The passenger of 2050........................................................................................5
Future energy sources.........................................................................................6
Unlocking transport congestion...........................................................................9
A whole new way to fly......................................................................................11
The Airbus Concept Plane.................................................................................13
The Airbus Concept Cabin.................................................................................17
Fly Your Ideas. ...................................................................................................29
by Charles Champion, Head of Engineering at Airbus
Everybody knows that people need and want to
travel. They always have and they always will.
We surveyed over 10,000 people around the world
who will be passengers in 2050 to ask what they
want from the aviation industry in the future.
Their message was clear – we need to help as
many people as possible share in the benefits that
air transport brings, but we need to achieve this
while looking after the environment.
Demand for air travel will continue to grow, because
it drives so much of the world’s social and economic development. But those
who benefit and those who work in the aviation industry are also sensitive to the
impact of their choices on the environment.
In the last 40 years we’ve made huge strides in terms of reducing costs,
slashing emissions and reducing noise, which means we already have a good
understanding of the issues involved in meeting those demands. You only have
to look at the A380, A350XWB or A320neo to see how far we have come.
Now we are focusing on the challenges that have to be addressed if we are
to achieve even more progress for 2050 and beyond – this can be anything
from energy sources and air traffic management to new aircraft designs and
integrated transport networks.
The future by Airbus highlights some of the challenges and decisions that lie
ahead in creating a more connected and a more sustainable world. For example,
should the industry go for huge fuel savings at the expense of noise? Is it okay
for costs to increase if it makes recycling easier? When and how will air transport
make the big switch away from kerosene? Is the education system going to
deliver enough talented people to find the solutions?
Our experts are already looking at some of these issues today. The Airbus Concept
Plane and Cabin and The future by Airbus film are just engineers’ dreams, and the
entries for the Fly Your Ideas student challenge are just that – ideas. But they offer
a glimpse of some of the very real possibilities that existing technology and talent can
offer – with the right investment, support and co-operation.
The future by Airbus is about our commitment to meeting people’s needs for the
future and to encouraging them to play a part in helping to shape that future – their
future – our future.
Sometimes in life you can’t settle for the easy option. You need to aim high and go
for the very best solution possible. At Airbus we still dare to dream and we hope that
The future by Airbus will inspire policy makers, investors, suppliers, airlines, teachers,
researchers and young people everywhere to be part of the solution for a better
world in 2050 and beyond.
The passenger of 2050
Our global survey asked the young people that will be passengers in 2050 about
their vision of air travel for tomorrow. It revealed that 7 in 10 people expect to fly
more in the future, in greener aircraft, with access to their ‘digital world’ in flight.
Environmental issues were of concern to one in five citizens across the globe,
particularly amongst people from Germany and China, followed by those from
Japan, France and the United Kingdom.
Behind the numbers is a belief that we will live in an increasingly multicultural world.
Economic growth was rated the top reason for flying abroad, with a high expectation
in China, Singapore and Mexico; 46% cited a growing desire to travel further and
experience more of our planet; and 37% the need for greater flexibility between life
at home and place of work. At the same time, independent forecasts predict the
global population will increase to over nine billion.
The Passenger 2050 survey told us that people will want cabins with radical interiors
that interact with the environment outside and meet their emotional needs; the
ability to access all the technological advances that fill their daily lives and a choice
between speed and a more leisurely but indulgent experience (with as many as a
third saying they wanted the flight itself to feel like a holiday experience).
The future passengers said they want
to be able to individualise their travel
experience by “clustering” together
a series of themes and technological
features, which will make their travel
experience unique to their individual
needs, creating a truly class-less
There may be some huge step changes ahead for the aviation industry, but it’s clear
that one thing won’t change – the importance of passenger needs at the centre of
Like most types of transport, flying depends on fossil fuels. But as everybody knows,
supplies are running out, they damage the environment and they are expensive.
In the last forty years aircraft fuel burn and CO2 emissions have been cut by 70%.
