Global student interest in digital aerospace competition soars

Airbus Fly Your Ideas digital platform is open for ideas. #flyyourideas

Toulouse, 10 September 2018 – With over 2,000 already registered, students can now access to the purpose-built digital competition platform under in order to upload their idea in Round 1 of the competition.

Airbus launched the sixth Fly Your Ideas competition in June 2018 and the next generation of innovators can now submit their proposals tackling one of the six challenges set out by Airbus (Electrification, Data Services, Cyber Security, Internet of Things, Artificial Intelligence and Mixed Reality). Students need to fill an online questionnaire about their idea, highlighting the technology behind it, market analysis, originality, added value and potential obstacles. In order to visualize the idea, the teams must also submit a simple sketch.

The Round 1 submission phase ends on 16 November 2018 and is followed by an online assessment where a team of Airbus specialists recruited from across the business will review and evaluate all submitted ideas. The live final of Fly Your Ideas will be held in 2019, where students will have the opportunity to showcase their ideas to an audience of industry experts. Fly Your Ideas is a global competition for universities and students from all over the world to innovate for the future of aerospace, including Commercial, Defence & Space and Helicopters. Airbus is seeking ideas that could change aerospace in the decades to come and create a safer, cleaner and better-connected world. The competition is an opportunity for students to build valuable employment skills including teamwork, project management and presentation skills and to apply their classroom learning to real-world challenges. As well as joining Airbus on site to further develop their ideas, up to six finalist teams will compete to share a prize fund of € 45,000 and the chance to take their idea forward within the industry.

Since the competition launched in 2008, over 20,000 students from more than 650 universities in over 100 countries have been involved. Since 2012, the competition has been supported by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). Audrey Azoulay, Director-General of UNESCO underlines the value of this partnership. “Fly Your Ideas is an inspirational endeavour for students around the world and UNESCO is proud to be a part of this initiative. The new challenges will allow students to think outside the box and come up with sustainable solutions for global problems beyond aerospace – exactly what the world needs from our future generations!”

To find more about Airbus Fly your Ideas, visit our website which now has additional features such as a live social media wall featuring the latest Fly Your Ideas news and updates as well as new “People and Jobs” and “Future of Flight” pages focusing on digitally oriented profiles and careers as well as Innovation at Airbus. Additionally join the Facebook community at

Team DAELead: One year on from their Fly Your Ideas victory

For the second half of our interview series, we spoke to our 2017 winners Team DAELead. Stewart, Darwing, Hayden and Leo’s winning innovation is a clever aircraft cabin design that locates a Private Stowage Compartment (PSC) underneath passengers’ feet, utilising the space between the cabin floor and the cargo ceiling. Keep reading to find out about Team DAELead’s progress, one year on.

Has your idea progressed further?

”We have further developed our idea with our Capstone Design Project during our senior year in the university. We have polished the idea with more calculation in structure, material aspects and implemented a better opening mechanism. We intend to work further on the idea in the future.” Inspired by their Fly Your Ideas success, the team entered the Hult Prize, reaching the regional final in Singapore with another creative idea which utilises drones to pre-alert the traffic ahead of emergency vehicles, allowing the emergency services to reach the scene within a shorter timeframe.

Has being involved in Fly Your Ideas impacted what you are doing now?

The team agree that the competition confirmed their interest in aerospace and engineering and has allowed them to explore employment possibilities within these fields. Stewart has been accepted onto the Cadet Pilot Programme at Cathay Pacific and will begin his training in Adelaide in September. Darwing is also looking forward to flight training sponsored by a scholarship. Hayden is resuming his studies after completing a one-year internship at a local railway company, while Leo has been offered a job at Cathay Pacific as a Graduate Engineer.

What advice do you have for teams taking on Fly Your Ideas 2019?

”Think in a broader way in Round 1, [and] explore more possibilities in the six aspects. Then, try to evaluate the idea with its feasibility and impact, to polish the idea to a presentable proposal.” The team also encourage students to be open to guidance. ”Seek for suggestions and opinions from your Airbus mentor and other experts in the aviation field to make [your project] even better.”

