Try Before You Fly - The Airbus ‘Demonstrator’ Programme

Nov 06, 2017

As Airbus looks for new and better ways to fly, we need to develop products much more quickly than has been traditional in the aerospace sector. The ‘Demonstrator’ programme is central to this mission, and aims to bring new ideas from conception to market in as little as two years.

Mark Cousin is head of the Demonstrator programme, and explains that this approach is similar to how NASA developed cutting-edge aerospace technology in the 1950’s and 1960’s. It’s all about setting ambitious goals, then rapidly developing, discarding, refining and then deploying the technology required to make them a reality.

“Essentially, the idea with the Demonstrator is to set a very challenging, but achievable objective. There’s no point in saying we’re going to design something we know is impossible. But on the other hand, we have to set targets that many people in the company would think were crazy — or would think were not possible — otherwise they’re not challenging enough!”

Throughout the five editions of Airbus Fly Your Ideas to date, students from around the world have been equally ambitious with their ideas for the future of the aviation industry. This year, the five finalist teams spent a week of intense development and testing at our ProtoSpace facility, pushing their ideas to be as robust as possible before the live final event.

Find out more about Mark’s work and the Demonstrator initiative and watch finalists’ week at ProtoSpace here.