Write a brilliant report with Fly Your Ideas!

With one month to go until the Round 2 deadline on the 11th March, our teams are working hard to develop their ideas! Whether you’re working on your #flyyourideas project or a university assignment, keep reading for our simple tips to writing a great report.

Plan ahead

Read carefully the Round 2 student brief to understand what to discuss within your report. Planning is essential – before you begin to write, think about the structure of your report and map out a list of key points to cover. A clear and logical structure will serve as the framework for your answer, helping you to address the questions.

Be succinct

Write clearly and concisely to help convey a powerful message. A good piece of advice is ‘don’t use a long word where a short word will do.’ Write with a formal style, limiting ‘I’ or ‘we’. Avoid the passive voice: use strong, direct language.

Make it visual

Bring your idea to life with 1-5 visualisations! A detailed illustration, a photograph of an initial prototype, an infographic, a flow diagram or a simple hand drawn sketch are all impactful ways to demonstrate how your concept will look and work. Assessors should be able to understand the idea by looking at the visualisations.


Set the report aside for a day or two, then read it again.  Make sure to print it out on paper before you read it.   This will help you to catch any errors. You can miss a lot of errors if you only read it on the screen. Check your spelling, grammar and punctuation. Pay attention to whether the report is easy to follow and whether your points are clear. We recommend asking a native English speaker to proofread your work – your university communications team may be able to help.

Using sources

Reference any parts of your work taken from other sources and ensure those sources are reputable and authoritative. Referencing also avoids any potential issues that could arise concerning plagiarism. You may choose to go the extra mile by collecting your own unique research; conducting interviews with relevant people or even approaching airports or airlines to support with data collection.

Stick to the guidelines

Is your report in PDF format? Is it no longer than 2,000 words? Is it in English? Have you followed the brief and answered all the questions, including the challenge question?

We hope these tips were helpful – good luck to all our Round 2 teams and our Fly Your Ideas community from around the world who are also working on report-writing projects. Keep an eye on the social wall for the latest updates from our teams!

Fly high with our tips for Round 2 triumph!

We hope our Round 2 teams are having a fun and productive Fly Your Ideas journey! The destination is now in sight, so read on for our top tips to put you on the flight path to Round 3.

Need motivation? Join our social media community

Our vibrant social media community will give you an instant motivational boost! See what the teams are posting on our social wall and get involved – you might even star on our official Facebook page. Some teams have even created special profiles to showcase their projects: Asporia, Move-EZ, Flyby, QRevolution, Brainblowers, Osprey and Aerovators!

Looking for inspiration? Think outside of the box

Be creative! An interesting example comes from 2017 finalists Team SkyVision who, after the competition, pre-sold their idea to two airlines and used the data collected to mature their business model. Go the extra mile to develop a project that is both innovative and useful.

Need advice? Ask the experts

There are many people here to support you during your Fly Your Ideas adventure. We encourage you to make regular contact with your Airbus Mentor for project management support. You can also ask for your questions to be forwarded to an Airbus Expert. Take advantage of their technical know-how! Here is an example of what can be accomplished by seeking the right support: Team Move-EZ recently met with an aircraft captain to know more about the challenges addressed by their idea and how it can improve air travel.

Want recognition? Shout about your success

Being selected for Round 2 is a huge achievement and we hope that sharing the exciting news with your university will encourage you to keep striving for success. Some universities are already sharing Fly Your Ideas success stories on social media. Team FlyBy’s university were one of the first to share the exciting news!

Feeling overwhelmed? Set goals, organise tasks

Plan your project by breaking down the components into smaller steps. Team Brainblowers show us how: set objectives and assign tasks to each member of the team. This will help you to manage your time and will ensure you are always ten steps ahead. Meet regularly to develop your idea and ensure everyone is focused on the end goal.

Have a question? Contact us

We hope you found these tips useful for your team. And don’t forget, we are always happy to help – there is no problem too big or too small! Email us at info@airbus-fyi.com or message us on Facebook. We aim to reply within 24 hours.

Airbus Fly Your Ideas: A Career Launch for Luke

Luke Spiteri is a Fatigue and Damage Tolerance Engineer based in the UK, working on the wings of A320-Family aircraft. Luke reached the final of Fly Your Ideas in 2013 with Team CLiMA as a student at Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, Australia, and is now mentoring a team in the 2019 competition. Keep reading to learn how Fly Your Ideas helped Luke’s career soar to new heights!

You were a runner-up in 2013 for your idea to develop aircraft fueled by a blend of sustainably produced liquefied biomethane and liquefied natural gas (Bio-LNG). Tell us about your experience of the competition!

Looking back at it a few years on, the experience still feels surreal and remains a highlight of my time at university! I am still staggered by the support from my university and our local industry. To develop our idea, we 3D printed and tested it in the Wind Tunnel, completed structural and aerodynamic computational simulation, performed hands-on testing with cryogenic liquids and attended the Australian International Air Show to gauge interest and seek feedback. We were fortunately selected to present our ideas in Round 3 to a panel of Airbus and airline representatives including Charles Champion, former Head of Engineering. The competition opened my eyes to the opportunities presented by the aerospace industry. The experience of walking through the A380 Final Assembly Line and seeing six A380s wingtip to wingtip was something I will never forget!

