easyJet Announces Winners Of Future Flight Competition

easyJet Announces Winners Of Future Flight Competition

  • easyJet launched the competition in October for children to design a zero-emission passenger plane
  • Cerys, aged 8 and Lara, aged 15 have been named as the winners of easyJet’s ‘Aircraft of the Future’ competition after they wowed judges with their designs
  • The winning designs included innovative features such as solar panel wings, pressurised hydrogen fuel tanks and reusable cups made of processed banana leaves
  • easyJet launched the competition to inspire younger generations to get engaged in exciting new zero emission technologies for air travel of the future
  • Research from the airline revealed that 90% of British children think that being an inventor or designer to help combat climate change would be one of the world’s best jobs
  • On COP26 Transport Day, easyJet announced that it has joined the UN’s Race to Zero campaign, committing to reach net-zero carbon emissions by 2050, with zero-emission flying will play a major role

London, UK, 2021-Nov-19 — /Travel PR News/ — Cerys, aged 8 from Norfolk and Lara, aged 15 from Surrey have been crowned the winners of easyJet’s ‘Aircraft of the Future’ competition following a nationwide contest.

The airline launched the competition in October, challenging the next generations of engineers to design their vision for future flying – a passenger plane for travelling across Europe powered by a sustainable energy source. Entries included designs inspired by solar-powered wings to more unconventional energy sources like hamster-wheel and worm-powered planes! The designs also featured a selection of sustainably sourced materials including seats made from coconuts (coir), one of the thickest and most resistant natural fibres available.

The reveal of the winning designs follows the conclusion of COP26 in Glasgow, where the airline announced that it has joined Race to Zero, a global UN-back campaign to achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2050 at the latest. In joining Race to Zero, the airline is committing to set an interim science-based target for 2035 as well as to reach net-zero carbon emissions by 2050, of which technology for zero-emissions flying will play an important part.

Cerys’ winning design centred on battery power, with solar-powered wings and reusable cups for passengers made of processed banana leaves. Whilst Lara’s design looked at using pressurised hydrogen and fuel-cell stacks to generate electricity to power their passenger aircraft of the future.

Lara’s aeroplane also took inspiration from the animal kingdom with material replicating fish scales for the plane’s fuselage, intended to decrease drag for the plane to improve fuel-efficiency.

All design entries were judged by an esteemed panel of world-class experts in flying, sustainability, design and zero emission technology.

easyJet pilot and zero emission aircraft modeller Debbie Thomas was joined on the panel by easyJet’s Director of Sustainability Jane Ashton; zero emission aircraft expert Glenn Llewellyn from Airbus; Jeff Engler, CEO of Wright Electric which is developing a zero-emission short-haul plane; and world-famous automotive transportation designer Frank Stephenson, best known for his iconic car designs for MINI and Fiat 500, as well as recent innovative work designing electric flying vehicles.

The panel judged all the entries on the quality of the design, interpretation of the theme, creativity, innovation, practicality, and most of all, how the design has considered sustainability and the environment.

Research by the airline of 2,000 British children and adults revealed that well over four in five (83%) British children would like to take up a career that worked in finding solutions to combat climate change through science or technology, with 85% of parents supporting their children in this.

A whopping 95% of children believe that learning about subjects like science and technology for combatting climate change is important and a further 90% of children think that having the chance to be an inventor or designer who invented  things to combat climate change would be  one of the most amazing jobs in the world. Reflecting this love of creativity, nearly four in five children say (79%) use their imagination to think about how they can make the world a better place

With international travel returning to normal, nearly all children (94%) say they’re thrilled to travel to more places with friends and family next year. Highlighting further children’s love of travel, 89% of children agreed that being able to travel to new places was one of the most exciting things they could do when they grow up.

The thought of planes being powered by zero emission technology excites 88% of children – with nearly 9 in ten (87%) excited to travel on these planes.

easyJet’s First Officer Debbie Thomas, who was on the judging panel, and is an engineer and zero-emission aircraft modeller said, “We had some amazing entries and were stunned and incredibly encouraged by the innovation we saw. Cerys and Lara have inspired us all with their winning designs – we’d love to see them join easyJet as engineers one day, working on zero-emission aircraft of the future.”

