Building flight-friendly communities

With today's travellers wanting to travel by air more frequently and in greater numbers, our airports are rapidly reaching capacity. Some are investing into expanding their operations to accommodate additional flights and passengers. But for many airports, particularly in high density areas, expansion is not an option.

More flights equals more noise around airports, so increasing the number of flights has a large impact on residents living close to airports. Finding ways to reduce noise is an important challenge for the aviation industry, along with other related issues like reducing local air pollution and traffic congestion.

Building flight-friendly communities

With today's travellers wanting to travel by air more frequently and in greater numbers, our airports are rapidly reaching capacity. Some are investing into expanding their operations to accommodate additional flights and passengers. But for many airports, particularly in high-density areas, expansion is not an option.

More flights equals more noise around airports, so increasing the number of flights would have a large impact on residents living close to airports. Finding ways to reduce noise is an important challenge for the aviation industry, along with other related issues like reducing local air pollution and traffic congestion.

With so many different aspects to consider, the Fly Your Ideas Community Friendliness challenge offers teams a broad scope to develop innovative ideas. For inspiration, consider Airbus' Smarter Skies initiatives, such as Steep Approach, Free Glide Approaches and Landing, Ground Operations and Eco-climb.

Both Steep Approach and Eco-Climb are focused on reducing the need for long runways, designing planes that can ascend more rapidly and at a greater incline, with propulsion technology on the ground assisting them to do this. The former is already being trialled at London City airport with the A318 aircraft, and can now reach cruising altitude more quickly than any other aircraft operating out of the airport. An added bonus is significant noise reduction.

When it comes to helping those airports unable to expand to meet the demands of the future due to limited space or finances, Airbus has been working towards alternative community friendly solutions. For example, looking at ways to shorten runways or increase the speed of take - off can reduce the need for airport expansion yet still mean that the number of daily flights can increase.

In the previous editions of Fly Your Ideas, 2013 finalists Team AVAS put forward the idea of a shape-shifting engine that could help reduce aircraft noise. The materials move and change shape when an electric current is applied to them and could be implemented through a simple engine modification that changes the airflow through the engine. Ultimately this could mean quieter engines and less disturbance for the communities surrounding airports.

Help us integrate sustainable aviation into society by taking on the Fly Your Ideas 2015 challenge!

Top Tips from Airbus Wing Innovations Expert

As teams now look to progress to Round 2, we spoke to past team mentor, Airbus Innovation Expert and ‘Wing Integrator’, Stuart King, on his top tips for how to succeed as the competition begins to hot-up.


Top Tips from Airbus Wing Innovations Expert

As teams now look to progress to Round 2, we spoke to past team mentor, Airbus Innovation Expert and ‘Wing Integrator’, Stuart King, on his top tips for how to succeed as the competition begins to hot-up.

“I have been a mentor for previous Fly Your Ideas teams and absolutely loved being involved in the competition. The last team I mentored focused on the energy challenge and I still remember all the fun and lively debates we had about energy harvesting!

From both a personal and professional point of view, I think it’s really important to maintain a link between industry and the world of academia. Working with students is so refreshing. I always find that everyone who participates in the competition is full of enthusiasm. Often this lack of experience in the professional field removes barriers that we in the industry sometimes create for ourselves, and working with participants can open up avenues for investigation that we have never explored.

With that in mind, my piece of advice for everyone taking part is to maintain an open mind and don’t hold back. Also be prepared to listen to ideas from everyone and don’t write-off anything until you’ve thought it through. You never know what you might uncover once you’ve had the chance to thoroughly investigate even what may seem the most unlikely idea!

The key to developing your ideas as you enter Round 2 is to work closely with your mentor and get as much input from working with them as you can. My role as mentor has been to help steer conversations to encourage teams to take practical considerations into account whilst also advising against lines of enquiry that are unlikely to succeed.

With so much discussion to be had amongst team members, my advice is always to raise any concerns as soon as possible. If you keep frustrations to yourself, this can end in conflict. It’s much better to get everything out in the open as soon as possible – the most successful teams always work closely together and you need contribution from everyone if you are to succeed.

Fly Your Ideas is a brilliant way of gaining practical skills that employers really value. For me, the two most important skills that the competition helps you to develop are communication and teamwork. When it comes to applying for jobs these are “buzz words” that are often used in applications, but in reality are difficult skills to develop before you enter the world of work.

When I am looking at CVs and see that potential employees have participated in initiatives such as Fly Your Ideas it really makes them stand out from the crowd. Not only does the competition allow students to develop practical skills, participation also demonstrates a passion for engineering and technology.

For me, the Airbus Fly Your Ideas competition is challenging (in a good way!), thought-provoking and good fun. I hope it teaches all the great future talent out there about the endless possibilities to be found within aerospace and engineering and show that a potential career in this field is not just about technical know-how, but full of opportunities for creativity.” 

Taking on the Community Friendliness Challenge – Team AVAS

Fly Your Ideas 2013 finalists Team AVAS share their experience of the competition and how it has benefited them both personally and with their studies.


Taking on the Community Friendliness Challenge – Team AVAS


Fly Your Ideas 2013 finalists Team AVAS share their experience of the competition and how it has benefited them both personally and with their studies.

“In tackling the Community Friendliness challenge for Fly Your Ideas 2013, we wanted to revolutionise the fundamental approach toward energy issues in the aviation industry, and provide solutions that would further reduce the industry's impact on the environment.

Aircraft noise has long been recognised as an environmental problem. Noise from planes flying over residential areas impairs people’s ability to work, increases risk of cardiovascular disease and even causes changes in people’s digestive and sleeping patterns. Our idea was designed to help reduce these noise levels and their impact on communities living near airports.

We designed a self-sufficient unit that can convert heat into electricity for power generation from the exhaust gases of aircraft, using advanced thermoelectric materials. It also used memory alloys that could change shape, allowing controlled amounts of fresh air to mix with the exhaust fumes, in order to reduce noise levels.

During Round 1 we focused on brainstorming to come up with creative solutions for the challenges we had identified. In Round 2, we built upon these ideas with intensive research, and were also greatly assisted by the academic and professional mentors who helped bring this idea to reality. In particular, the input from the Airbus experts proved invaluable – by sharing their decades of insight and expertise, they really helped us to refine the idea.

Throughout the competition, we had a lot of tasks to complete within tight time-frames which would have not been possible without close teamwork. Taking part in Fly Your Ideas was also hugely beneficial for our studies. The research we performed throughout the competition made us theoretically stronger across a wide range of subjects. Additionally, since Fly Your Ideas is recognised around the globe as a significant academic and practical achievement, it has boosted our chances of admission to reputed universities. 

Fly Your Ideas is an excellent platform to showcase your ideas and get expert feedback and criticism on your abilities as innovators. It’s not about winning or losing, it’s about innovating to make the world better place, so think outside the box and open the gates to the future of aerospace industry.“


  • And They’re Off! Fly Your Ideas 2015 Is Go!

    Congratulations to everyone who has worked so hard to get their idea ready for Fly Your Ideas 2015!



And They’re Off! Fly Your Ideas 2015 Is Go!

Congratulations to everyone who has worked so hard to get their idea ready for Fly Your Ideas 2015!

Submissions for this edition of the challenge closed at 12 midnight GMT on Monday December 1. Our evaluation teams are now assessing the entries, to see who’s got the ideas to power them to Round 2 and even further in the competition. 

Want to know if your team has passed the first hurdle? Keep an eye on your emails for news and updates. In the week commencing 15 December 2014 we will announce all the teams who are through to the next stage.

In the meantime, you can still feed your passion for innovation and for Fly Your Ideas by joining in the conversation on Let’s Connect. This is where the global Airbus Fly Your Ideas community networks, connects and shares their interest in innovation and the future of aviation.


