Congratulations to the Video Competition winner!

A team of digital communications specialists at Airbus selected the ten most creative videos submitted by teams in Round 2 to go through to a public vote.

After three weeks of campaigning and 18,000 votes cast, we are delighted to reveal that Team Pandawacakra from Bandung Institute of Technology, Indonesia has been selected as the Video Competition winning team. Watch their video here.

Pandawacakra received more than 8,000 votes on their Mixed Reality video about their idea to incorporate VR headsets in the aircraft cabin. Congratulations!

Honourable mentions to Team Move-ez from Politecnico di Milano, Italy, and Team Seren from the University of Cambridge, UK, who placed 2nd and 3rd respectively.

A big thank you to everyone who cast their vote and showed their support for the shortlisted teams.

As the Video Competition winners, each member of Pandawacakra will receive a tech prize.

But the biggest prize is yet to be awarded – stay tuned on Facebook to follow the seven Fly Your Ideas 2019 finalist teams as they prepare for their journey to Toulouse and the Airbus Fly Your Ideas Live Final on 27 June 2019!

Video Competition: Vote now for your favourite

A team of digital communications specialists at Airbus reviewed the videos created by teams in Round 2. The ten most creative have been selected for the Video Competition – with tech prizes for the team with the most votes.

Teams represented in the Video Competition are based in Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Italy, the Netherlands and the UK. Their videos address a range of exciting digital challenges for the future of aerospace, including Data Services, Cyber Security, Mixed Reality and Internet of Things.

The ideas include: A novel method of electricity generation for spacecraft using trapped high energy particles, a secure digital passport, optimisation of baggage handling, detachable airplane seats converted into smart electric wheelchairs, VR technology integrated in the cabin, and much more.

How to get involved

Which team deserves to be crowned the Video Competition winner? You decide!

1) Visit the Video Competition page.

2) Watch the videos!

3) Vote for your favourite and enter your email address to receive a unique code.

4) Enter your code to validate your vote.

The team with the highest number of valid votes when voting closes at 11:59 AM (GMT) on Friday 17th May 2019, will be declared the winner.

Which video gets your vote? We want to know! Share your favourite and join the conversation on social media using #flyyourideas.

Fly Your Ideas success story: Sustainable inflight trolley design takes to the skies

Cabin waste is a growing problem in the aerospace industry. More than 5 million tonnes was generated last year costing the industry over $500m with figures set to double by 2030, according to the International Air Transport Association (IATA). Most of this waste ends up in landfills or incinerators.

In 2015, five students from the University of São Paolo, Brazil, came up with a greener solution. They entered the Airbus Fly Your Ideas competition and were selected as the runners up.

Their idea? Retrolley: an inflight trolley with three customisable modules for collecting liquids, cups and cans. The design enables cabin crew to quickly and easily separate waste into recyclable and non-recyclable categories, facilitating the reduction of waste volume by more than 20 percent.

Four years later, Retrolley has received expressions of interest from 40 airlines.

Airlines have three key concerns for cabin waste management: sustainability and recycling, waste storage and handling of liquid waste. Matthias Reiss, Airbus Cabin Engineering, says that Retrolley ‘addresses all three building bricks at once.’

Following the Fly Your Ideas competition, Retrolley was selected for Airbus’ BizLab accelerator, receiving support from a range of Airbus stakeholders including Corporate Innovation, Marketing, Procurement, Legal and Engineering. The project went on to win a Crystal Cabin Award in 2017.

The journey started with Fly Your Ideas, but what’s next for Retrolley? Cabin insert manufacturer Iacobucci has recently launched the next stage of development with mass production, testing and marketing it with airlines and caterers. Two flight trials have been performed within the Airbus Sustainable Aviation Engagement Programme, and the Retrolley team hopes to take the design to market very soon.

Frederic Eychenne, Sustainable Aviation Engagement Programme Manager at Airbus, says: ‘Airbus is committed to the environment. It’s in our DNA to propose innovative solutions to our customers to make cleaner and more sustainable products for the transportation of tomorrow.’

Stay tuned for the Live Final in June 2019 to see if this year’s finalist teams have what it takes to follow in Retrolley’s footsteps!

The adventure that awaits the Airbus Fly Your Ideas finalists

Yesterday we announced the 7 teams selected for Fly Your Ideas Round 3. As the finalist teams celebrate the exciting news, their thoughts are already turning to what Round 3 will have in store. Keep reading for a glimpse of the adventure that awaits the finalists.

Bringing their idea to life

Finalist teams will travel to the beating heart of the aerospace industry: Airbus HQ in sunny Toulouse, France. They will spend a week bringing their idea to life through a prototype or advanced visualisation at Airbus’ cutting-edge innovation facilities.