The industry contributes to 2% to man-made CO2 emissions, 80% of which are from
flights of over 1,500km/900 miles for which there is no practical alternative.
As demand for air transport grows we need to improve this performance even more,
which is why the aviation industry is determined to achieve carbon neutral
growth from 2020 and to cut CO2 emissions in half by 2050
(compared to 2005).
So we need to ensure that every drop of fuel is used
efficiently and to develop new ecologically sound
Traditionally, carbon based/kerosene-like fuels
have proven to be the best energy carrier for
aircraft, because of properties like their ability
to maintain stable temperatures. Biofuels offer
many of the same benefits and every aircraft in
the world could use them immediately without
having to change the infrastructure.
Biofuels are made from living things or the waste
While plants like camelina they produce. Airbus encourages the development of
are a more likely source of second generation biofuels, known as biomass, which
sustainable biofuels in the avoid competing with food resources. Some options
short term, experts are also
being looked at include algae, woodchip waste, camelina,
studying options like algae
for longer term solutions halophytes such as salicornia (plants growing in salt
water), waste produce and yeast.
For example, if you give certain types of algae seawater, sun and carbon (the
same carbon we are trying to get rid of), they become a ‘biomass’ plant. With over
200,000 types of algae suitable for research, they offer promising options for large
Through value chain projects, Airbus
also uses local knowledge to identify
the best choice of biofuels for each
country by helping to connect
farmers, refiners, governments and
airlines. Farmers are encouraged to
use non-arable land in the confidence
that their crop will be bought by
refiners, and, of course, producing
the fuel close to where the airlines need it also minimises emissions from
transportation. Five programmes have already been established in Brazil, Qatar,
Romania, Spain and Mexico, with others due to be added in Africa and Asia.
If biofuels can be produced in sufficient quantities for commercial use, Airbus believes
that they could already provide up to 30% of all commercial aviation jet fuel by 2030.
A fuel cell is a device that transforms the energy of hydrogen into electricity (by
combining the hydrogen with oxygen in a ‘cold’ combustion). The only waste is
water, heat and oxygen depleted air, so no emissions and no noise!
What’s more, the water produced from the process can be used by the aircraft’s
water and waste systems, which saves extra water having to be carried on board.
This reduces weight, which in turn reduces fuel burn and emissions even further.
It is unlikely that fuel cell technology will be used as the main
power source in the near future. Instead engineers are
looking at using it for the cabin and aircraft
systems, to power things like air
conditioning or starting the
Solar power is the perfect renewable energy in many ways, but unfortunately it has
limited use on aircraft because of the way it creates and stores power on board. While
it can provide enough power for small aircraft to fly, it’s unlikely to be a practical solution
when it comes to getting larger, commercial airliners into the sky.
The technology might take a giant leap
forward, but today, even if an entire aircraft
was covered with the most efficient solar
panels available, it would still not be
enough to propel a large aircraft. However,
in the more immediate future, solar power
could provide electricity on board the
aircraft once it has reached altitude or help
reduce fuel burn and emissions during
ground operations around airports.
Some of the energy sources being investigated by 2050 might seem farfetched by
today’s standards. What about harvesting body heat for example? Instead of producing
energy, this would simply collect energy,
from say the passenger’s seat, and redirect
it to power some of the aircraft functions,
like the cabin lights. It might seem crazy –
but if you had asked somebody 40 years
ago about a double-decker aircraft that
carried more than 800 people but was
more efficient than a small family car you
might have got the same reaction!
With the world’s population about to reach 7 billion, more than 2.5 billion passengers
already fly each year. With another 2 billion people expected to be living on the planet by
2050, there are going to be a lot more people on the move.
According to the Air Transport Association (IATA), reducing flight time by even one minute
globally would save 4.8 million tonnes of CO2 every year. So as well as finding ways to
reduce the amount of emissions created by aircraft when they fly between airports, we also
need to find ways to avoid having fuel guzzling traffic jams above and around the airports.