Want to follow in Team DAELead’s footsteps and develop your own unique innovation? Register now to take on the 2019 challenge!

Top Tips for Fly Your Ideas Success

Do you have what it takes to soar in the competition? The Fly Your Ideas adventure made a real impact on many of the students who previously took part in the competition. Some of our former participants have prepared some useful advice to inspire you ahead of the launch of Round 1 on 10 September.


Teamwork is a valuable skill that can be applied in almost all aspects of life. As Mattia Bucari of Team Flybrid (2013) tells us, ‘’Fly Your Ideas helps me to understand the importance, in a project, of considering all the different points of view coming from the different members of a team.’’ Recognise the value that diversity can bring to your team: every winning team since the competition began in 2008 has mixed gender, nationalities or disciplines.

Be confident

Judit Guimera Busquets of Team Bolleboos (2015) encourages participants to have confidence in their ideas and abilities. ‘’We are the ones setting up our own limits. It’s just a matter of believing more in ourselves.’’ Equally, Javier Vidal Muria of Team Big Bang (2009) encourages students to push themselves. ‘’[The competition] made me realise that I had to step out of my comfort zone to be competitive.’’

Build your network

Fly Your Ideas is a unique opportunity to work alongside Airbus experts and establish industry contacts. Lucas Otsuka of Team Retrolley, the runner-up team in 2015, encourages participants to make the most of networking opportunities to expand their project’s potential. ‘’Getting to know key people at Airbus was fundamental to get the idea to the market after the competition.’’

Utilise expert support

Expert support is available to Round 2 teams to help develop ideas and provide technical advice.. Mario Selvaggio of Team Grossomodo (2015) says, ‘’We had the opportunity to work with an engineer from Airbus (that introduced us the world of industry, with all the problems and responsibilities) and with a professor from Germany (our Academic Mentor).’’ Make the most of the advice they can offer to make your project the best it can be.

Develop your soft skills

Fly Your Ideas is more than just an innovation competition. It is a chance to hone your soft skills and gain experience in writing, project management and pitching your ideas. Kosisochukwu Anyaegbuna of Team Nevada (2017) says, ‘’the world needs innovators. Airbus Fly Your Ideas will not only teach you how to change the world through innovation but will give you the skills required to change the world!’’

If these tips have inspired you, register for the competition and let your ideas fly!

Fly Your Ideas, one year on: Catching up with Team Aquarius

Team Aquarius from Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, Australia, were runners-up in our 2017 competition for their aerial fire-fighting solution. We caught up with Anil, Philipp and Kerry one year on.

What happened after the competition?

Talking about her experience after the competition, Kerry says, ‘’I was absolutely shocked at the flow of events that occurred for me and my team. We have been invited to present to high level officials in our university, been in numerous articles online as well as in print, interviewed by the local radio, flown to regional Australia to promote aviation and RMIT, presented to His Royal Highness Andrew Duke of York as well as numerous other opportunities. It has been a true whirlwind.’’

Did the idea develop further?

The team continued to investigate technical and socio-economic fire-fighting solutions, including education on forest fire prevention, early detection technologies and fire-retardant materials. Philipp tells us, ‘’With the global fire situation, recently again in Sweden, Greece and the US, there is still a huge need to address the problem.’’

What is the team doing now?

The competition has left a lasting impact on all the team members. Philipp, who now works as an Aerospace Design and Systems Engineer, says ‘’Developing this idea has helped me realise that I want to work on something in my life closely associated with people, with a direct benefit to others.’’ Next year he will travel to Sri Lanka to spend six months developing a Learning Centre.

Kerry continues to study a double degree in Aviation and Business Management and is about to complete an internship at Airbus DS in Friedrichshafen, Germany.

Anil is preparing to submit his doctoral thesis in Aerospace Engineering. He says, ‘’the visibility gained from this competition has opened doors for many career opportunities after my PhD studies, both in academia and industry.’’