Did having Airbus Fly Your Ideas on your CV help you when you began looking for a career?

The competition was a big help when starting my career because it provided an opportunity to demonstrate and develop essential career skills – both technical and interpersonal. I was able to regularly refer to or reflect on these experiences and provide an interesting point of discussion during interviews.

Tell us about your work as a Wing Fatigue and Damage Tolerance Engineer. Do you incorporate the skills you learnt with Fly Your Ideas into your work?

My role, developing ideas for aircraft modifications specific to A320-Family aircraft, closely reflects the process undertaken as part of Fly Your Ideas from concept generation through to feasibility testing and product delivery. A self-driven mindset, communication skills, stakeholder engagement and the development of agreed requirements into achievable objectives, as practiced through Fly Your Ideas, have given me a good foundation from which to continue to develop.

You’re mentoring an Electrification team this year. What excites you about the Electrification category?

With increasing demands for sustainable, connected and personalised travel, Electrification is a rapidly growing segment in the aerospace industry. In addition to industry leaders including Airbus investing in electric aircraft development programmes such as E-Fan X, start-ups are developing new electric regional aircraft of their own. This makes the entire industry an exciting place to be, on the cusp of a step change in technology and commercial air travel.

What advice would you give to Round 2 teams hoping to mirror your success?

Keep going, talk to people, talk to more people and keep going! The ideas, feedback and support that you can get from your peers, colleagues and industry are limitless. Use the resources around you and don’t be afraid of suggesting ideas and asking questions.

Airbus Mentor shares secrets for success

Alvery Grazebrook is a Fuel System Modelling Specialist at Airbus and Fly Your Ideas 2019 marks his fifth year as an Airbus Mentor. In this exclusive interview, Alvery tells us about his experience mentoring a team all the way to the final – and offers advice to Round 2 teams on how to get there.

Why did you get involved in Fly Your Ideas?

Fly Your Ideas brought dreams of co-operation with academic organisations and new research possibilities. Being involved with new ideas and the enthusiasm of the teams gets me out of my shell after the New Year.

What are the most enjoyable and rewarding aspects of mentoring a team?

When they do well! I’m so proud of the way my teams have connected with other people when developing their ideas – whether it was the Stuttgart students who worked with the local airport management to gather data about usage-patterns, or the Surrey University team who pre-sold their idea to two separate airlines and used the information gathered to develop their business model. This raises the bar for what can be achieved.

How can Round 2 teams make the most of their Airbus Mentor?

As an Airbus Mentor, I have usually had to support the team with basic project management. When the students have done this for themselves, it allows the Mentor relationship to dive into the more technical and creative aspects of the project.

Any other advice you would give to Round 2 teams?

Be clear about the novelty and added value in your idea, and do something specific to support this. Some examples (not just from my teams) – when making composites from new materials, the team performed billet testing to provide standardised data on the material properties of the result. When designing a downward pointing camera mount, the team performed an analysis to assess how many aircraft needed to carry the device to achieve varying levels of coverage over Europe. Decide what you are going to do to provide the evidence to prove your point.

You mentored Team SkyVision from the University of Surrey, UK, who were selected as finalists in 2017. Tell us about your experience of the final event.

We arrived in Toulouse, and spent an intense week preparing. Each of the teams went into their corners and worked extremely hard. What was amazing is how much the teams supported each other emotionally. I don’t mean group hugs – although there were plenty of those at the end when we were all parting – I mean by challenging each other, and supporting each other through the stressful moments of the final round.

Have you remained in touch with your mentees?

I’ve remained in touch with some of them. Particularly with the SkyVision team that made it through to Round 3, we were so much more involved because of the time spent together in Toulouse ProtoSpace Lab. It was lovely to be invited to give a reference, and I’ve had several other exchanges with members of the team about careers and about developing their idea further.

Airbus shortlists 51 teams for Round 2 of Fly Your Ideas

Airbus has selected 51 international student teams to go into round two of its sixth Fly Your Ideas global challenge. Students were invited to innovate in six key areas covering Electrification, Data Services, Cyber Security, Internet of Things, Artificial Intelligence and Mixed Reality.

The teams involving 179 students representing 47 nationalities from 66 universities developed ideas which included solutions for surveillance drones, alternative power generation, groundbreaking in-flight entertainment systems and many others. The shortlisted teams have three months to mature their ideas with the support of Airbus mentors and aerospace experts before up to six finalists are chosen. Finalist teams will compete for a share of the €45,000 prize and the chance to take their idea forward within the aerospace industry. Teams will share project updates, photos, sketches and stories using #flyyourideas and will be captured on the social wall.

The competition is an offer from Airbus to students worldwide to bring their ideas to life together with a leading global company on real industry challenges. Airbus is looking for ideas that change the future of aerospace and create a safer, cleaner and better-connected world.