If there is already such a big challenge today and by 2050 there could be four times as
many planes but less ground space available for airports, how can we keep the skies safe
and reduce emissions?
What is Airbus doing?
European airspace is among the most crowded in the world, with over 33,000 flights on
busy days. Airports like New York’s JFK have nearly 600 aircraft taking off every day -
almost half of them within a six hour peak time window. And, nearly three quarters of the
world’s air traffic passes through just 114 airports (out of more than 2,300)!
That’s why Airbus is involved in projects on both sides of the Atlantic to help improve air
traffic management. The Single European Sky Air Traffic Management Research (SESAR)
and its North American cousin, The Next Generation Air Transportation System,
(NextGen) are initiatives that will help provide quicker
flights, shorter routes and, therefore, less fuel burn,
emissions and congestion in the future.
By 2050 there could be four times as
many planes but less ground space
available for airports, how can we keep
the skies safe and reduce emissions?
Formation flying: Airbus is working with
some of its partners to explore this idea
as a way to reduce both fuel burn and
emissions on long distance flights
As well as finding solutions to this problem by working with engineers, we might also be
able to find some just by taking a look at nature around us.
In nature, large birds sometimes fly together to save energy and travel further. When
flying in formation – as you see with migrating geese or ducks – the leading bird’s wings
generate whirling masses of air. The following bird benefits from this air current to get
some free extra lift, which means it needs to use less energy to fly.
Aircraft wings create the same effect, which we call a trailing vortex. Military pilots often
use the same formation flying techniques to reduce the amount of energy – fuel burn –
that they use.
At the moment, passenger aircraft do not use this technique because of safety
concerns. However, Airbus is working with some of its partners to explore this idea
as a way to reduce both fuel burn and emissions on long distance flights. In fact, this
approach was also proposed by a young team of graduate engineers who made it to
the final of the Airbus Fly Your Ideas challenge.
A whole new
way to fly
In the past, air travel has mainly focussed on getting people from A to B as safely and as
quickly as possible. But in the future, travelling could be an entirely different experience -
integrating different stages of the journey, making the trip so enjoyable that passengers
won’t want to arrive, or even changing the way you pay.
Pop on a pod
What good are more comfortable, eco-efficient aircraft if the passengers have to waste
hours on end in crowded airports? The airports of the future will have to be much more
practical than today.
Perhaps taking a plane could become as
simple as taking the underground, using
the same style of boarding platforms right
alongside. Or perhaps passengers will
already be seated in cabin pods before the
plane actually arrives, ready just to collect
the pre-loaded passengers, saving time
and making life simpler.
Cruising the sky
Speedier air travel may not suit everyone. A lot of people simply love the experience of
being above the clouds and away from it all.
So perhaps the next generation of cruise
ships will be in the sky, not the sea, with
packages to suit everyone – complete
with swimming pools, spas and even
golf courses. And perhaps you won’t
even have to pay for your ticket, with the
operators making their money from casino
takings, restaurants and other attractions.
Hundreds of flights already take place
on popular long distance routes like
from Europe to the US, Asia or Australia
and there will be a lot more by 2050.
So, instead of operating dozens of
separate flights, perhaps we could
have giant aircraft carriers. Smaller
aircraft could dock on them for most
of the journey – perhaps using vertical
take-off and landing – then just provide
a more localised shuttle service at either
end of the trip. The size of these new
generation aircraft carriers might even
open up new possibilities for the type
of energy that could be used to power
Vertical take-off and landing
Airbus experts in aircraft materials, aerodynamics and engines came up with a
Concept Plane design that is an ‘engineer’s dream’.
More than a flight of pure fantasy, The Airbus Concept Plane embodies what
air transport could look like in 2050 – even 2030 if advancements in existing
technologies continue apace. Ultra long and slim wings, semi-embedded engines,
a U-shaped tail and lightweight intelligent body all feature to further improve
environmental performance or ‘eco-efficiency’. The result is lower fuel burn, a
significant cut in emissions, decreased noise pollution and greater comfort.
