” Charles Champion, Airbus vice president engineering and Fly Your Ideas patron.