Airbus competition craziness: windowless cabins, planes made from plants, and more

Back in October of '08, Airbus launched the "Fly Your Ideas" competition, where teams would compete with one another to come up with the best idea to reshape the future of air travel. An amazing 2,350 students from 82 countries participated, and now Airbus is down to five teams still in the running, each with a crazy idea:

• The "Big Bang Team" from Universidad Polit√©cnica de Valencia in Spain is pitching a windowless cabin as part of an eco-efficient aircraft design.

• Team "Kometa Brno" from the Brno University of Technology in the Czech Republic wants to outfit planes with electric motors so that aircraft won't burn expensive jet fuel when taxiing.

• Team "Solaire Voyager" from the National University of Singapore wants to equip aircraft with solar panels to generate electricity for the operation of the plane.

• The "COz" team from the University of Queensland, Australia proposed using bio composite cabin materials made from castor plant natural fibres for literally green plane construction.

• Our very own "Stanford ADG" team from the university of the same name wants to implement an inverted V formation during flight, building on the model of migrating birds (and the Mighty Ducks) to reduce energy consumption.

The winning team will be picked on June 18th, split roughly $40,500, and present their design Le Bourget Airport in Paris. I don't know about you, but the idea of sitting in a windowless airplane for an extended period of time makes me worry I'd go a little nutty. Electric motors for taxiing? Now that sounds like a good idea we can implement even today.

Via Reuters