Frank Stephenson, designer and judge said, “We have been blown away by the designs we have seen, children’s imaginations are so powerful in fuelling ideas and creativity. Huge congratulations to Cerys and Lara!”

Glenn Llewellyn, Airbus Vice President Zero Emission Aircraft and judge said, “There’s nothing more inspiring than seeing the next generation’s enthusiasm for more sustainable flight! I’m thoroughly impressed by the innovative ideas – from fish scales to increase laminar flow to “bow” wings powered by hydrogen fuel cells – put forth by these future aeronautical engineers. It demonstrates curiosity, creativity and a maturity in aeronautical knowledge that is wise beyond their years.”

Jeff Engler, CEO of Wright Electric and judge said: “It was incredibly inspiring to see how creative children were when it came to designing their sustainable aircraft of the future. We were delighted to see the inventiveness and level of detail some of the designs had.”

Cerys and Lara have received a host of money can’t buy prizes in the form of a 3-D model and rendering of their design, produced and signed by Frank Stephenson as well as an experience in an easyJet full-flight simulator and return flights to anywhere on the airline’s network for the winner’s immediate family plus

Additionally, Lara, the winner of the secondary school-age category, has also won a behind the scenes trip to Airbus and a chance to feature on Frank Stephenson’s YouTube podcast channel to discuss their design. The runners up will also be receiving a signed render of their design.

Championing the development of a zero-emission aircraft to de-carbonise aviation has long been a focus for easyJet and the airline is working with its partners Airbus and Wright Electric to accelerate the development of zero-emission technologies. The airline is optimistic that it could begin flying customers on planes powered by hydrogen-combustion, hydrogen-electric or a hybrid of both by the mid to late-2030s.

In 2019, it became the first major airline worldwide to offset the carbon emissions from the fuel used for all its flights, and currently remains the only major airline in Europe to do so. This comes at no additional cost to its customers and the airline only supports projects that are certified by either Gold Standard or Verified Carbon Standard. This is an interim measure while new technologies are developed.

Beyond carbon, easyJet is focusing on reducing plastic – more than 27 million single-use plastic items were eliminated – as well as reducing waste within its wider operations and the supply chain. The airline recently introduced new crew uniforms made from recycled plastic bottles. With 45 bottles in each uniform this has the potential to prevent 2.7 million plastic bottles from ending up in landfill or in oceans over the next five years.

For more information, go to www.easyjet.com/sustainability

About easyJet:

easyJet is Europe’s leading airline offering a unique and winning combination of the best route network connecting Europe’s primary airports, with great value fares and friendly service.

easyJet flies on more of Europe’s most popular routes than any other airline and carried more than 96 million passengers in 2019 – more than 16 million travelling for business. The airline has over 300 aircraft on nearly 1000 routes to more than 150 airports across 35 countries. Over 300 million Europeans live within one hour’s drive of an easyJet airport.

easyJet aims to be a good corporate citizen, employing people on local contracts in eight countries across Europe in full compliance with national laws and recognising their trade unions. The airline supports several local charities and has a corporate partnership with UNICEF which has raised over £14m for the most vulnerable children since it was established in 2012.

The airline takes sustainability seriously and is committed to reaching net-zero emissions flying by 2050. Together with its partners Airbus and Wright Electric, easyJet is working to accelerate the development of zero-emission aircraft technology. In the meantime, the airline is offsetting the carbon emissions from the fuel used for all its flights, at no additional cost to its customers, and only supports projects that are certified by Gold Standard or the Verified Carbon Standard, internationally recognised certification schemes. In addition, easyJet continues to renew its fleet, operate efficiently, and aims to fill most of its seats. Through these activities, the airline has cut its carbon emissions per passenger kilometre efficiency by a third since 2000 and is committed to reducing this further.

Innovation is in easyJet’s DNA – since launching over 25 years ago, easyJet changed the way people fly to the present day where the airline leads the industry in digital, web, engineering and operational innovations to make travel more easy and affordable for its passengers.

The airline was named as Britain’s Most Admired Company of 2020 in the transport sector, retaining the leading position for a second year running. Britain’s Most Admired Companies study is the longest-running annual survey of corporate reputation in the UK.

For further information, please contact: 

Alex Butler ab@tayloherring.com

easyJet Press Office on 01582 525252, log onto www.easyjet.com or follow @easyJet_Press

Source: easyJet