Advice for 2019 teams…

The team have plenty of wisdom to offer students taking on the 2019 challenge. Anil encourages students to use the experience as an opportunity to develop teamwork skills. ‘’It is very important to have a diverse and dynamic team. You will learn a lot amongst each other by having a team with different skillsets and fields.‘’ Finally, Kerry says ‘’There is no right idea or wrong idea. Just ones that make sense and can exist easily within the world, improving people’s lives.’’

Feeling inspired to develop your own idea and join the 2019 challenge? Register now!

How Fly Your Ideas launched a stellar year for Kerry

Back in May 2017, Team Aquarius were enjoying the excitement of being Fly Your Ideas finalists and eventual runners up in the closely-fought competition. But their journey was far from over, as team member Kerry Philips has been telling us.

In just over a year, Kerry has made the jump from student finalist to securing a prestigious internship with Airbus’ German innovation team. She told us, “I have so much freedom with opportunities to travel across the globe, to work with a diverse range of people and to implement my own ideas. Airbus is incredibly flexible and have let me do things I never would have expected. It’s exactly where I want to be.”

Kerry was also a coach for student teams at the recent Airbus Airnovation Summer Academy, where we asked her to tell us about her Fly Your Ideas experience. Watch her describe how her team found themselves in the spotlight, and how this competition created opportunities to share, showcase and gather support for their idea.

To see where Fly Your Ideas could take you, register now for #flyyourideas 2019!

Why get involved in Fly Your Ideas?

Registration is now open for Airbus Fly Your Ideas 2019, and there are many reasons to get involved. These are the top five reasons why you should sign up to be part of this global student competition. Read on for inspiration!

  1. Understand the challenges of the future aerospace industry and gain valuable insights

Employers and universities reviewing applications will want to see how you have demonstrated your interest in aerospace and innovation. Progressing in Fly Your Ideas means that you can confidently claim insight and personal experience in these areas.

  1. Benefit from the expertise and experience of Airbus employees

Want an opportunity to interact and work closely with Airbus experts? You will have the chance to focus on real industry challenges alongside Airbus experts as you move forward in the competition. Teams selected for Round 2 will have a dedicated Airbus mentor to help guide and refine their ideas.

  1. Improve your employability skills

Professional skills – teamwork, project management, presentation and communications – are highly valued by employers, yet hard to acquire solely through your studies. You’ll develop these skills and more in the competition.

  1. Apply classroom learning to a real industry challenge

Taking part in Fly Your Ideas is a chance to apply your classroom learning and get some impressive experience working on a real-world aerospace challenge. Airbus has identified 6 key challenges to focus on with students from all over the world.

  1. Work across borders with people of diverse profiles and nationalities

Diversity unlocks innovation and creative thinking and is at the heart of this initiative. Since the Fly Your Ideas competition launched in 2008, more than 20,000 students from over 650 universities in over 100 countries have taken part. Developing your idea with a team of people from different backgrounds or profiles during Fly Your Ideas is great preparation for working in diverse and multidisciplinary teams during your professional life.

But these are not the only reasons why you should get involved. The top teams that make it to the final round will get the chance to visit the “ProtoSpace” based at Airbus HQ to test and visualise their ideas using state-of-the-art equipment with personalized guidance from Airbus. And let’s not forget the chance of sharing the €45,000 grand prize if your team makes it to the final.

Encouraged to start your own Airbus Fly Your Ideas journey? Then register now.

Green service trolley goes from student brainwave to production

How can airlines tackle cabin waste? Recycling is one answer and ReTrolley, the brainchild of five 2015 Fly Your Ideas finalists from Brazil, is a practical first step. But what’s exciting is that it has now entered into production!

ReTrolley is brilliant in its simplicity. By enabling the separation of recyclable materials during flight, it answers a pre-requisite of cabin waste disposal. The students’ “Green” cabin service trolley, accommodated in the galley just like conventional equipment, consists of three customisable modules. They can be used to separate cups, cans and packaging for compacting or to collect liquids, whose disposal is a tricky issue for airlines.

