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Team Wings of Phoenix from Nanjing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics wins Airbus Fly Your Ideas 2011 competition

Students win €30,000 for their idea of a ground-based wind power generation system derived from aircraft wakes

The first prize of €30,000 in Airbus’ Fly Your Ideas 2011 competition was awarded to Team Wings of Phoenix from Nanjing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics (China) at a ceremony held at the International Paris Air Show – Le Bourget today. The team members, along with all the finalists, will also be offered an internship at Airbus. The Airbus Fly Your Ideas (FYI) biennial contest challenges students worldwide to develop new ideas to deliver a more eco-efficient aviation industry for the future.

Team Wings of Phoenix won for their suggestion of a ground-based wind power generation system that exploits the wakes of aircraft generated during takeoff and landing. Their idea involves the placement of a series of leaf-shaped devices along the sides of airport runways that are perturbed by passing aircraft, recovering energy that is otherwise lost. The team considered the electro-mechanical conceptual design of their ‘leaves’ and the potential to generate electrical power while meeting airport safety regulations.

The winning team is comprised of: Xinyuan Zheng, Lijun Pan, Xianmei Wu, Xuesong Liu and Kai Xu.

“To participate in the 2011 Fly Your Ideas challenge was a great experience for us. We are very proud to be the winning team and hope our idea will inspire the industry,” said Xinyuan Zheng, spokesperson for Team Wings of Phoenix.

The runner-up prize of €15,000 went to Team Condor from Universidad Técnica Federico Santa María in Chile for their proposal on an alternative design for aerodynamic speed brakes to recover energy for on-board reuse.

Spanish team ‘Ecolution’, from the Universidad Pontificia Comillas de Madrid, was awarded the Best Video prize for the creative way they presented their project, the implementation of light-weight natural fibre composites in aircraft cargo containers.

Tom Enders, Airbus President and CEO, said: “Innovation is the essential ingredient for maintaining our industry’s license to grow, and the Fly Your Ideas competition is a unique opportunity for students worldwide to promote their ideas for the sustainable future of flight. It is also a strong lever to engage with the next generation of talent who will push the limits of research and technology further.”

Charles Champion, Airbus Executive Vice President Engineering and Patron of Fly Your Ideas, said: “This year’s record number of 315 teams from everywhere around the world entering the competition demonstrates a strong interest in aviation and Airbus. The level of enthusiasm, creativity and thinking ‘outside the box’ has been remarkably rewarding.”

Thierry Baril, Airbus Executive Vice President Human Resources, said: “I am thrilled and inspired by the level of skill we have encountered. This year all members of the five finalist teams as well as the Video Prize winners will be offered an internship at Airbus, and maybe they’ll go on to become part of our future talent.”

The final round of the year-long challenge culminated this week as the five finalist teams presented their proposals to a special jury consisting of selected Airbus representatives and high-profile industry experts.

The global challenge, which was launched in July 2010, drew entries from more than 2,600 students from 75 countries, representing 287 universities. Students were asked to propose an idea related to one stage of the aircraft’s lifecycle: design, supply chain, manufacturing, aircraft operations or aircraft end-of-life.

The unique nature of the Fly Your Ideas challenge is that it gives students the chance to develop teamwork, enhance their creativity and innovation skills, and improve project management as well as presentation skills. Students have close interaction with Airbus staff benefitting from Airbus expertise and insight into the global aviation industry which currently supports 33 million jobs worldwide and is a substantial contributor to global commerce.

For further details on the Airbus Fly Your Ideas 2011 competition, please visit:
www.airbus-fyi.com and www.airbus.com Follow us on Twitter at @Airbus

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Media Contact
Anne Galabert 
+33 (0)5 61 93 10 00
press@airbus-fyi.com 

Notes to Editors

About Fly Your Ideas
Fly Your Ideas (FYI) is a biennial international student competition held by Airbus, the world's leading aircraft manufacturer. The first competition was launched in October 2008 to challenge students from around the world to create and develop innovative and eco-efficient ideas based on any or all stages of the Aviation Environmental Life-Cycle (design, supply chain, manufacturing, aircraft operations, aircraft end-of-life) that could ultimately shape the future of aviation. Since its launch, the university contest has proven a vast success, drawing together thousands of students from around the world.

Finalist Teams
Condor from Universidad Técnica Federico Santa María, Chile:
Nicole Batarce (Chilean, 21 and team spokesperson), Hans Schuler (Chilean, 21), Javier Gonzalez (Chilean, 21).

Team Condor developed the ‘The Energy Recovery Speed Brake’, a design solution for the spoilers on an aircraft wing that incorporates a cylindrical set of blades into the design of the aerodynamic speed brake. The rotation of these blades would then be used to generate electrical energy to provide certain auxiliary power functions and facilitate ground operation. The team considered various designs and conducted wind tunnel tests to validate their concept.

