‘Inspiring’ schoolgirls triumph in easyJet ‘Aircraft of the Future’ contest

The winning entries in easyJet’s ‘Aircraft of the Future’ competition were revealed at the conclusion of the COP26 conference in Glasgow.

The low-cost airline launched the competition in October, challenging the next generations of engineers to design their vision for future flying 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, Designs also featured a selection of sustainably sourced materials including seats made from coconuts, one of the thickest and most resistant natural fibres available.

Schoolgirls Cerys Armstrong, aged eight, of Norfolk, and 15-year-old Lara Wong, of Surrey, submitted the winning entries judged by an esteemed panel of world-class experts in flying, sustainability, design and zero emission technology.

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.

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First Officer Debbie Thomas, of easyJet, who was on the judging panel, who is also 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.”



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.



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