Five teams are heading to Toulouse, France, for the Airbus Fly Your Ideas 2017 competition. Photo courtesy of Airbus
Airbus has narrowed the competition down to five finalists in its fifth Fly Your Ideas challenge, the company said. The five teams represent nine nationalities and eight universities across Africa, Europe and Asia-Pacific. In partnership with the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), Airbus garnered more than 350 entries in the biennial competition.
Next steps for the finalists include traveling to Toulouse, France, to spend a week at the Airbus ProtoSpace facility. There, teams are to prototype, test and visualize their ideas — getting to use Airbus equipment and personal guidance. When the week is over, the students are to present their projects, complete with prototype, in front of Airbus experts and personalities from aerospace and academic fields. First prize is some $31,800, while the second-place team would receive half that amount. Winners are to be announced during a live event May 17.
Here are Airbus’ descriptions of the top five ideas:
Airborne Earth Observation - Team SkyVision, University of Surrey, United Kingdom
A radical concept that turns a commercial airliner into an "Earth Observation Device" by installing equipment into the belly of the aircraft to monitor ground activity during flight. An alternative to satellite imagery, it opens up new opportunities such as ecology analysis and urban planning.
Improving Airport Taxi Flow and Efficiency - Team Nevada, Obafemi Awolowo University, Nigeria
An airport taxiing system that uses sensors and algorithms for automated ground traffic control, both in the tower and on the aircraft, to significantly improve aircraft traffic at airports and thus reduce emissions.
Compact Luggage Strategy Mobile App - Team PassEx, Institut d'Administration des Entreprises – IAE Toulouse, France
A revolutionary boarding system that uses a real-time mobile app to assign boarding status to passengers according to their luggage size. The "Compact Luggage Strategy" addresses current storage issues in over-head compartments by distributing passengers across the aircraft according to the size of their baggage.
Private Stowage Compartment - Team DAELead, The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong
A clever aircraft cabin design that locates a private stowage compartment underneath passengers' feet, using the space between the cabin floor and the cargo ceiling.
A400M Aerial Firefighting Platform - Team Aquarius, Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, Australia
A firefighting solution that incorporates modular systems using pressurized fire retardant containers fixed to fast-loadable pallets for a network of Airbus A400M aircraft, to create a system of aerial firefighting platforms that can be used for rapid wildfire suppression.