Easyjet announces the winners of the competition for young aeronautical engineers

Easyjet has announced the winners of a competition aimed at inspiring younger generations to engage in exciting new zero-emission technologies for the air travel of the future.

Cerys, 8 from Norfolk and Lara, 15 from Surrey were crowned national competition winners.

The airline launched the competition in October, challenging next generations of engineers to craft their vision for the future of flight – an airliner for traveling across Europe powered by a sustainable source of energy.

Entries included designs inspired by solar powered wings to more unconventional power sources like hamster wheel and worm planes! The designs also featured a selection of sustainably sourced materials, including seats made from coconut (coir), one of the thickest and strongest natural fibers available.

The announcement of the winning designs follows the conclusion of the COP26 summit in Glasgow, where the airline announced it had joined Race to Zero, a UN-backed global campaign to achieve net zero carbon emissions from by 2050 at the latest.

Cerys’ winning design centers on battery power, with solar powered wings and reusable passenger cups made from processed banana leaves. While Lara’s design envisioned using pressurized hydrogen and fuel cells to generate electricity to power their passenger planes of the future.

Lara’s plane also drew inspiration from the animal kingdom with fish scale-like material for the plane’s fuselage, intended to reduce the plane’s drag in order to improve its fuel efficiency.

All design submissions were judged by an esteemed panel of world-class experts in flight, durability, design and zero-emission technology.

Debbie Thomas, EasyJet pilot and zero-emission model builder, has been joined by easyJet’s sustainability director, Jane Ashton; Glenn Llewellyn, zero-emission aircraft expert, Airbus; Jeff Engler, CEO of Wright Electric, which is developing a zero-emission short-haul aircraft; and acclaimed auto transport designer Frank Stephenson, best known for his iconic car designs for MINI and the Fiat 500, as well as his recent innovative work in the design of electric flying vehicles.

Lara’s design includes pressurized hydrogen and fuel cells to power the aircraft

The panel judged all entries on the quality of the design, interpretation of the theme, creativity, innovation, practicality and, most importantly, how the design took into account sustainability and the environment. .

According to research conducted for the competition, 95% of children think it is important to learn subjects such as science and technology to fight climate change and 90% more children think that they are lucky enough to being an inventor or a designer who invented things to fight climate change would be one of the most interesting jobs in the world.

EasyJet First Officer Debbie Thomas, who was on the jury and who is an engineer and model maker of zero-emission aircraft, said: “We have been amazed and incredibly encouraged by the innovation we have seen. Cerys and Lara have inspired us all with their winning designs – we would love to see them one day join easyJet as engineers, working on the zero emission planes of the future.

Cerys design includes solar powered wings

Glenn Llewellyn, Vice President of Airbus Zero Emission Aircraft, said: “There is nothing more inspiring than seeing the next generation’s enthusiasm for more sustainable flight. I’m very impressed with the innovative ideas – from fish scales to increased laminar flow to “arc” wings powered by hydrogen fuel cells – put forward by these future aeronautical engineers. He displayed curiosity, creativity and a maturity in aeronautical knowledge wise beyond their years.

Cerys and Lara received loads of cash that couldn’t buy prizes in the form of a 3D model and rendering of their design, produced and signed by Frank Stephenson as well as experience in a full flight simulator easyJet and return flights. anywhere on the airline network for the winner’s immediate family.

In addition, Lara, the winner of the secondary school age category, also won a trip behind the scenes of Airbus. The finalists will also receive a signed computer rendering of their design.

Advocating the development of a zero-emission aircraft to decarbonize aviation has long been a priority for easyJet and the airline is working with its partners Airbus and Wright Electric to accelerate the development of zero-emission technologies. The airline says it is optimistic about the possibility of starting to transport customers in planes powered by combustion hydrogen, hydrogen-electric or a hybrid of the two by the mid to late 2030s.





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