  • Avoiding traffic jams – keeping the aviation industry growing

    Traffic Growth in aviation is threatening to overwhelm airport and flight capacities, with more passengers wanting to travel than ever before and only limited space to build new airports or expand existing ones.

Avoiding traffic jams – keeping the aviation industry growing

Traffic Growth in aviation is threatening to overwhelm airport and flight capacities with more passengers wanting to travel than ever before and only limited space to build new airports or expand existing ones.

Increasing aircraft speed, decreasing fuel consumption and improving the efficiency of ground operations will all be key in allowing this growth to continue sustainably.

With new generation technology like ELISE (Exact Landing Interference Simulation Environment), Airbus is already leading the way in safer landings for commercial aircraft with its advanced software. Through its Smarter Skies programme, Airbus has also shown that if Air Traffic Management systems were fully optimised today, every flight in the world (estimated at 30 million annually) would be on average 13 minutes shorter. That's 500 hours of excess flight time saved every year.

Other Airbus projects, such as Express Skyways, suggest different methods for cutting flight times and allowing aircraft traffic to increase sustainably. By making technological innovation within aircraft, they would be able to ‘self-organise’, select the most efficient and environmentally friendly routes, and fly in formation, reducing the workload of air traffic controllers and allowing them to manage more flights.

An alternative example of tackling Traffic Growth was suggested by Team Levar, previous Fly Your Ideas finalists. They sought to address this challenge by designing a concept of a luggage transport system that uses air instead of conveyor belts. In addition to aiding ground operations staff and reducing damage to luggage, this also increased the speed at which aircraft could be loaded and unloaded, enabling planes to spend less time on the ground and more time carrying passengers.

For your chance to shape how the aviation industry of the future grows, register your team and submit your Round 1 idea by 23:59 GMT on 1st December 2014, addressing one or more of our 6 Challenges.


Growing the Future of Aviation - Affordably

The aviation industry is growing faster than ever before, as more people around the world are reaching income levels that enable them to fly.

The Affordable Growth challenge addresses this important issue. With the aim of meeting the increasing pressures of a growing passenger market, Airbus is already searching for innovative ways to lower the cost of manufacturing whilst at the same time increasing reliability and efficiency of passenger aircraft.

Growing the Future of Aviation - Affordably

The aviation industry is growing faster than ever before. More people around the world are reaching income levels that enable them to fly. There are new customers, new connections and more flights, and it’s set to continue. In order to ensure this growth remains sustainable (and affordable for travellers) aircraft manufacturers must find more fuel-efficient variants, composite materials and aircraft innovations to help them cut costs whilst providing a better service, and more flights.

The Affordable Growth challenge addresses this important issue. With the aim of meeting the increasing pressures of a growing passenger market, Airbus is already searching for innovative ways to lower the cost of manufacturing whilst at the same time increasing reliability and efficiency of passenger aircraft. Innovations like Bionic Structures, Biopolymer Membranes and Composite Materials are being developed to build lighter, longer lasting aircraft.

Ian Lane, Airbus Composites Expert, emphasises the importance of picking your materials carefully when looking to lower manufacturing and operating costs: “It is very important to understand its damage tolerance and to ensure that it has a high strength-to-weight ratio. With this in mind, pick a material that is light enough, strong and safe enough, and makes economic sense! Innovate!”

For your chance to shape the aviation industry of the future, register your team and submit your idea by 12:00 GMT on 1 December 2014, addressing one or more of our 6 Challenges.


Ask the Experts: Making Your Entry Fly

To help offer you and your team some extra inspiration, we’ve got the top tips from two of Airbus’ Fly Your Ideas assessors on what they’re looking for, and how teams can get the most out of the competition…

Get the inside line from Mary Frost, Senior Expert, Fuel & Inerting Systems and Fly Your Ideas assessor since 2009, and Denis Descheemaeker, Systems Design Office and another Fly Your Ideas assessor, on what makes a stand-out entry.

Ask the Experts: Making Your Entry Fly

To help offer you and your team some extra inspiration, we’ve got the top tips from two of Airbus’ Fly Your Ideas assessors on what they’re looking for, and how teams can get the most out of the competition…

Understand the problem before you offer a solution

Mary Frost, Senior Expert, Fuel & Inerting Systems and Fly Your Ideas assessor since 2009 gives her thoughts on what to think about when developing your ideas: "Students should focus on how innovative their idea is, and what problem it is addressing. They need to try to understand what the real issues are with the operation of an aircraft and where a novel idea can provide a good solution.”

Innovation inspiration

Denis Descheemaeker, Systems Design Office, and Fly Your Ideas assessor, offers his thoughts on how to innovate: "Students should try to develop innovative ideas, think out of the box, and make it simple - as well as be aware of the current state of the art, and research perspectives. Often the best way of innovating is by taking inspiration from systems that already work. I would encourage participants to find ways to make a new technology adaptable to an aircraft - or to adapt current technology in a smarter way. Importantly, they also need to take into consideration the usual aeronautical constraints (safety, certification, airport, etc.).”

Mary also warns against copying existing concepts: "Don't just copy existing ideas which can be found from internet research. Entrants should also not provide a marketing proposal to sell an existing idea, product or service, no matter how appropriate they feel it might be to the competition.”

Keeping it simple

Whilst Fly Your Ideas offers a perfect forum for blue sky thinking, experts emphasise that entrants must remain in touch with the practical application of their ideas.

Denis says: "Students should be careful not to propose ideas that are too 'science fiction'. They should try to be specific in their ideas and use simple sentences, simple words, in every-day English. Be original, be curious, simple, challenging, be clear.”

For your chance to shape the aviation industry of the future, register your team and submit your idea by 12:00 midnight GMT on 1 December 2014, addressing one or more of our 6 Challenges.


  • Live Twitter chat at 2pm GMT today!

    With just a few days to go until the deadline to enter a team and submit your idea for Fly Your Ideas 2015, here’s a great chance to boost your chances of success. Join us on Airbus official Twitter channel today (25 November) at 2pm GMT for a live Q&A with Airbus Senior Engineering Expert Ian Lane. 

Live Twitter chat at 2pm GMT today!

With just a few days to go* until the deadline to enter a team and submit your idea for Fly Your Ideas 2015, here’s a great chance to boost your chances of success.  Join us on Airbus official Twitter channel today (25 November) at 2pm GMT for a live Q&A with Airbus Senior Engineering Expert Ian Lane. He’ll be answering your questions about how the assessment process works, as well as about his role at Airbus. Submit your questions now, and don’t forget to use the hashtag #FlyYourIdeas2015.

*12noon GMT on 1 December


“The Best Experience of Our Lives!”

Biswajit Dey was Team Leader of Bhardwaja Corona in Fly Your Ideas 2013. Their idea addressed the ‘Affordable Growth’ challenge by designing a prototype for the world’s lightest aircraft seat, with natural composite of bamboo, banana, jute and a modified epoxy resin air cushioning system. Here’s his account of how the competition helped with career choices, personal development and new skills.


“The Best Experience of Our Lives!”

Biswajit Dey was Team Leader of Bhardwaja Corona in Fly Your Ideas 2013. Their idea addressed the ‘Affordable Growth’ challenge by designing a prototype for the world’s lightest aircraft seat, with natural composite of bamboo, banana, jute and a modified epoxy resin air cushioning system. Here’s his account of how the competition helped with career choices, personal development and new skills:

“Airbus Fly Your Ideas was one of the best experiences of my and my teammate’s lives. We not only developed our technical knowledge, but also learned a lot about how to work in a team, and how to face challenging situations confidently.

