Inspiring today’s generation to build tomorrow’s sustainable aviation

For the fifth time, Airbus challenges students worldwide to innovate for the future of aviation by launching the latest Fly Your Ideas competition.

Airbus Fly Your Ideas is a unique global student competition, designed to establish a strong and lasting relationship between Airbus and the next generation of innovators. Every two years, the competition offers a unique opportunity for students from across the globe to co-innovate with Airbus on real challenges facing the aviation industry and to develop valuable skills for their future careers. This includes learning teamwork, project management, as well as communications skills. 

New in this latest competition, students are asked to submit solutions to genuine industry challenges that are either innovations for ‘Now’ or innovations for the ‘Future’; guaranteeing a cross section of ideas that are both applicable today and deliver blue sky thinking for tomorrow. The key challenges submitted to students are:

Business models: What else could be done with aircraft other than transportation?

Flight operations: How can big data be used to improve efficiency of flight operations?

Passenger experience: How can new processes or layouts ease passenger boarding and disembarking, whilst increasing capacity for luggage?

Design engineering: How can artificial intelligence support aircraft design and/or manufacturing?

Manufacturing: How can manufacturing be optimised to reduce waste and ensure the sustainability of resources?

 “With Fly Your Ideas 2017, Airbus offers its innovation expertise to team up with universities and their most inventive students,” said Charles Champion, Airbus Executive Vice President Engineering. “We value and encourage this type of mutually-beneficial collaboration, enabling students to apply their creativity in an exceptionally rich learning environment, and to prepare for a highly-competitive job market. For Airbus, it is an opportunity to nurture new ideas from the imaginative and unrestrained thinking of fresh minds.”

Registration for Fly Your Ideas 2017 opens today, May 31st 2016 at Students must register as a team of three to five members. They are encouraged to include team members from diverse nationalities, backgrounds and disciplines – from engineering to marketing and from science to design. Teams must be supported by an academic mentor from one of the students’ institutions. Projects are assessed by Airbus experts and all teams get feedback as early as Round 1. The 50 teams selected for Round 2 get significant input and guidance from Airbus mentors to develop their idea into a detailed project. Five teams are selected for Round 3 where students are asked to test, prototype or visualise their solutions. Finally the teams present their projects to an expert jury at the final event in May 2017, where the winning team wins a prize of €30,000 and the runners up €15,000. 

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Facts & figures

The aviation market:

  • In the last 40 years the aviation industry has cut fuel burn and CO2 emissions by more than 70%, NOx emissions by 90% and noise by 75%. This has been achieved through the aircraft and operational improvements, and innovation.
  • In the same time, flying has become 60% cheaper (in real terms) than it was in the 1970’s.
  • 62,7 million jobs supported by aviation worldwide
  • 50,5 million tons of freight carried each year
  • 3.5 billion passengers in 2015
  • By 2026, it is forecast that aviation will contribute 1$ trillion to world GDP

Fly Your Ideas competition – since the 2008 launch:

  • 4 competitions in 2009, 2011, 2013, 2015
  • Partnership with UNESCO since 2012
  • More than 100 countries represented
  • Over 600 universities supporting
  • More than 15,000 students registered
  • 380 Airbus staff involved
  • 1,600 ideas submitted
Press contacts  
Sara Ricci+33 (0)6 426 526
Laura Alistair+40 213 153