The majority of participants come from engineering, digital and technology disciplines with 90% studying subjects such as Engineering, Information Technology, Nanotechnology or Telecommunications. Seven out of ten teams include mixed nationalities, genders, profiles or disciplines. Airbus sees diversity as an essential driver for innovation and success. With regards to the region, Europe and Asia-Pacific lead the field. Countries which are represented for the first time in Round 2 include Ghana, Kazakhstan, Vietnam and Zimbabwe.

You can also find out more about Airbus Fly Your Ideas and the unique partnership enjoyed with UNESCO on the competition website. Please also join the Facebook community. 

The Airbus Fly Your Ideas adventure begins: Round 1 recap

Round 1 closed in November 2018 and Airbus Assessors are now selecting the top 50 teams to soar ahead to Round 2 of Fly Your Ideas. Teams will be informed whether they have been successful on 17th December and will have until March 2019 to develop their Round 2 submissions.

What happened in Round 1?

In Round 1, students formed their team and selected one of six digitally focused challenges for the future of the aerospace industry: Artificial Intelligence, Cyber Security, Electrification,Data Services, Internet of Things and Mixed Reality. Each team came up with a solution based on the key question for their chosen challenge.

270 teams comprising 941 students from 72 countries completed a simple online questionnaire about their idea. Students were asked to explain the technology behind their idea and to consider its business potential, the benefits it will bring to the end user, any obstacles in its development, and to start thinking about the sort of prototyping they might develop in Round 2. They also submitted a sketch to help visualise the idea.

What happens next?

In Round 2, teams will submit a visual report and a video with support from their Academic Mentor. In addition, teams will be assigned a dedicated Airbus Mentor and benefit from technical advice from Airbus Experts.

The Airbus Assessors received some particularly innovative, interesting and creative ideas this year. Thank you to all teams who submitted and stay tuned for the results!


Fly Your Ideas Challenge: Internet of Things

How can the Internet of Things revolutionise the passenger experience and improve collaboration in the aerospace industry?

The Internet of Things – IoT – helps Airbus to gather and process the right data at the right time to improve processes and create future products and services for our customers and their passengers. IoT makes collecting and managing large amounts of big data possible and opens up new analytics and Artificial Intelligence-based microservices.

“The Internet of Things is a key enabler for digital transformation in all functional areas,” says challenge sponsor Dr. Anes Hodzic, head of IoT at the Airbus Digital Transformation Office. “Huge amounts of data from large numbers of connected devices require new ways of ingesting, modelling and securing that data. Those devices have to interact with each other to make the data useful for the end user. With the right level of creativity to shape how that happens, we can change how we work and interact together.”

The huge increase in connectivity that Hodzic references has led to demand for scalable data collection and processing capability. Cost-effective data transmission, low-cost data processing and storage are all key enablers for real-time IoT applications.

Airbus is looking for Fly Your Ideas students to think about IoT in terms of technologies or applications that could improve the passenger experience of air travel. These could include new data-driven interaction between aircraft, crew and passengers; improvement of the journey experience from home to destination; or personalisation of cabin environments based on mobile data.

Teams should consider IoT solutions which change how employees, partners, subcontractors and customers in the aerospace industry collaborate. Examples include training or information exchange for shop floor technicians and service employees; tracking of parts in the supply chain; or real-time interaction with suppliers and customers.

“I don’t claim to have the smartest people already on board at Airbus when it comes to IoT,” says Hodzic with a smile. “Through Fly Your Ideas I’m interested in seizing the creativity and imagination of the ’digital native’ generation that has grown up with social media and digitalisation.”

So what is his advice to students thinking of tackling the challenge? “Think big but start small. Addressing the complex issues our industry faces starts with simple solutions with user in mind and experience isn’t necessarily an asset!”

Fly Your Ideas: Electrification Challenge

Electrification has long been seen as the key to flying longer, further and cleaner but how can this technology be embedded in the Airbus products of the future?  “This is a major issue, a chance to preserve our planet,” says Valery Gineste, this challenge’s main sponsor.

The possible benefits of Electrification are well known – particularly the potential to dramatically reduce the environmental impact of air travel by dramatically reducing emissions. Less familiar is the recent progress in crucial technologies that have reduced the energy and power densities, and recurring costs of electric propulsion.

These are exciting trends but further improvements in the range and mission capabilities of electric vehicles are needed. Airbus is investing in research dedicated to developing the technology and expertise needed. Students can apply their creativity and innovative approaches to electric flying involving commercial aircraft, drones, helicopters or spacecraft.

“In the aerospace industry we love challenges and Electrification could make a huge difference to all our products and other forms of urban travel too,” says Valery. “This is a superb opportunity for Airbus to show what we can achieve together and ensure good air quality for all.”

You could work with Airbus to discover new solutions to reduce the weight of the aircraft energy storage and generation systems. Or maybe devise improved technologies and systems combinations, architectures, or energy systems integration to enable better performance through innovative embedded electrical energy systems.

Teams might also focus on the recharging, diagnosis and potential grid interfaces, the harvesting of energy for redistribution, or even solutions for the second life of energy storage systems.

“My advice to entrants is simple,” concludes Valery. “The stakes are high so be bold, be innovative and be part of the generation that finds a solution. This challenge is for dreamers and game changers who want to shape the world of tomorrow.”