The biggest challenge was completing the project within the deadline, as it involved sourcing quality composite materials from all over India, then manufacturing and testing the parts in a lab. One side benefit was that we got to travel all around our beautiful country, often to rural areas! We then had to continuously make design changes to the chair structure, as well as finding suppliers from China for our cushioning material.

Our Airbus mentor – Tobias Mayer from Airbus Germany – was fantastic! He motivated us, offered creative help and was extremely supportive. Although we made it through to Round 2, we didn’t get as far as Round 3, but Tobias still encouraged us to use the feedback from the Round 2 assessors to continue to develop and improve our idea.

Airbus Fly Your Ideas gave us an international platform to gain, share and implement our knowledge. Our team worked together as a unit with a single goal, and we supported each other. It was an opportunity to interact with people of different fields and learn from their experience. And it made us aware of our potential! The challenge provided us with an environment to develop both personally and professionally.

Since taking part, we have started our own research organization where we undertake aviation related research and conduct UAV design and fabrication workshops for schools, colleges and engineering students to make them aware of the exciting aviation world. This year we have guided and encouraged many energetic engineering students to take part in Airbus Fly Your Ideas 2015.”


  • UNESCO – AIRBUS FLY YOUR IDEAS PARTNERSHIP

    The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (­UNESCO) ­ is the only international organisation with a specific mandate for science and engineering. 

UNESCO - Airbus Fly Your Ideas Partnership

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (­UNESCO) ­ is the only international organisation with a specific mandate for science and engineering. Sharing Airbus’ ambition to inspire young people about sustainable innovation and engineering, UNESCO granted patronage to Fly Your Ideas in 2012.

Building on that collaboration, we're delighted to announce that UNESCO have renewed the partnership with Airbus Fly Your Ideas for the 2015 edition of this global student challenge. This is an exciting new development, extending our reach and sharing our vision about how to meet the challenges of the future of aviation with the global UNESCO network. It’s also an opportunity to promote the need for more diversity among the global population of engineers, to better reflect the communities we serve and attract talented young people from all profiles and backgrounds into the industry.

"The diversity of these students’ ideas is an inspiration. They remind us of the need to train more engineers to develop the skills needed to put science into practice”, said Irina Bokova, Director-General of UNESCO, reflecting on the wealth of ideas submitted from over 11 000 students in 100 countries for previous editions of Fly Your Ideas. 

Remember that you need to register your team by 12:00 noon GMT on December 1 2014 and submit your Round 1 idea by12:00 midnight GMT on December 1 2014!


NEWS FLASH – NEW REGISTRATION DEADLINE

We’re pleased to announce that we have extended the deadline for registering teams for Fly Your Ideas 2015. You can now register a team until 12:00 noon GMT on 1 December 2014, so you’ve got an extra week to get your team together and make your proposal as good as possible.

NEWS FLASH – NEW REGISTRATION DEADLINE

We’re pleased to announce that we have extended the deadline for registering teams for Fly Your Ideas 2015. You can now register a team until 12:00 noon GMT on 1 December 2014, so you’ve got an extra week to get your team together and make your proposal as good as possible.

Your team must be made of 3 to 5 students, of any discipline and from any country. You could even get together with team members from another university on LetsConnect, the Fly Your Ideas community hub where you can network, connect and share your experiences of Fly Your Ideas with others.

There are great tips to help you develop your idea right here on the site. In previous news stories, you’ll find insider advice from Fly Your Ideas alumni as well as from Airbus employees.

The deadline for entering your Round 1 idea is now 12:00 MIDNIGHT GMT on 1 December 2014. There are just 5 short questions to answer to explain your idea, but you can’t access the online questionnaire until fully registered, so make sure you allow enough time to register your team before entering your Round 1 submission!

  • Top tips from Airbus Cabin Innovation Expert

    Nicolas Tschechne is part of the Trend Research & Market Intelligence team, Cabin Innovation & Concepts at Airbus. Here’s his insight into how students should tackle their entries for Fly Your Ideas 2015.

Top tips from Airbus Cabin Innovation Expert

Nicolas Tschechne is part of the Trend Research & Market Intelligence team, Cabin Innovation & Concepts at Airbus. Here’s his insight into how students should tackle their entries for Fly Your Ideas 2015.

“I have been involved with the Airbus Fly Your Ideas competition for a number of years, firstly as a team mentor and then as a member of the Fly Your Ideas Jury in 2013.

For me, and for everyone at Airbus, the competition is extremely inspiring. It’s fantastic for us to see a broad spectrum of ideas and new ways of thinking. I am also always inspired by the team spirit shown by everyone who takes part, which really is a key element of successful innovation.

With the Round 1 deadline just around the corner, my advice for students is to stay really focused and keep things simple. When preparing your submission, the first thing you must do is focus on the need or challenge that needs to be addressed. Make sure you keep focused on one need, rather than try to solve multiple challenges at once. The best entries I have seen have been focused and taken a practical approach.

At Airbus we follow the NABC process for innovation:

Need: What is the need to the current or future market?

Approach: What approach will we take to tackle this need?

Benefit: Identify and quantify the benefits to addressing this challenge.

Challenge: Show how the status quo can be challenged to find innovative solutions.

Once you have considered these areas, keep things simple and prepare a one-page document that really sets out your thinking.

When you move on to Round 2 of the competition, it’s all about refining your approach. This is when I see students really come into their own and get a huge amount out of the competition. The competition is truly global and it’s inspiring to work in such an international context. Teams learn important skills for future careers (and life!) including time management and team work, as well as working closely with Airbus experts and learning practical skills about the work environment.

Being involved in Fly Your Ideas is something I really enjoy about my job and I look forward to seeing all the new ideas from this year’s entries.”

Registrations and Round 1 submissions are still open, so make sure you register now at http://www.airbus-fyi.com, and check out the 6 Challenges.


The Passenger’s View of the Future of Flight

Passenger growth from around the world means that there is an increasingly socially, culturally, and ethnically diverse pool of customers, each with unique needs.Addressing the Passenger Experience challenge in this growing and changing market is one of the most significant factors that we must address when it comes to innovation for future flight.

The Passenger’s View of the Future of Flight

Passenger growth from around the world means that there is an increasingly socially, culturally, and ethnically diverse pool of customers, each with unique needs.Addressing the Passenger Experience challenge in this growing and changing market is one of the most significant factors that we must address when it comes to innovation for future flight.

A passenger’s flying experience is shaped by a range of factors: from the time taken to check-in, to the quality of on-board entertainment and comfort. Whilst on-board travel is only one part of a passenger’s journey, there are endless potential innovations which may revolutionise the in-flight experience.

Based on extensive research, the Airbus Concept Cabin, illustrates what the future of flight might look like by 2050 from a passenger perspective and provides a host of inspiration for on-board innovation.

This vision of the future cabin is inspired by nature, and designed to protect it, with aircraft cabins customised to individual passengers. The opportunities for innovation are endless..

The envisioned Concept Cabin is made with a bionic structure and membrane, offering strength, light and space with panoramic views of the outside world. Seats are organically grown and sense a passenger’s needs and adapt for the perfect fit, offering massages or even a drink! When it comes to on-board entertainment, the Concept Cabin offers a holiday experience in itself, with technology and virtual reality like shopping and gaming.

For more inspiration in addressing the future Passenger Experience, take inspiration from the Concept Cabin, created by Airbus engineers as part of Airbus’ The Future by Airbus programme. Previous Fly Your Ideas teams that have tackled this challenge include 2013’s Team AVAS, who used intelligent materials of shape memory alloys to reduce propulsion noise through jet exhaust shape modification. Within this idea, the alloys are energized by harvested electricity generated by advanced thermoelectric materials using the engine as a source of heat.