Team - Wings of Phoenix from Nanjing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics, China:
Xinyuan Zheng (Chinese, 22 and team spokesperson), Lijun Pan (Chinese, 23), Xianmei Wu (Chinese, 23), Xuesong Liu (Chinese, 21), Kai Xu (Chinese, 21).

Team Wings of Phoenix suggested a ground-based wind power generation system that exploits the wakes of aircraft generated during takeoff and landing. Their idea involves the placement of a series of leaf-shaped devices along the sides of airport runways that are perturbed by passing aircraft, recovering energy that is otherwise lost. The team considered the electro-mechanical conceptual design of their ‘leaves’ and the potential to generate electrical power while meeting airport safety regulations.

Team O3 from Indian Institute of Technology Roorkee, India:
Gowri Shankhar Suresh (Indian, 19 and team spokesperson), Aravind Rajendran (Indian, 18), Hasan Sadhir (Indian, 19).

Team O3 proposed an approach to the prevention of aircraft icing by the use of water-repelling polymer coatings inspired by the well-known surface characteristics of the lotus leaf. The team considered various formulations for these coatings to better suit the aircraft operating environment and also tested its adhesive strength. This proposed solution could reduce the usage of aircraft de-icing products prior to takeoff. In addition, aircraft weight would be saved as onboard anti-icing equipment would no longer be required.

Team Msia on Mars from Universiti Kuala Lumpur Malaysian Institute of Aviation Technology, Malaysia:
Ahmad Khairi Ahmad (Malaysian, 27 and team spokesperson), Wan Nor Hami Wan Isa (Malaysian, 22), Airull Juhari (Malaysian, 25).

Team Msia on Mars proposed that the next generation of aircraft thermal insulation blankets for cabin protection be made from the natural fibres of the Kapok tree. In order to replace the existing glass fibres, their alternative environmentally sustainable approach must achieve relevant thermal and acoustic properties as well as compliance with flammability airworthiness requirements. The team conducted a series of experimental tests including the adoption of a preliminary fire retardant solution to demonstrate the viability of their natural fibre solution.

Team SSE from Stockholm School of Economics, Sweden:
Oleg Soldatov (Ukrainian, 26 and team spokesperson), Stuart Turkelson (American, 34), Can Özenc (Turkish, 26), Nomusa Ndebele (Zimbabwean, 30), Christian Jonsson (Swedish, 25).

Team SSE formulated their ECO points programme to enable passengers to choose the most environmentally-friendly flights. Their concept involves a measure which rewards travellers who choose to fly on an airline with a lower carbon footprint, not only during aircraft operation but also through maintenance and end-of-life disposal. The team also conducted surveys and analysed the programme’s business model. They assert that operators will have an added incentive to upgrade their fleets with eco-efficient aircraft.

Video Prize Winner
Team Ecolution
from Spain - Universidad Pontificia Comillas, Madrid - (Guiomar Rayón Durán (Spanish, 24 and team spokesperson), Aitor Sanz Gismero (Spanish, 23), Eduardo Rafael Martín (Spanish, 23), Francisco Javier Mariscal Galván (Spanish, 24), Gonzalo Almendral Fernández (Spanish, 24).
Team Ecolution proposed the implementation of an environmentally sustainable natural fibre reinforced plastic jute composite to replace aluminium in the manufacturing of aircraft cargo containers. The team validated their alternative low weight design by simulation and conducted a detailed lifecycle analysis to estimate carbon emission benefits from the resulting fuel reduction.

FYI 2011 External Jury Members

  • Barbara Cassani, founder and CEO of the UK-based low cost airline, Go (which later merged with the UK’s easyJet) and founding Chairman of London’s successful 2012 Olympic bid

  • Andrew Parker, Senior Vice President Public, Government and Environment Affairs, Emirates

  • Professor Woerner, Chairman, German Aerospace Centre (DLR)

FYI 2011 Airbus Jury Members

  • Charles Champion, Executive Vice President, Engineering and FYI Patron

  • Andrea Debbané, Vice President, Environmental Affairs, EADS & Airbus

  • Bob Lange, Vice President, Marketing, Airbus

  • Lindsey Mi, Vice President, Communications, Airbus China

  • Mary Prettyman, Vice President, Marketing, Airbus North America

  • Richard Tisseyre, Senior Vice President, Airbus Innovation Cell

Alongside the Fly Your Ideas challenge, the EADS Foundation is committed to furthering scientific and technical knowledge among young people through a competition called “Mob-e3 Imagine the transport of the future”, open to high school students.