The International Air Transport Association claims that in 2016 around five million tonnes of waste was generated in flight. Getting rid of it costs over 500 million dollars, a figure expected to double in the next 15 years. Yet ReTrolley’s benefits go beyond cost saving. Airlines face stricter regulation, increasing disposal fees as well as the higher expectations of passengers to minimise the environmental impact of the services and products they buy.

“In 18 months ReTrolley evolved from concept to a marketable product thanks to its simplicity and universal appeal,” says Matthias Reiss of Airbus’ cabin design office, who worked on the project from the start. The five students developed a demonstrator over the course of 2016, enlisting Airbus Corporate Innovation to find a local manufacturer in the shape of Sao Paulo’s 3D Systems.

A business model was soon identified with a little help from Airbus’ BizLab accelerator, and in mid-2017 the students linked up with Airbus’ customer experience team for a promotional tour. By then Airbus had patented the concept and airlines had begun to express an interest. That’s no surprise given that even in its infancy, ReTrolley was already a double award winner. In 2017 ReTrolley won the coveted Crystal Cabin Award – dubbed the aviation Oscars – in the ‘Greener Cabin, Health, Safety and Environment’ category. The APEX ‘best cabin innovation’ award came next. The awards caught the attention of cabin equipment specialist Iacobucci HF Aerospace, which agreed to produce and market the ReTrolley as buyer-furnished equipment under licence from Airbus.

“We couldn’t have imagined when we set out that we would get so far,” says Fly Your Ideas team member Lucas Neumann de Antonio, who now works in the FinTech industry. “We were just a group of students committed to finding a solution for airline waste. It took a trip to Hamburg to see how ReTrolley had real-world potential. Now it’s magical to think that our ideas will soon be up in the air, helping to solve such an important problem.”

Got a great idea you just have to share? You can follow in the footsteps of the ReTrolley team. Discover the challenges and opportunities of Airbus Fly Your Ideas here.

Airbus invites next generation of talent to make their innovative ideas fly

Student competition focuses on digital solutions for aerospace

Airbus has launched the sixth Fly Your Ideas competition and invites the next generation of innovators to propose and develop original ideas for the aerospace industry. The biennial competition is a celebration of creativity and innovation to solve real industry challenges.

Open to university teams from across the world, including all disciplines from engineering and information technology to marketing and design, the competition is an opportunity for students to unleash their pioneering spirit, working at the cutting edge of digital technology alongside industry experts. Airbus is seeking ideas that could change aerospace in the decades to come and create a safer, cleaner and better-connected world. Since the competition launched in 2008, over 20,000 students from more than 650 universities in over 100 countries have been involved, with this edition expected to be the most exciting yet.

Teams entering Fly Your Ideas go through three competition rounds, with progression to each round presenting an opportunity to further develop their concepts with support from Airbus specialists and mentors. As well as joining Airbus on site to further develop their ideas, up to six finalist teams will compete to share a prize fund of € 45,000 and the chance to take their idea forward within the industry.

Marc Fontaine, Digital Transformation Officer for Airbus and sponsor of Fly Your Ideas, said: “This competition enables us to connect with digital native innovators, and apply their energy and enthusiasm to the tremendous possibilities that we are tackling through our own digital transformation. Our industry is entering an era of profound change and huge potential, and I am excited to see how teams will rise to the challenge.”

The 2019 competition asks teams to respond to one of the following challenges: Electrification; Data Services; Cyber Security; Internet of Things; Artificial Intelligence; and Mixed Reality. Since 2012, the competition has been supported by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).

Registrations open today (05 June 2018) and students can already get to work on their creative and digitally-led responses and apply at The live final of Fly Your Ideas will be held in 2019, where students will have the opportunity to showcase their ideas to an audience of industry experts. The journey to the future of aerospace starts here.