Meeting their Airbus Mentor

Teams will connect with their Airbus Mentor in person and work with them in the final days of their idea’s development. We encourage teams and mentors to stay in touch: Alvery Grazebrook continues to be a valuable source of support for his former mentees, while Danny Antons recently flew to Tokyo to attend the wedding of a Fly Your Ideas alumnus.

Boosting their CV

We’ll kickstart the day with a motivational boost from Airbus speakers and CV-enhancing networking opportunities. Of course, there’ll also be fun activities and cultural insights, including sampling the French cuisine.

Showing the world what they can do

The finalists have a passion for aerospace and an idea that they truly believe in, and Round 3 is their chance to show the world. At the end of the week, teams will present their project to a panel of industry experts as well as our Facebook Live audience.

Building connections

While the jury deliberate, teams will have the opportunity to join our marketplace where guests will be eager to know more about their projects. They will have the chance to network with VIPs and experts from Airbus and other leading international companies and organisations.

Winning a share of the €45,000 prize fund

All Fly Your Ideas finalists will win a share of the €45,000 prize fund. A potentially life-changing sum will open opportunities to further study, travel or investment. Some Fly Your Ideas alumni have used the prize to fund their pilots’ license or develop their idea further.

Stay tuned on our Facebook page for the latest updates from the Fly Your Ideas finalists, and don’t miss their reaction videos!

Airbus selects seven finalist teams to shape the future of aerospace

Airbus experts have selected seven teams for the 2019 final of world-class competition Fly Your Ideas which invites students from around the world to innovate in key areas for the industry: Electrification, Data Services, Cyber Security, Internet of Things, Artificial Intelligence and Mixed Reality. The finalist teams were selected after a three-month development phase working with support from Airbus mentors.

Fly Your Ideas gives students the opportunity to develop exceptional or radical ideas for tomorrow’s aerospace industry. The selected concepts represent a range of trendsetting topics such as a ‘Smart Wheelchair’ for air travel or a ‘Solar Windmill’.

The finalist team members represent 11 countries (Argentina, Germany, Greece, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Moldavia, Netherlands, Norway, United Kingdom), 8 different universities and were selected from over 270 entries worldwide. Their academic backgrounds vary from Engineering to Information Technology and Natural Sciences to Finance.

In June, the teams will travel to Toulouse, France to work in Airbus’ innovation and R&D facilities to further develop, prototype or visualise their ideas using state-of-the-art equipment with support from Airbus. On 27th June, the students will present their projects in front of Airbus experts and personalities from the aerospace and academic world, live-streamed in parallel to a global audience.

The students, competing for a share of the €45,000 prize fund and the chance to further evolve their idea in the aerospace industry, are clearly motivated by the digital nature of this year’s challenge, and the chance to change the world with their ideas.

The seven finalist teams are:

Airbus Integrated Fisheries Information Services (Data Services Challenge) –Team AirFish, University of Cambridge, UK

AirFish is an ocean monitoring system using satellite imagery and video imaging technology. It can help governments combat illegal fishing, reduce bycatch of endangered species, and generally decrease damages to the marine habitat. This project aims to improve the efficiency of fish farming, making food production more affordable whilst reducing open-water fishing and thus environmental impacts.

Automated Intelligent Real-Time Quality Inspection Exploiting Human-Robot-Collaboration (Artificial Intelligence Challenge) – Team AIQinspect, Saarland University, Germany

AIQinspect will assist the human operator in performing rivet inspection by using Artificial Intelligence. Quality is predicted based on images and physical parameters while riveting in real time. The resulting information is communicated to the operator via Augmented Reality.

Batteryless Wireless Switches for Airplanes (Internet of Things Challenge) – Team “Zero” Heroes, Delft University of Technology, Netherlands

Application of wireless systems in aircraft instead of traditional wired systems. This idea solves the main limitation for IoT in aircraft by removing battery integration – a current challenge for safety and regulation. Furthermore it reduces fuel consumption and weight while simplifying aircraft retrofit and maintenance needs.

Motor Intra-body Cooling System – MICS (Electrification Challenge) – Team Osprey, University of Strathclyde, UK

Replacing the traditional method of cooling electric motors with a water jacket or submerged cooling with a cooling system integrated inside the body of the motor itself. This project has the potential to provide mass effective motors for future Urban Air Mobility and Hybrid Electric aircraft.

The Solar Windmill (Electrification Challenge) – Team Seren, University of Cambridge, UK

A novel method of electricity generation for spacecraft using trapped high energy particles. Using two concentric aluminium spheres, the energetic electrons flux from solar wind trapped in planetary magnetic fields can be collected and harnessed to generate power. This innovative approach aims to store and generate energy in deep space where the current density from sunlight is low.