For your chance to create ideas that can shape the aviation industry of the future, you have just 3 weeks to put your team together for Airbus Fly Your Ideas 2015. Register your team and submit your Round 1 idea, addressing one or more of our 6 Challenges by 12:00 GMT on December 1st.


Fly Your Ideas: From the classroom to the real world

Mohd Shazwan from the International Islamic University Malaysia was the team leader of Team Peregrine Falcon who made it through Round 2 in Fly Your Ideas 2013.

Mohd describes what his team learned from an industry visit, and how he gained new skills as the team leader.


Fly Your Ideas: From the classroom to the real world

Fly Your Ideas: From the classroom to the real world

Mohd Shazwan from the International Islamic University Malaysia was the team leader of Team Peregrine Falcon who made it through Round 2 in Fly Your Ideas 2013. Mohd describes what his team learned from an industry visit, and how he gained new skills as the team leader.

“Our idea addressed the Community Friendliness challenge by incorporating green technology to power an aircraft. We realised that the most aircraft already have a Ram Air Turbine (RAT) - so why not we use it to generate the energy to power the electric taxiing system? 

But it’s not easy to store the electrical energy harvested by the RAT during flight, and it creates extra drag when deployed. There were a lot of real-world challenges in moving from the idea to the reality. 

We needed more insight and expertise, and we were very lucky to visit the Malaysia Airlines hanger facilities, where their Licensed Aircraft Engineer (LAE) discussed the project and gave us some useful pointers. As students with no industry experience, we weren’t really aware of the constraint and reality behind the theoretical education of the classroom. Our contact with Malaysia Airlines and the Airbus Experts and Mentors gave us a realistic idea of how we should pursue our project.

Being a leader of 4 other students showed me that everyone has their own capabilities and skills. I had not considered myself as a leader, but they voted for me and I learnt a lot of leadership skills from the experience, including assigning the same workload to everyone and ensuring that it gets done in good time. I also increased my interpersonal and public relation skills, through managing a team.

Now I’m studying at the Imperial College, London, for an MSc in Advanced Aeronautical Engineering. I’m particularly interested in the course on Emerging Technologies for Green Aviation, a whole area that Fly Your Ideas opened up to me, as I now know how important Airbus considers sustainability to be, in terms of the future of aviation. Who knows – maybe I’ll end up working at Airbus one day! 

My advice to students is, do join this competition as it is a great way to expand your knowledge of the real aviation industry. This is the chance to relate the theoretical to the practical side of what you learn in class.

Just do it!”

Improving Efficiency

With more and more people looking to fly than ever before, the Efficiency Challenge is one of the most important issues facing engineers today and in the coming years. Solutions for future flight must meet passenger and market demands, ensuring that flights are affordable for passengers, profitable for airlines and respectful of the environment.

Improving efficiency means finding ways of streamlining all aspects of an aircraft’s operation. From the choice of fuel to improving ground operations, even small changes can make a big impact year-on-year in the global aviation industry.

Cutting the cost of air travel for a more sustainable future: Improving Efficiency

With more and more people looking to fly than ever before, the Efficiency Challenge is one of the most important issues facing engineers today and in the coming years. Solutions for future flight must meet passenger and market demands, ensuring that flights are affordable for passengers, profitable for airlines and respectful of the environment.

Improving efficiency means finding ways of streamlining all aspects of an aircraft’s operation. From the choice of fuel to improving ground operations, even small changes can make a big impact year-on-year in the global aviation industry.

In June 2012, in a joint effort with Air Canada, Airbus carried out the first ever North American ‘perfect flight’ as part of its programme to improve efficiency. This activity utilised an A319 flying from Toronto to Mexico City, with the aircraft powered by a 50% sustainable aviation fuel blend made with used cooking oil, as well as having further enhancements to its Air Traffic Management (ATM) procedures and other systems.

Whilst this was a significant step in the right direction, there are endless opportunities for improvement. Last year’s Fly Your Ideas finalists Team Levar focused on improving the efficiency of ground operations, designing a prototype for an air-powered baggage conveyor system, assisting baggage handlers and speeding up the loading and unloading processes.

Even minor improvements such as these have the potential to save thousands of flying hours, cut carbon emissions significantly and ultimately allow airlines to meet the demand of an ever increasing number of air passengers.

The Fly Your Ideas challenge is your chance to make a real difference in this area and calls on students from around the world to find ways of improving efficiency in the aviation industry. You have just 4 weeks to put your team together and submit your entry for Fly Your Ideas 2015.

Register your team and submit your Round 1 idea, addressing one or more of our 6 challenges by 12:00GMT on December 1st.


  • Team Levar perspective on Fly Your Ideas

    Here last year’s winners, Team Levar tell us about their experiences with the Fly Your Ideas challenges.

Team Levar perspective on Fly Your Ideas

Here last year’s winners, Team Levar tell us about their experiences with the Fly Your Ideas challenges.

“We found out about the Fly Your Ideas challenge through a friend. As design students, being exposed to a new industry perspective was a real opportunity for us and what interested us most about the competition was the unique opportunity to have mentors from Airbus who would support with the technical aspects of our project’s development.

Our idea, “Levar”, was aimed at improving efficiency of luggage handling on board aircrafts. The product uses the principles of air hockey with the cargo hold retro-fitted with super-light sliding sections to enable workers to quickly, easily and safely load and unload luggage. The product is made up of inclined surfaces created by the inflation of air cushions which allow the luggage to move easily with a constant flow of pressurized air. The worker needs just to organise the luggage on the product platform, give it a light push with the shield provided – and gravity does the rest!

Our project primarily addressed the Traffic Growth Challenge, since the main commercial advantage of Levar is that it reduces ground time of aeroplanes. However, as you will find through your own project developments, our idea also fitted other Challenges, including Efficiency and Passenger Experience. Interestingly, one of the things that passengers say affects their experience the most, is the time they have to wait to collect their luggage. Although we started by thinking about Traffic Growth, it was really fascinating to discover how much one idea touched on all the key aviation challenges.

For everyone entering the Fly Your Ideas challenge, our advice would be to spend as much time as possible carefully researching the ‘problem’. Once you have identified a specific area, make sure that you consider these problems from all different angles. Don’t forget – the solution lies in the problem itself!

Taking our idea from Round 1 to Round 2 was really exciting. We did a huge amount of research as part of this process, we visited airports, talked to flight attendants, pilots, airline workers, people who take care of missing bags – everything we could! We had the support of an incredible Airbus mentor and this was one of the most valuable parts of the competition for us. Receiving coaching in so many different aspects taught us so much that we will keep for the rest of our lives and careers.

We all learnt so much from working together, as part of a team. Developing these skills is something we know we’ll all take forward. For anyone thinking about taking part in Fly Your Ideas – go for it! There is nothing better than having the opportunity to discuss your ideas with people who understand everything about the aviation field and you will learn more than you could ever imagine.”


Defining the Passenger Experience of the future

When it comes to innovating for the future of aviation, the Passenger Experience Challenge is one of the most important factors to consider. Passenger growth from around the world means that there is an increasingly socially, culturally, and ethnically diverse pool of customers, each with unique needs.

Improving Passenger Experience means reimagining every aspect of a passenger’s journey. From the time spent at check-in, baggage management or security procedures to the entertainment on board, every detail counts and every passenger is different.

Defining the Passenger Experience of the Future: An Engineer’s Dream

When it comes to innovating for the future of aviation, the Passenger Experience Challenge is one of the most important factors to consider. Passenger growth from around the world means that there is an increasingly socially, culturally, and ethnically diverse pool of customers, each with unique needs.