The Airbus Concept Plane brings together a package of technologies, which
although feasible, are unlikely ever to coexist in this manner. So it is not a plane
that will fly, but it stretches the imagination of engineers, it highlights some of the
challenges and decisions that lie ahead for air travel, and it illustrates the main
technologies being explored in anticipation of the future needs of passengers and
The empennage (tail section of the aircraft)
is U-shaped, acting as a shield to reduce
Concept Plane external noise pollution. The concept
plane does not use a vertical tail, as seen
on the planes of today. Vertical tails are
required when engines
are installed on the
Configured wings as they provide
wingspan directional stability in
Longer and slimmer case of engine failure.
wings glide better The engines of the future will have no risk
through the skies, of failure, eliminating the need for a
as the flow of air over the wing surface vertical tail.
reduces drag and in turn, improves fuel
New lightweight ‘smart’
materials sense the load
Engines will be more reliable, quieter
they are under, making
and fuel-efficient. The positioning of the
for a lighter aircraft that
engines, at the rear and semi-embedded,
draws less fuel and curbs emissions.
fully optimises the aircraft for lower fuel
burn. The engine placement also boosts
cabin comfort through
decreased noise levels.
The engines can be
incorporated into the
aircraft body because
technological advances will have reached
such a level that superior engine reliability
will diminish the need for immediate
access to its components.
double doors to Fuselage
allow for faster, The fuselage (central
easier boarding. body of the aircraft)
is no longer a simple
tube but is curved and
shaped to provide more internal space for
various cabin configurations, with better
aerodynamics outside to improve flight.
The fuselage and entire aircraft structure
is manufactured entirely from composite
to take advantage of the easy-to-shape
characteristics of the material.
The electrical system will continuously Manufacturing
monitor its own state of health, methods
anticipating any need for maintenance New manufacturing
and automatically scheduling this well methods will reduce the
in advance. Electronics and other cost and environmental
systems on board impact of building the
will be entirely self- aircraft despite the new advance materials
sufficient, requiring and complex shapes.
minimum to zero
Getting the balance right
The Concept Plane is unique because it can
bring together different technologies, without
having to worry about the impact of one on
the others – so it represents the best of all
worlds. In reality engineers have to find the
best balance of technologies, depending on
what the priorities are.
So for example, chart 1 shows that if you
introduce new technology that improves CHART 1
fuel burn, emissions and the passenger
experience, the performance on noise, costs
and productivity may be reduced.
Likewise, chart 2 shows that if you
concentrate on reducing noise and
simplifying operations, the fuel burn and
emissions could be less impressive, and the
aircraft may be more difficult to manufacture
However, as time progresses, new
technologies mature and can be used to
expand capabilities in the desired direction,
as shown in chart 3.
Based on extensive research into the way the world’s population is changing, the
Airbus Concept Cabin illustrates what the future of flight might look like from the
passengers’ perspective. Inspired by nature – and designed to protect it - aircraft
cabins of the future will be customised to the needs of individual passengers.
In the Concept Cabin First, Business and Economy class are replaced by zones
that target more individual needs like relaxing, playing games, interacting with other
passengers or even with people on the ground. The cabin’s bionic structure and
responsive membrane combines panoramic views with an integrated neural network,
which can identify and respond to the specific needs of each passenger. And the
fittings and furnishings will take care of their own cleaning and repairs thanks to
innovations inspired by nature, like dirt repellent coatings and self healing covers.
By offering different levels of experience, airlines would be able to achieve the price
differential they need to operate a successful business, give more people access to
the benefits of air travel and still look after the environment.
By 2050 the world’s population is
expected to increase to 9.1 billion1.
But who will these people be and how
will they want to fly?
Cabin technologies While the Concept Plane
shows how advanced
materials can create
a high performance
aircraft with a more
traditional look, the
Concept Cabin provides
a little taste of some of
Future aircraft could be built
using a bionic structure
that mimics the bone
structure of birds. Bone
is both light and strong
because its porous interior
carries tension only where
necessary, leaving space
elsewhere. By using bionic
structures, the fuselage has
the strength it needs, but
can also make the most of
extra space where required.