SWAN – Smart Wheelchair for Air travel Needs (Internet of Things Challenge) – Team Move-ez, Politecnico di Milano, Italy

SWAN is an innovation that aims to revolutionize the air-travel experience of Passengers with Reduced Mobility (PRM) using IoT technology. It converts a redesigned class of detachable airplane seats into smart electric wheelchairs that passengers can use from check-in to arrival. It is fully controllable by smartphone through a dedicated app.

V.A.C.A. – Earth-obserVation-data based Application for stoCkbreeding Administration (Data Services Challenge) – Team V.A.C.A, National University of La Plata, Argentina

V.A.C.A. is an integrated service for stockbreeders, based on Earth observation, meteorological and IoT data applied to agriculture. V.A.C.A. aims to provide actionable information to stockbreeders on quality and quantity of pastures, number of animals in paddocks as well as the physical condition of cattle.

Teams will share project updates, photos, sketches and stories using #flyyourideas with their posts captured on the social wall of the competition website.

Airbus Fly Your Ideas is a global competition challenging students worldwide to innovate for the future of aerospace, designed and launched by Airbus in 2008 and organised in partnership with UNESCO since 2012. Since 2008, over 22,000 students have registered for Fly Your Ideas from over 700 universities and 100 countries worldwide, with more than 500 Airbus employees contributing their mentorship and expertise to support the competition.

For more details and information on the finalists, please visit

2015 winner returns to take on Fly Your Ideas 2019

Mohit Gupta is back with Team Optibag from Georgia Tech, US. Like an Olympian, he’s going for gold and ready to reclaim his title as Fly Your Ideas champion. To find out more, we caught up with Mohit on his third Fly Your Ideas adventure.

Most people know that I participated in Airbus Fly Your Ideas in 2015 as I was part of the winning team, Multifun. However, nobody knows that I participated in the 2013 edition as well. At that time, I worked to improve the design of the engine cowl’s inlet for maximum inflow of air to reduce the chance of aircraft stall. We reached Round 2, but our team was not selected for the final. I never gave up and ended up winning the 2015 edition and I am still here, participating in 2019.

Fly Your Ideas is the best avenue for students like me to bring out the best in ourselves. It gives us a chance to learn, innovate, get feedback from industry experts and test our ideas on real-life situations. It is truly the Olympics of Aerospace Engineering for students.

As Fly Your Ideas turns its focus to digital solutions, we can clearly see how the competition reflects the research, development and innovation going on in the aerospace industry. The industry is gradually pivoting towards innovation in areas such as Mixed Reality and Artificial Intelligence.

This year, my team Optibag are competing in the Data Services challenge. Our idea uses data to identify an optimum trim for an aircraft based on the flight conditions. This tells us where the Center of Gravity should be, and we have developed a platform which uses baggage loading to achieve the optimum trim and minimise fuel consumption. We also came up with a dynamic programming enabled machine learning algorithm which provides a platform to optimise baggage loading using the data collected.

I have gained so much from Fly Your Ideas over the years, that it is hard for me to summarise everything. My message to the students out there is to be persistent and keep innovating, because even if you don’t win, this experience will enhance your capabilities to take on the real challenges in the future.

The Fly Your Ideas alumnus shaping Airbus’ digital future

From Fly Your Ideas to a high-flying career! Chamendra Amarasinghe took part in Airbus Fly Your Ideas in 2015 and made it to Round 2 with Team Ivy from the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, Australia. He now works as a Business Developer at Skywise, Airbus’ cutting-edge open data platform. We caught up with Chamendra to find out more.

During the Fly Your Ideas competition, Chamendra’s team developed innovative hybrid joints for titanium-carbon fibre interfaces using additive manufacturing (metal 3D printing). He explains: ‘While the aviation industry is transitioning to composite material, drilling techniques from metal aircraft production are still used, which could potentially damage the composite materials. This new method could potentially reduce this risk, leading to a stronger and longer-lasting joint.’

Following the competition, Chamendra pursued his interest in digital solutions at Airbus’ Saint-Nazaire plant in France, working on Digital Transformation for Quality in the A320 aircraft family. This involved carefully observing the current way of work and finding ways to implement digital tools and processes to ease the workload.

In 2018, Chamendra joined Skywise – a project described by Marc Fontaine, Airbus Digital Transformation Officer and Patron of the Fly Your Ideas competition, as ‘the beating heart of aviation.’ With Skywise, Airbus and big data pioneer Palantir Technologies bring together aviation data from multiple sources across the industry into one secure cloud-based platform. Skywise aims to reduce flight disruptions; decrease maintenance costs; transform flight, cabin and ground operations; and encourage faster decision-making.