Improving Passenger Experience means reimagining every aspect of a passenger’s journey. From the time spent at check-in, baggage management or security procedures to the entertainment on board, every detail counts and every passenger is different. And of course, future innovations must put safety and reliability first.

An ‘engineer’s dream’, the Concept Plane was co-conceived by Airbus experts from aircraft materials, aerodynamics, cabins and engines. It shows how passengers’ increasingly high expectations can be met by 2050 – even by 2030, if advancements in existing technologies continue apace.

Depicted in these ground-breaking blueprints are revolutionary materials such as a light-weight ‘intelligent’ body to let aircraft automatically sense its load, as well as longer, slimmer wings to reduce drag.

Although the Concept Plane seems like a long way off, constant incremental innovation makes a big difference to aviation. Last month, Airbus’ A320neo took flight for the first time. The latest evolution in Airbus’ best-selling single-aisle family aircraft incorporates unique features such as the fuel-saving Sharklets wingtip devices as well as the latest cabin innovations, designed to deliver per seat fuel burn improvement of 20 per cent by 2020.

For inspiration in addressing the future Passenger Experience, take inspiration from the Concept Plane, created by Airbus engineers as part of Airbus’ The Future by Airbus programme. Previous Fly Your Ideas teams that have tackled this challenge include 2013’s Team PIES, with a virtual laser keyboard, designed to improve the usability of in-seat displays.

For your chance to create ideas that can shape the aviation industry of the future, you have just 5 weeks to put your team together for Fly Your Ideas 2015.

Register your team and submit your Round 1 idea, addressing one or more of our 6 challenges by 12:00GMT on December 1st.

The Inside Track: Sudip Bhattarai

Sudip Bhattarai from Nepal is a veteran of both Airbus Fly Your Ideas 2009 and 2011. Here’s his insight on how to make the most of your Round 1 submission, and why potential participants from everywhere in the world should make the most of the “unique opportunity to take part in a global aerospace challenge.”

The Inside Track: Sudip Bhattarai

The Inside Track: Sudip Bhattarai

Sudip Bhattarai from Nepal is a veteran of both Airbus Fly Your Ideas 2009 and 2011. Here’s his insight on how to make the most of your Round 1 submission, and why potential participants from everywhere in the world should make the most of the “unique opportunity to take part in a global aerospace challenge.”

“My first Fly Your Ideas experience was in 2009. This first attempt wasn’t successful, and we didn’t make it past the first round. For Fly Your Ideas 2011, whilst studying at Nanjing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics (NUAA) in China, I joined Team Aphelion. This time we made it to Round 2. Our proposal was for ‘Integrated Window-Skin Panels,’ that combined composite skin with polymer window in a single panel.

We tried to think about our idea in very complex terms, which made it difficult to express simply in our Round 1 proposal. I am sure the idea that won Fly Your Ideas 2011 (also a NUAA team) demonstrated to a lot of the participants that a direct and clear approach is best while working on an innovative concept, especially in the early stages of development. 

The most valuable part of the experience? Personally, it was working in collaboration with our Airbus mentor, Thomas Ertl, in writing the Round 2 report. He made a tremendous contribution on how the story of our project was laid out in the final report.

I graduated in February 2014 and I’m now an Assistant Professor for Aerospace Studies at the Institute of Engineering, Tribhuvan University in Nepal. My responsibility is to teach elective aerospace courses to students, and work towards the overall advancement of the aerospace studies in Nepal. 

Although Nepal does not yet have a major aerospace industry, aerospace-related research is still something we can get involved in. Entering fresh into the world of aerospace and the aviation industry provides a new perspective, which has value in a mature industry.

Finally, a message to Nepalese students, and students from countries that haven’t previously been represented at Fly Your Ideas: this is a unique opportunity to take part in a global aerospace challenge. It is also an opportunity to be associated with a leading aerospace company, and it is open to everyone from around the world. Regardless of which academic background or field of specialization you are from, Airbus Fly Your Ideas welcomes your ideas – so find team-mates and enter now!”

An Insight on Passenger Comfort from Airbus' Kevin Keniston

Fly Your Ideas is all about harnessing the power of innovation and inspiring students around the world to engage with the work we do constantly at Airbus – looking for better ways to fly.

Here, we speak to people at the heart of innovation at Airbus, to give you some insight into life at Airbus and what innovation really means in the world of work. Head of Passenger Comfort Kevin Keniston tells us why innovation for him is “the right idea at the right time”.

An Insight on Passenger Comfort from Airbus' Kevin Keniston

An Insight on Passenger Comfort from Airbus' Kevin Keniston

Fly Your Ideas is all about harnessing the power of innovation and inspiring students around the world to engage with the work we do constantly at Airbus – looking for better ways to fly.

Here, we speak to people at the heart of innovation at Airbus, to give you some insight into life at Airbus and what innovation really means in the world of work. Head of Passenger Comfort Kevin Keniston tells us why innovation for him is “the right idea at the right time”.

“My role at Airbus is very varied and involves working with Airbus teams from across the business. As Head of Passenger Comfort working within Market and Product Strategy, I have two clear priorities. My ‘public role’ as Head of Passenger Comfort is to ensure that passenger comfort is always at front of mind in our products and product development. My second focus is more strategic, identifying ways in which we can improve the value of our cabins and operations to make sure that passenger expectations and experience will be met in the future.”

“Innovation is at the heart of everything we do at Airbus. We are building and selling planes today that will still be flying in 25-30 years’ time, so more than any other industry we have to really have our finger on the innovation pulse and operate within the future, understanding as best we possibly can what the world will be like in the future and what will be important to passengers.”

“When we are looking ‘to innovate’, we always start with identifying the business needs – what will be important to airlines and our stakeholders. Once you have this clear in your mind, it helps to focus your work and be sure you’re starting out in the right direction.” 

“One of the key things for making sure that your ideas are successful is to set out a clear road-map of your ideas as they develop, to make sure your ambition has clear vision and practicality. At Airbus, we talk about ‘incremental innovation’. Some people think that ideas are only impactful once they’ve been completed. It’s true that a lot of ‘innovative ideas’ are intended for the long-term, or take years to refine and implement, so we work to ensure that these ideas also have short term benefits. That means that innovative ideas are developed earlier on, with their development bringing immediate business value rather than waiting for their completion for this to happen.”

“People often question what innovation actually ‘is’. For me, it’s not necessarily a light bulb moment or a prescriptive process, but often the right idea at the right time. Lots of people have had great ideas that haven’t come to fruition simply because other elements needed to make them work – technology, budget, haven’t been quite right. Never give up on an idea if it doesn’t work first time round, it might just need a bit of refining or a change of circumstance until everything is right.”

“Innovation also happens through a series of connections. Individuals are important to the innovation process, sometimes bringing ideas to the table that really make innovation come together, but teamwork and external factors and connections always need to come together and play a part. Most of all, you need a positive environment to make innovation happen – a place where every idea is a good idea and everyone has an open mind.”

“If I was to give the younger generation a tip for planning their future, it would be to follow what you love doing. When you really enjoy something, you will succeed at it – and those innovative ideas will flow!”

“For me, the future of innovation and engineering is incredibly exciting. The engineer of the future will have more tools and technology at their disposal than ever before. Big data is also set to play a huge part in the aviation industry in my opinion, and is an area where we haven’t even scratched the surface. Both of these factors will mean that future engineers and innovators will be far more empowered than ever before. I can’t wait to see what happens!”

Registrations and Round 1 submissions are now open, so make sure you register at http://www.airbus-fyi.com, and check out the challenges.


  • AIRBUS GEARS UP FOR FLY YOUR IDEAS

    As students around the world put their heads together to come up with the best ideas possible for Round 1, Fly Your Ideas has been generating plenty of excitement within Airbus too.