This not only reduces the
aircraft’s weight and fuel
burn, but also makes it
possible to add features like
oversized doors for easier
boarding and panoramic
The cabin’s bionic structure and
responsive membrane combines
panoramic views with an integrated
neural network based on the human
The cabin’s bionic structure
will be coated with a
which controls the amount
of natural light, humidity
and temperature, providing
opacity or transparency on
command and eliminating
the need for windows. This
smarter structure will make
the aircraft lighter and
more fuel-efficient while
giving passengers 360
degree views of the skies.
This will offer unparalleled,
unobstructed views of
the wonders of the five
continents – where you will
be able see the pyramids
or the Eiffel Tower through
the transparent walls of the
Future materials may not
even be the materials
we see and use today.
‘Composite’ materials will
be used – new matter
made of a combination of
different materials. In the
future materials may not
even take a solid state, but
could be a composition of
fluid and gas for example!
The cabin electrical system
can be compared to
the human brain, with a
network of intelligence
pulsating through the
cabin. This network will be
absorbed into the structural
materials, making the
hundreds of kilometres of
cables and wires found in
today’s aircraft a thing of
the past. Known as ‘Smart’
materials they can perform
recognising the passenger,
so that you too are
‘connected’ to the plane.
Materials that change
shape and return to their
initial form, growing like the
leaves of a plant, are a very
real possibility. Morphing
materials might be metals
or polymers that have a
‘memory’; or are covered
with a ‘skin’ that will
instigate a shape change.
A memory is created
using sensor and activator
systems that give materials
a certain level of artificial
intelligence, allowing them
to adapt to the passengers’
Materials will be self-
cleaning. Think of
the leaves of a lotus
plant, which water rolls
off in beads, taking
contaminants with it.
Today, coatings inspired
by this are used on
the surfaces of cabin
bathrooms. In the future
they will be found on the
fabric of seats and the
These intelligent materials
could also be self-repairing,
which is already used
today in surface protection.
Certain paints can seal a
scratch by themselves, just
as the human skin does.
The future passenger cabin
will be fully ecological. Fully
recyclable plant fibres that
can be grown to a custom
shape will be sourced
from responsible and
The future passenger cabin will be
Some of the elements in the
cabin could be created using
additive layer manufacturing,
which is a bit like printing in
3D. The process repeatedly
prints very thin layers of
material on top of each
other until the layers form
a solid object in materials
ranging from high-grade
titanium alloys to glass and
concrete. As well as making
it simpler to produce very
complex shapes, this form of
production wastes a lot less
material than cutting shapes
out of bigger blocks. While
this technique is already
being tested for small aircraft
parts today, in the future, its
use could be widespread
– not only in industry but in
Scenes showing the
destination, a city skyline
or a tropical forest, will be
projected onto the walls.
A private cabin can reflect
your bedroom at home, a
business conference or even
a zen garden, thanks to the
projection of virtual decors.
will have advanced
to such a degree that
the virtual world will be
indistinguishable from the
Smart energy solutions
such as energy harvesting
will be a part of the cabin
environment. The body
heat you give out will be
collected by your seat
or pod as you relax or
sleep, and combined with
energy collected from other
sources, like solar panels,
to fuel cabin appliances.
Smart energy solutions such as
energy harvesting will be a part of the
What do Velcro, Michael Phelps’ sharkskin swimsuit and the world’s largest passenger
aircraft – the Airbus A380 – have in common? The answer rests in a growing field of
scientific study through which modern engineers, scientists and architects are looking not
at what we can extract from the natural world but what we can learn from it.
This is known as ‘biomimicry’ or biologically inspired engineering. Simply put, it’s the
study and imitation of nature’s best ideas to help solve human challenges. A growing
number of aeronautical innovations are inspired by an array of natural structures, organs
and materials – and these tried and tested patterns of the natural world
will continue to be a powerful source of inspiration in the future.
