Innovation zone to promote aviation’s latest technologies

9 July 2012 Feature story

Airbus innovation has landed at the Farnborough International Airshow in the form of a dedicated pavilion that promotes the wide range of new technologies and research being developed within the aviation industry. 

A focal point of Airbus’ programme at the Innovation Zone exhibit – located between the air show’s aircraft static display area and trade sections – is a giant video screen encased in a stylized jetliner fuselage that shows films throughout the day. One of these videos is on the company’s “The Future by Airbus” initiative, which examines how the air travel industry and its passengers’ needs could change over the next 40 years. Another film features an engineer’s dream of what flight may look like in the year 2050, while the “Wing of the Future” short film also will be shown.

With Airbus in constant pursuit of eco-efficiency, the innovation centre’s top themes are future challenges the planet faces – along with possible solutions. The company’s programme on biomimicry, where engineers and scientists examine aspects of nature and biology for new ideas in constructing more efficient aircraft, is being showcased in a series of photographs, which also are available as postcards to visitors. 

Alternative energies research will be at the forefront of the company’s exhibit as well, with Keith Bushell, UK environmental affairs stakeholder manager for Airbus, presenting an overview on sustainable aviation during the week and discussing alternative fuels in a separate presentation. Another focus will be on The Perfect Flight, which in an initiative to use the most eco-efficient aircraft, technologies and fuel blends for “greener” air travel.

On Thursday, the Innovation Zone will host Futures Day, where as many as 10,000 young people will participate in a variety of activities conceived to inspire the next generation of aviation engineers and innovators. Events include an international challenge of rocketry champions from the United Kingdom, France and United States, a meeting with astronauts from the European Space Agency, as well as workshops and conferences with exhibitors.

Twenty companies and organisations are participating in the Innovation Zone along with Airbus, including key industry suppliers, as well as regional colleges and universities.  Also taking part is the European Union’s Clean Sky and Advisory Council for Aviation Research and Innovation in Europe.