AIRBUS GEARS UP FOR FLY YOUR IDEAS

As students around the world put their heads together to come up with the best ideas possible for Round 1, Fly Your Ideas has been generating plenty of excitement within Airbus too. “I think it brings enthusiasm to engineers about their work and what they do” – Steven Hallett, Lean Processes (Structure Analysis) from Airbus, Toulouse. i-Q (Paperless) Project manager, Daniel Brierley who is also based in Toulouse, agreed with Steven, “Working with students means working with their raw talent and drawing inspiration from them… it’s a chance to observe creativity without the constraint of experience.”

In September, a group of Fly Your Ideas supporters gathered at Airbus HQ in Toulouse at an event to mark the 2015 edition of the global student challenge. Gregor Dirks, Chief Innovator at Airbus and longtime Fly Your Ideas supporter and Emma Boya, Airbus Head of Brand Communications spoke enthusiastically about how Airbus people can share their interest in engineering and the future of aviation with a new generation of creative student innovators. 

Afterwards, Georges Ric, an Aircraft Information Security Architect shared his experience of being involved with the student teams. “What I found impressive was their ability to go into project mode and to take on the challenge for Round 2 of the event. I find their ideas innovative and refreshing.”

As well as previous Fly Your Ideas Airbus assessors, mentors and experts, the audience included Airbus people who hadn’t previously taken part, but were now keen to find out how to participate. The speakers also presented Let’s Connect and explained this great new tool enables team members to come together from all over the world to form teams and network with former Fly Your Ideas participants too.

This month sees the next Fly Your Ideas 2015 event at Airbus in Filton, with other sites to follow – a chance for even more employees to learn how they can get involved, and share their experience and passion for innovation with diverse teams of students from around the world.  Finally, here’s what Landing Gear Mechanical Design Expert Laurent Tizac, had to say, “For students, innovation can be found anywhere. Their ideas might be perceived a little odd at first sight, but they mustn’t be discarded as they can prove to be valuable in the long run.”

Fly Your Ideas Alumni Insight

Throughout Round 1, we will be sharing the experiences of Airbus Fly Your Ideas veterans - don’t miss the chance to learn from their involvement. Here’s what Javier Puig had to say about participating in the challenge, and how to maximise your chances of success…

“I took part in the 2013 edition of Airbus Fly Your Ideas as part of 5-strong ‘TeamDisaero’ from the Polytechnic of Valencia in Spain. We were all 4th year aerospace engineering students.

Fly Your Ideas Alumni Insight

Throughout Round 1, we will be sharing the experiences of Airbus Fly Your Ideas veterans - don’t miss the chance to learn from their involvement. Here’s what Javier Puig had to say about participating in the challenge, and how to maximise your chances of success…

“I took part in the 2013 edition of Airbus Fly Your Ideas as part of 5-strong ‘TeamDisaero’ from the Polytechnic of Valencia in Spain. We were all 4th year aerospace engineering students. Our goal was to improve the experience of air travel for people with reduced mobility. We developed a new chair, to be compliant with future as well as current aviation regulations.

Why did we choose to do this for our project? It seemed like a really tangible way to make a difference to many people’s experience of flying. If you have restricted mobility, flying is a real headache. And as people live longer, are more prone to develop disabilities, and are larger physically, we felt that airlines had not yet tackled the challenges of adapting the passenger cabin experience for a changing market.

Aviation is quite a focused area to study. We already had both men and women in our team, but to bring in even more diversity, we sought out an Academic mentor from a completely different background. Her background is in urban and public design – social engineering, if you like. She taught us a lot about design, and we really integrated her knowledge into our ideas to create something totally new. 

Working with an Airbus mentor gave us a new insight into critical thinking, and how to apply that to improve our design. It was a great experience – in part due to the bonding we did over some 60-hour weeks in the run up to the final Round 2 deadline! My advice to anyone taking part in Fly Your Ideas 2015 would be to start early, and plan your time, especially for the time-intensive second round.

I learnt a lot about leadership from taking part in the challenge, particularly the importance of creating a good working atmosphere if you’re expecting people to work hard! Decision making and discussion are both more effective in a pleasant working environment.

I’m now working on research on autonomous vehicles, as an intern at NASA. My Fly Your Ideas experience certainly helped me get this position – in fact, it was a real talking point at the interview.”


AIRBUS FLY YOUR IDEAS AT ICAS 2014

Airbus Fly Your Ideas 2015 touched down in St. Petersburg, Russia on 16 September 2014, at a special event as part of the International Council of the Aeronautical Sciences (ICAS) 2014 congress.

More than 100 people attended, including students and faculty from 6 Russian universities. The international audience responded enthusiastically to the delegation from Airbus, who presented a short history of Airbus in Russia, as well as news from the A320neo production line at the Engineering Centre of Airbus in Russia (ECAR).

AIRBUS FLY YOUR IDEAS AT ICAS 2014

AIRBUS FLY YOUR IDEAS AT ICAS 2014

Airbus Fly Your Ideas 2015 touched down in St. Petersburg, Russia on 16 September 2014, at a special event as part of the International Council of the Aeronautical Sciences (ICAS) 2014 congress.

More than 100 people attended, including students and faculty from 6 Russian universities. The international audience responded enthusiastically to the delegation from Airbus, who presented a short history of Airbus in Russia, as well as news from the A320neo production line at the Engineering Centre of Airbus in Russia (ECAR). Next, it was the turn of the Fly Your Ideas 2013 finalists Team Flybrid to present their experience of the competition, what they learned and their plans for the future. A networking session gave audience members a chance to find out more about how to participate in the competition and exchange with the many Airbus staff present.

As if the chance to innovate with Airbus for the future of aviation wasn’t exciting enough, Airbus Executive Vice President Engineering Charles Champion also introduced onlookers to Let’s Connect. This new platform enables the Fly Your Ideas community to connect online via the Fly Your Ideas website, share ideas and meet potential team members from around the world. With many of the student attendees signing up immediately, it looks like this development for the 2015 competition is going to be a great asset for student innovators around the world.

The deadline for team creation is 1 December 2014 – have you signed up yet?


LET’S CONNECT – YOUR NEW PLATFORM!

You wanted it, so we built it!

Introducing Let’s Connect. This is a new platform for the Airbus Fly Your Ideas community to network, connect and share their interest in innovation, as well as the future of aviation.

Register on Let’s Connect to share experiences during each stage of the biennial competition, and connect with fellow aviation and innovation enthusiasts during each edition of Airbus Fly Your Ideas and beyond.

LET’S CONNECT – YOUR NEW PLATFORM!

LET’S CONNECT – YOUR NEW PLATFORM!

You wanted it, so we built it!

Introducing Let’s Connect. This is a new platform for the Airbus Fly Your Ideas community to network, connect and share their interest in innovation, as well as the future of aviation.

Register on Let’s Connect to share experiences during each stage of the biennial competition, and connect with fellow aviation and innovation enthusiasts during each edition of Airbus Fly Your Ideas and beyond.

We strongly encourage teams to be as diverse as possible because we know that diverse teams will generate better ideas. On Let’s Connect, you can meet people from around the globe and may even find the right person to complete your team.

Maybe you’re a team of engineers in Oslo working on a new lightweight material, or an American bi-coastal team of information scientists developing a more efficient cargo system? There could be a product designer in Cape Town or an architect in Shanghai that shares your passion – with Let’s Connect you can now form a new global team!

