As a twice weekly air commuter and someone who cringes at the impact on the environment of those flights, I was fascinated when I read about this competition late last year.
The Airbus Fly Your Ideas Challenge was open to university students from around the world at an undergraduate, Masters or PhD level in any academic discipline. The winning teams will be those whose ideas demonstrate the greatest potential to reduce the impact of the aviation industry on the environment.
Check out the Airbus News where it announces the teams that made the finals. Some of the ideas are really out there.
-- The University of Queensland team, who call themselves COz, have made the top 5. Their proposal is on the use of bio composite cabin materials made from castor plant natural fibres. Anyone fancy flying in a plane made of ‘flax’?
-- The Stanford University team also made the finals for their proposal on inverted V formation flight, building on the model of migrating birds to reduce energy consumption. Don’t know how that would work – wouldn’t all the planes have to leave at the same time and be going to the same place? The finalists now have to develop a presentation about their project before presenting the proposals in a live final in Paris in June 2009. It will be judged by a panel of Airbus experts, industry leaders and eco-efficiency experts.
Good luck to team COz.