Skywise also aims to support the aerospace industry’s digital transformation. Chamendra explains, ‘The industry has always been conservative yet bold when it comes to new technologies. Most new technologies arrive late, after maturing and being refined in other industries. Nevertheless, when it does appear, it makes a strong entrance causing big changes. It’s the same with Skywise and the move to digital aircraft and aviation big data. The aviation ecosystem is just making this transition now, and as it does, it’s requiring more and more digital skillsets.’

How does Chamendra’s work at Skywise compare to the Fly Your Ideas competition? ‘In some ways, it’s like Fly Your Ideas, in that most of the work that is done is in anticipation of future technology.’

He adds, ‘the competition has an element of marketing, where we had to keep the public informed of the project status. Whether it’s a future strategic project or an internal Airbus one, there’s always an element of keeping the right stakeholder informed and excited about the progress being made, and those are definitely skills that started outside of the technical university classroom and in public competitions like Fly Your Ideas.’

Celebrate International Women’s Day with Fly Your Ideas!

International Women’s Day is celebrated around the world on 8th March. To honour this day, we invited Fly Your Ideas participants to share with us the lessons they have learned from inspiring women about dreaming, risking, trying, failing and, ultimately, succeeding.

What does International Women’s Day mean to you?

Almudena describes International Women’s Day as ‘‘an occasion to celebrate our successes and advances and a reminder that women’s rights are still not guaranteed in many countries and that we cannot stop campaigning until every corner of the world benefits from gender equality.’’

Luciana adds, ‘‘a day to remember that every day we should choose to reject gender-biased attitudes and instead believe in ourselves and our potential.’’

How do you plan to celebrate International Women’s Day this year?

Some of our participants will look for inspiration in the stories and achievements of successful women. Daniela plans to read about women who made history, while Julia hopes to reach out to a woman in the aerospace industry and ask her what it took to carve a career path.

Almudena finds empowerment in helping others to pursue their dreams. She plans to spend the day as usual, working on her lectures and encouraging her students (both male and female) to become great engineers. ‘‘I cannot think of a better way to contribute to our common future.’’

Luciana encourages us to push forward for change. ‘‘We should start by being bold, having difficult conversations around gender stereotyping and sharing our own experience to support and encourage others.’’

Of course, with just a few days to go until the Round 2 deadline, many Fly Your Ideas teams will spend the day working hard on their projects. Team Osprey told us that participating in the competition is ‘‘important as women in STEM to show the younger generation that engineering is for everyone.’’

Tell us about a woman who inspires you.

The inspiration for our teams? Pioneering women of the past and present. Both Juan Sebastián and Daniela name as their inspiration Marie Curie, who at the turn of the 20th century developed the theory of radioactivity and became the first woman to win a Nobel Prize. Juan Sebastián describes Curie as ‘‘a revolutionary woman who literally gave her life to science, resulting in one of the best discoveries in human existence.’’ Her story encourages Daniela ‘‘to dedicate my life to science, to pursue a career dominated by men and to be great in it.’’

Our teams are also empowered by the success of leading women at Airbus. Ana Cristina Galucio, Chief of Staff at Airbus Defence and Space, is a local heroine for Team Flyby: ‘‘Born in a small northern Brazilian city, she overcame challenges and won battles in pursuit of a dream that made her one of the world’s greatest composites materials experts.’’ Sarath is inspired by Jaqueline Castle, Airbus A380 Chief Engineer, whose ‘‘strength and drive for her work’’ earned her a place amongst the Top 50 Influential Women in Engineering.

Almudena hopes to follow in the footsteps of Sally Ride, one of the first female astronauts, while Luciana names as her inspiration Constance Adams, the first Space Architect to work for NASA. Luciana explains, ‘‘when people tell you that you can’t do something, it’s motivation to prove them wrong by pursuing your dreams.’’

Reminding us that inspiration can always be found amongst our peers, Julia says, ‘‘I feel like women in STEM (Science, Tech, Engineering and Mathematics) are always playing in the same team – they want other women to succeed and often their attitude screams: ‘I did it, so you can do it as well!’’’

We hope you enjoyed hearing our students’ thoughts on International Women’s Day. To find out more visit

With thanks to our contributors
Almudena, Team Learning to Fly
Daniela, Team Move-ez
David, Volney, Lêdson and Gleidson, Team Flyby
Juan Sebastián, Team Seneka
Julia, QRevolution
Luciana, Team AirPOOL
Natasha, Pia Maria and Kieran, Team Osprey
Sarath, Team Maverick