Sign up for Let’s Connect today, and you can:

  • Find team members in your university, country or anywhere in the world, then register a team for Airbus Fly Your Ideas 2015 before December 1st 2014
  • Exchange ideas, offer suggestions and find inspiration for your proposal from Fly Your Ideas alumni, current participants and other supporters
  • Share your thoughts on how to solve the trickiest problems, suggest a new approach to help generate an idea, and develop new ideas together
  • Share and absorb interesting information from the industry and the latest research
  • Connect and engage with people from around the world who share your passion for innovation
  • Get tips, advice and the inside track from previous participants

Don’t forget that before you can submit your idea for Airbus Fly Your Ideas 2015, you need to register your team here. A full team requires 3-5 members, and you will need an Academic Mentor on board too. Once registered, you can read the briefing documents available only in the team space, and can submit your Round 1 questionnaire up to 12:00GMT on December 1st 2014. 

So register now to find more team members, see how others are approaching the challenge and network with other Fly Your Ideas enthusiasts. What are you waiting for? - Let’s Connect now!


FLY YOUR IDEAS 2015 ROUND 1- OUR TIPS

With Round 1 of Fly Your Ideas 2015 now open for submissions, we have compiled the ultimate list of Dos and Don’ts for teams completing their Round 1 questionnaire. Keep this advice in mind, and make your entry stand out!

Fly Your Ideas 2015 Round 1- Our Tips

With Round 1 of Fly Your Ideas 2015 now open for submissions, we have compiled the ultimate list of Dos and Don’ts for teams completing their Round 1 questionnaire. Keep this advice in mind, and make your entry stand out!


DO

  • Make sure that you have registered your team by 12 noon GMT on Monday 1 December 2014 at the very latest. You need between 3 and 5 members and an Academic Mentor.
  • Once you have registered, log in and then take the time to read the Round 1 Brief.
  • Clearly identify the problem that you are trying to solve. Does your idea directly address one or more of the 6 Fly Your Ideas Challenges?
  • Look for diversity within your team. Your team can consist of up to 5 members, who do not have to be from within the same discipline, university, or even from the same continent! We have now launched Let’s Connect where the global Airbus Fly Your Ideas community networks, connects and shares their interest in innovation and the future of aviation – sign up now!

DON’T

  • Submit your questionnaire without making sure that it is presented as well as possible. Get a native English speaker to proofread your proposal. Grammar and clear communication are important.
  • Over-complicate your proposal. The assessment panel are looking for evidence of both a promising idea, and a clear plan to develop it further. You don’t need to have resolved everything at this stage.
  • Attempt to submit your proposal at the very last minute. The deadline is 12:00 noon GMT on Monday 1 December 2014, and it is your responsibility to ensure that you have successfully uploaded your submission before then.

Unlocking future challenges of aviation: Building Smarter Skies

When it comes to unlocking some of the greatest challenges facing the aviation industry, innovation that goes beyond the aircraft can often hold the key.

The sky’s the limit when it comes to innovation for the aviation industry. In the latest instalment of Airbus’ future-gazing programme, The Future by Airbus, the SmarterSkies project provides innovation inspiration from across the industry…

Unlocking future challenges of aviation: Building Smarter Skies

When it comes to unlocking some of the greatest challenges facing the aviation industry, innovation that goes beyond the aircraft can often hold the key.

With ever more planes in the sky and passengers demanding shorter flight times and fewer emissions, engineers are working to build solutions that ensure the sustainable future of air travel.

Innovations across the industry, such as ground operations and the use of alternative energy sources could make a big impact in the future. For example, cutting flight times by just minutes could save millions of tonnes of excess fuel and millions of hours of travel time, so imagine what could be possible when this is combined with more streamlined ground operations and sustainable fuels…

Airbus is leading the way with The Future by Airbus – a vision for a more sustainable aviation industry in 2050 and beyond.

In the latest instalment of this project – Smarter Skies – Airbus has envisioned five concepts which could be implemented across all the stages of an aircraft’s operation to reduce waste in the system:

  • Rapid take-off and steeper ‘eco-climb’ – to minimise noise and reduce the space needed for runways
  • Formation flight for aircraft along ‘express skyways’ – to help reduce drag and fuel consumption
  • Low-noise, free-glide approaches and landings
  • Low-emission ground operations – to move aircraft off runways faster and optimise terminal space
  • Use of sustainable biofuels and other energy sources – to power future aircraft and infrastructure

The Fly Your Ideas challenge is a fantastic opportunity for students worldwide to take a fresh look at the industry and explore innovations that may shape the future of air travel.

As the Smarter Skies programme highlights, there are endless possibilities when it comes to innovation for the aviation industry that may go beyond modifications to the aircraft itself.

So, when it comes to defining your Fly Your Ideas solutions, remember, the sky’s the limit!

Register now at http://www.airbus-fyi.com, and check out the challenges to get your ideas ready to submit from September.


KEEP UP WITH FLY YOUR IDEAS 2015

Are you interested in innovating with Airbus for the future of aviation? Would you like the opportunity to apply your classroom learning to real-world problems? Or do you simply want to keep up-to-date with Fly Your Ideas?

We already know that lots of you are – and it’s great to see the various informal Fly Your Ideas groups where individuals are discussing this great global student challenge.

KEEP UP WITH FLY YOUR IDEAS 2015

Are you interested in innovating with Airbus for the future of aviation? Would you like the opportunity to apply your classroom learning to real-world problems? Or do you simply want to keep up-to-date with Fly Your Ideas? We already know that lots of you are – and it’s great to see the various informal Fly Your Ideas groups where individuals are discussing this great global student challenge.

With ideas submissions invited from September 1, we know that you’ll want to stay up to date on the latest key dates, tips for success and other exclusive insights on the 2015 edition. Remember that you can find out all Fly Your Ideas news first through the Fly Your Ideas website. It’s also really easy to get the latest news and insight on the competition via all the official Fly Your Ideas online channels and resources.

Here’s a round-up of Fly Your Ideas and Airbus resources for your bookmarks list:

  • The central hub of information about Fly Your Ideas is our website, where the news section has all the latest updates
  • Our YouTube channel is where you’ll find the highlights from the recent Innovation Week, and other videos relating to the competition
  • Want to know more about Airbus? Check out the Airbus website, especially the photo and video galleries and news centre. Like the Airbus Facebook page and follow Airbus on Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and LinkedIn for the latest news.
  • Discover the Future by Airbus project here, to see how Airbus envisions sustainable air travel meet the growing global demand for air travel in the future

And if that’s not all, we’ll soon be bringing the international Fly Your Ideas community another online destination for sharing, connecting and exchanging ideas. Our new Co-Innovation online platform will be a valuable new tool, specifically designed to facilitate and enable the exchange of ideas, to support innovation in the aviation industry. 

Diversity is a proven source of innovation, and this new platform will create the perfect environment for international Fly Your Ideas participants to find more team members, spark new ideas for potential projects and call on a global community to help develop their projects. So if you’re not already receiving our regular updates, sign up now to the Fly Your Ideas newsletter to hear about the Co-Innovation platform first!

  • Past participants - where are they now?

    Improved teamwork skills, insight into the aviation industry and a ‘great help’ with academic studies – just some of the benefits from taking part in the Airbus Fly Your Ideas challenge, according to a recent survey of previous Fly Your Ideas participants.

Past participants – where are they now?

Improved teamwork skills, insight into the aviation industry and a valuable resource for their academic studies – just some of the benefits from taking part in the Airbus Fly Your Ideas challenge, according to a recent survey of previous Fly Your Ideas participants. A significant 44% are still developing their Fly Your Ideas projects, showing that their ideas also have potential beyond this global student competition.

