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Over 6,000 Students Signup For The Airbus Fly Your Ideas Challenge
By Bill Goldston

December 19, 2012 - More than 6,000 students of over 100 nationalities registered for Fly Your Ideas 2013, the global university contest organized by aircraft manufacturer Airbus.

Teams of students are challenged to develop and submit ideas for a more sustainable aviation industry in the future. Twice as many students as in the previous competition have registered this time.

The students are looking to secure an invaluable opportunity to work with aviation’s top experts to develop their idea further and a chance to win the prize of almost $40,000 USA.


Airbus assessors are currently reviewing entries to select the most innovative ideas to go on to the next round. No more than 100 teams will be chosen to proceed. This year the teams were asked to submit ideas to address one of the following challenges: “Energy”; “Efficiency”; “Affordable Growth”; “Traffic Growth”; “Passenger Experience”; or “Community Friendliness.”

“There has been a remarkable increase in the number of entries and we have maintained a great mix of participants” explained Charles Champion, Airbus Executive Vice President of Engineering and Fly Your Ideas patron. “We are really excited by this as we believe that innovation is driven by diversity in backgrounds, nationalities, as well as gender.” he added.

The teams must complete three progressively tougher rounds in order to progress to the final stage when they will present their project in front of a jury of experts with the award to be presented at the UNESCO headquarters in Paris in June 2013.



Following 6089 registrations, 618 teams of 3 to 5 students comprising 2556 participants of 82 nationalities submitted a one page proposal to enter Round One of the Fly Your Ideas challenge. UNESCO has given patronage to the 2013 edition of the Fly Your Ideas competition to help advance engineering education which is focused on finding solutions for a sustainable future.

Competition Calendar: Round One - 3 September 2012 - 7 December 2012 (One page proposal). Round Two - January 2013 - April 2013 (up to 100 teams chosen to deliver a 5000 word report and a short video). Round Three - May 2013 - June 2013 (5 teams chosen to present to a jury of Airbus and industry experts). Final presentation and awards – June 2013.

Fly Your Ideas 2011: 2,260 students from 75 countries registered for the competition; 84 teams were selected for round 2, with 5 teams going through to the final. WINNERS 2011: China - China’s Nanjing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics won with their ground-based wind power generation system that exploits the wakes of aircraft during take-off and landing. Xinyuan Zheng, spokesperson for the team, said: “To participate in the 2011 Airbus Fly Your Ideas challenge was a great experience for us and we were very proud to win.”

WINNERS 2009: Australia - The multinational team ‘Coz’ from the University of Queensland, Australia, were awarded the winning prize in June 2009. Their project focused on the use of a pioneering natural fiber composite - made from castor plants  in aircraft cabins.
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