When nature has solutions like this to offer, it’s clear why we
all have an interest in protecting the world around us.
The lotus effect
The surface of a lotus leaf has evolved to
keep it clean and dry by causing rainwater to
roll off and take any dirt with it. Known as the
“lotus effect”, these properties have inspired
coatings for cabin fittings, which shed water
in beads, taking contaminants with them. This
improves hygiene and reduces the amount of water
needed. This in turn reduces the weight of the aircraft
and, therefore, the amount of fuel burn and carbon emissions.
This innovation is already used on the surfaces of Airbus cabin bathrooms
today and in the future will be found on the fabric of seats and carpets.
One of the teams in the final of this year’s Fly Your Ideas competition has also been
inspired to use the lotus technique on the outside of the aircraft.
Moveable wing surfaces
In the same way that sea birds sense gust loads in the air
with their beaks and react by adjusting the shape of their
wing feathers to suppress lift, probes in the nose of the
new Airbus A350XWB detects gusts ahead of the wing
and deploy moveable surfaces for more efficient flight.
This helps reduce fuel burn and, therefore, emissions.
Eagle inspired winglets
If the wings of large birds of prey like the Steppe Eagle
were too long, their turning circle would be too big to
fit inside the rising columns of warm air which they use
to soar. The eagle’s wings perfectly balance maximum
lift with minimum length by curling feathers up at the
tips until they are almost vertical. This provides a barrier
against the vortex for highly efficient flight. If built to a
conventional design, the A380’s wingspan would have
been three metres too long for the world’s airports. But thanks to small devices known
as ‘winglets,’ which mimic the upward curl of the eagle’s feathers, the A380’s wings are
20cm inside airport limits but still provide enough lift for the world’s largest passenger
aircraft to fly efficiently – saving fuel, lowering emissions and reducing airport congestion.
The silent flight of the owl
The long-eared owl is a truly silent hunter. Over 20 million
years, owls have evolved serrated feathers on their
wings and downy feathers on their legs, which minimise
aerodynamic noise. While modern aircraft already produce
75% less noise than those built 40 years ago, Airbus
engineers are studying owls to further unlock the secrets
of silent flight. Ideas include a retractable brush-like fringe to mimic the owls’ trailing
feathers and velvety coating on aircraft landing gear.
The use of bionics
In the biological world many creatures, such as bees and
butterflies, use lightweight, active skeletal structures for a
variety of purposes. These examples have inspired Airbus
to consider the use of such ‘bionic structures’ as part of
future aircraft structures. If the aerodynamic surfaces could
be made lighter or more adaptive to the local environment
then the weight of the aircraft could be reduced with
benefits in the form of reduced emissions. Airbus engineers are also exploring nature
inspired manufacturing techniques to create ‘bionic bones’, which may enable such
lightweight active structures on the aircraft of tomorrow.
‘Groovy’ shark skin
Remember Michael Phelps’ sharkskin swimsuit? Well
the same principles could be applied to the exterior of
an aircraft. The skin of a shark is covered by microscopic
grooves that scientists have found actually reduces their
drag through the water, allowing the shark to conserve
energy as it searches for food. For over thirty years this
‘groovy skin’ concept has been investigated and tested by
aerospace engineers and is eventually being adapted and applied to the construction
of Airbus aircraft. Just as a shark can minimise the energy it expends in motion, these
microscopic grooves can help to reduce the fuel burnt by a jet aircraft.
Butterflies and insects are some of the most beautiful
and delicate creatures on the planet, which belies the
fantastically intricate mechanisms in their wing structure,
designed to achieve optimum efficiency in flight. Soft
membrane and blood vessels (micro-capillaries) can stiffen
or relax to allow the wing to adapt to every stage of flight.