So where are these alumni now? Of those who responded to the survey, alumni now in employment are predominantly working in the aerospace and defense sector, although they are also represented across an impressive 14 other industries. This shows the broad appeal of a challenge that builds up universally applicable employability skills with 73% stating that taking part in the challenge had benefited their job-seeking activity. One respondent noted that mentioning Fly Your Ideas was “a great help as it gave me confidence to answer challenging questions during my interview.” Another commented that “I was talking about our Airbus Fly Your Ideas entry at a forum where my future boss was, and she was impressed with the effort and the thinking we put into the project, and offered me a job shortly after.”

Overall, 50% of alumni are still studying, with a high degree of PhD and Masters students especially represented amongst 2009 and 2011 participants. 80% cite the competition as being a “great help“ in their studies, and working for an international company is now an objective for the majority.

There’s no doubt that progressing through the increasingly challenging stages of the competition is a bonding experience, with 80% interested in joining a Fly Your Ideas online networking group – stay tuned for news about an exciting new co-innovation online community for past, future and current Fly Your Ideas participants, coming soon! Finally, would Fly Your Ideas alumni recommend taking part to other students? A resounding 94% overall say yes – and with idea submissions starting 1 September, there’s still plenty of time for teams to get ready to go all the way in Fly Your Ideas 2015!

Fly Your Ideas for PhD students – The Inside Track

If you’re a PhD student, you’ve probably already identified Fly Your Ideas 2015 as a great opportunity to apply your academic knowledge to the real-world challenges of the sustainable aviation industry of the future. You may have already registered, and be brainstorming ideas with fellow students.


Fly Your Ideas for PhD students – The Inside Track

Fly Your Ideas for PhD students – The Inside Track

If you’re a PhD student, you’ve probably already identified Fly Your Ideas 2015 as a great opportunity to apply your academic knowledge to the real-world challenges of the sustainable aviation industry of the future. You may have already registered, and be brainstorming ideas with fellow students.

Yet at this busy stage of your academic career, no doubt you are also facing a busy schedule over the coming months. We spoke to Michael Heitzmann, a member of Fly Your Ideas 2009 winning Team CoZ from the University of Queensland, Australia. He shared his insight into how he managed to successfully balance a PhD in mechanical engineering with the additional challenge of successfully competing in Fly Your Ideas.

Here’s a round-up of his insider knowledge for PhD students in Fly Your Ideas 2015:

Planning your time

  • The deadlines for the different rounds are available from the start, so you can plan ahead.  In this respect, it’s not so different to studying for a PhD, which also features well-defined goals and timings.
  • You’ll spend most of your time on the second round if you get through to that stage – the first round is not very time consuming.
  • It’s great training for future academics (or any job) – you’ll be writing proposals, formulating complex ideas in a concise manner, and working in a team. And dedicating some work without the certainty of a win is very typical of what it’s like applying for government grants, for example.

Forming a team

  • Look for other motivated people.
  • Choose people you know well, or believe you can work well with.
  • 3-5 members is a good size.
  • Combining people with different skill sets is really important – don’t just look for people who think like you.

Has Fly Your Ideas benefited your career?

  • Taking part in Fly Your Ideas has definitely helped my career. It allowed me to develop my teamwork skills, and to demonstrate knowledge in a research area unrelated to my PhD topic. As a result of this I later became the project leader of the CRC-ACS plant fibre bio-composite project.

Anything else to share?

  • PhD students are focused on theory – but there is not much point to theory without practice.
  • In particular for engineers, the practical side of the job is always very important, and typically can be difficult.  It can be a struggle to combine the two – which is why a competition like Fly Your Ideas is such a great opportunity.
  • There’s no doubt that taking part in Fly Your Ideas means taking on additional work. But no pain, no gain – or rather, no risk, no fun!

Fly Your Ideas 2015 at Farnborough

After an inspiring day in London mapping out future plans for collaboration, the members of the Airbus Group University Partnership Programme (AGUPP) from 21 universities worldwide were hosted by the Fly Your Ideas team for a day at the Farnborough International Air show.

Fly Your Ideas 2015 at Farnborough


After an inspiring day in London mapping out future plans for collaboration, the members of the Airbus Group University Partnership Programme (AGUPP) from 21 universities worldwide were hosted by the Fly Your Ideas team for a day at the Farnborough International Air show. As well as a guided tour of the Airbus A380, the programme also included flying displays from heritage and modern day aircraft such as the A400M, A380 and the Eurofighter.

The focus for this event was the “Engineer of the future”, with both university representatives and Airbus Group delegates agreeing that skills like leadership, working in international teams and the ability to innovate are just as vital as knowledge of core engineering disciplines. Delegates concluded that while universities continue to have a leading role; working with industry partners on real challenges provides the right kind of learning experience for tomorrow’s engineers to develop these skills.

No wonder then, that the presentation of Gary Wicks, Airbus Corporate Innovation, on Airbus Fly Your Ideas 2015 was so well received. Gary kicked off the day at Farnborough with a presentation highlighting the benefits of the global student challenge for universities and their student teams. With Fly Your Ideas, students get first-hand experience of working in real-time on innovative projects, working in intercultural, diverse teams and of course developing relationships with Airbus mentors and experts as they progress through the different stages of the competition. And, as Fly Your Ideas is open to students of all disciplines it all adds up to a great opportunity to work together to spark innovation in one of the world’s most exciting industries.

  • FLY YOUR IDEAS IN A FUTURE BY AIRBUS

    For all the aviation industry has achieved – and the pioneering steps Airbus has made in 40 years of innovation – it is the future of flight which unites and inspires us. So what will it look like? That’s what we’ve been asking passengers around the world. 

FLY YOUR IDEAS IN A FUTURE BY AIRBUS

For all the aviation industry has achieved – and the pioneering steps Airbus has made in 40 years of innovation – it is the future of flight which unites and inspires us. So what will it look like?

That’s what we’ve been asking passengers around the world in a global consultation as part of ‘The Future by Airbus’ (FbA) – our vision of sustainable aviation in 2050.

Since we launched our visionary programme in 2010 we’ve engaged more than 1.75 million people in 192 countries in a dialogue about what they want from the future of air travel. The results are clear: more sustainable; less stressful; and more of it.

FbA is all about our commitment to meeting these evolving needs and encouraging young people to learn how they can help shape that future – their future. It consists of three pillars, all underpinned by existing Research and Technology.

With (1) Future Solutions we are stretching our imagination to showcase some of the innovations in air travel that could take place by the middle of the century to meet evolving passenger trends and environmental demands.

These include a whole new way to fly, as illustrated by our revolutionary Airbus Concept Plane and radical Airbus Concept Cabin; improved air traffic management (ATM) to cut flight time, fuel burn and emissions, as seen with our Smarter Skies; and new energy sources, to better protect and preserve the environment around us.

We are also focusing on the (2) Future Planet, through initiatives to support those tackling the other 98% of manmade. CO2 emissions (aviation being responsible for 2%), such as the 17-20% from deforestation which has a huge impact on biodiversity – the rich variety of a life on earth.

Why? Because Biomimicry – biologically inspired engineering – continues to inspire solutions for greener flight; the natural environment has always been a source of inspiration for our industry, ever since Leonardo da Vinci started drawing planes and helicopters some 500 years ago. Preserving biodiversity is therefore a means of preserving the source of our own future innovation. And of course we want to inspire (3) Future Talent – the passengers and talent of 2050 – to learn how they can join us in our vision and help shape the future of eco-efficient flight.

This includes continuing to attract, nurture and retain the best talent through our global presence; by inspiring young minds through school liaison / outreach programmes; and of course by engaging university students through our global Fly Your Ideas challenge.

At Airbus, we believe that in the future more people should be able to share in the benefits of air travel, that a more connected world can also be a more sustainable world, and that the right combination of technology and talent – along with the right investment, support and cooperation – can make this happen.

Everyone taking part in Airbus Fly Your Ideas is playing their part in creating the Future by Airbus.