Airbus engineers have similarly developed aircraft wings
that naturally turn and twist in flight, but if this could be controlled then their efficiency
could be enhanced, reducing the fuel burnt during flight. Engineers are researching the
possibility of using small movable surfaces and active internal structural components as
part of an aircraft wing to mimic the way micro-capillaries in a butterfly’s wing make for
more efficient flight in the future.
Many thanks to the team at Wildscreen’s ARKive project for the images representing
biomimicry you see here. Discover thousands of photos of endangered species and
future inspiration at www.arkive.org
Gannet in flight, adjusting
feather shape to suppress lift
The world will be very different in many ways by 2050, but one thing will not change.
We will still need great people to make it even better!
Airbus knows it will take the very best talent to create a more connected and a more
sustainable world. Even once we’ve found the right combination of people, we need to
make sure that we can support them by providing the best training and facilities. But
what will that look like by 2050 – when the schoolchildren of today will be creating the
next generation of air transport?
Airbus is committed to ensuring training and development is at the heart of its business,
either within Airbus or in the wider community.
Airbus identifies the skills and technologies that will be needed many years from now
and works with education institutions and other organisations to see where we can use
our own experience to support young people. It could be about lobbying governments
for more investment in education, helping to ensure that students get the right sort of
education for a career in engineering specialties that will be in demand in the future, or
it could just be giving kids access to some of the most innovative thinkers in the world
today to inspire them to do well in whatever they choose to do in their lives.
A diverse workforce
Our world is changing faster than ever – we are
travelling more, working outside of our home
country, living and working longer.
If you take a look round Airbus today you will
already find employees from over 80 countries
speaking over 20 different languages. It can create
some unique situations like finding yourself at a
coffee machine listening to a Norwegian, a Spaniard
and a German speaking together in French!
But imagine a work force that is truly as diverse as the society we live in and the
customers that we serve – where each person is working as part of a team that thinks
outside the box, continuously innovating and better understanding the needs of all future
passengers, from all parts of the world. That is definitely a key part of Airbus’ vision for
What does a career at Airbus look like in the future?
Over the next 20 years the world’s airlines will need more than 24,000 new aircraft,
which must be greener, cleaner, quieter and smarter than ever before. By 2050 they
will need a whole new generation of aircraft that address changing demographics and
environmental concerns. That’s why Airbus needs the best team in the world to help
design, build, support and, ultimately, recycle its aircraft.
Airbus employs more than 52,500 people in sites around the world, which guarantees a
huge range of career opportunities for people driven by a pioneering spirit and passion
If today, we invest and nurture the talent of tomorrow, technology and innovation can
make life better for all of us.
Fly Your Ideas
People from every background can enjoy working in aviation to help shape the
future. Fly Your Ideas is a global challenge that brings together university students
from all disciplines to tell us what they would do to make the aviation industry more
Launched in 2008, the competition runs every two years and gives a rare opportunity
for tomorrow’s generation to develop their ideas for the future alongside some of
the most talented people working in the aviation industry today. The winning team
receives a prize of 30,000, the runners up share 15,000, and all of the finalists get
the chance to present their ideas at an international airshow.
The 2011 challenge of improving “The Environmental Life Cycle” was taken up by
more than 2,600 students from 75 countries. The 315 teams developed ideas related
to a stage of the aircraft’s life cycle: design, supply chain, manufacturing, aircraft
operations or aircraft end-of-life.
By pairing the team
with Airbus mentors, the
challenge increases the
students’ awareness of
the environmental and
aeronautic challenges of
the future and inspires
them to consider a career
The Fly Your Ideas 2011 winning team,
Wings of Phoenix, from Nanjing University
of Aeronautics and Astronautics in China
Air travel is about connecting people. But, at Airbus we also want
to focus on the travel experience itself; the journey as much as the
destination. We see every passenger being able to choose how they
want to travel in the future and also a significant reduction in weight,
fuel burn, emissions and waste.
But first we have another journey to take – the journey towards
the future by Airbus.
Now that you know the opportunities and the challenges that lie ahead,
why not get involved and help to shape the future of air transport and
the future of our planet?
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