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The University of Southampton

Teenagers invited to design tomorrow's airliners

Published: 6 April 2005

School pupils are being urged to use their creativity to design innovative and environmentally-friendly passenger aircraft for the year 2050.

The School of Engineering Sciences at the University of Southampton is joining forces with major aviation companies and organizations to stage a web-based competition this spring with prizes for the best designs. It is called Future Flight - Greener by Design.

The contest will be launched on Friday 8 April at Fly! The London Air Show where visitors will be able to pilot futuristic airliners for themselves on a flight simulator at the Horizon Simulation stand (Hanger 28A). Finalists will be invited to a 'fly-off' to decide the winners after the closing date of 30 June. They will present their designs to aviation experts and fly them in the new flight simulator at the INTECH Science Centre near Winchester.

Parents and teachers are invited to take part alongside the 11-16 year olds and compete for prizes too.

Dr Kenji Takeda from the University of Southampton commented: "The future of 21st century air travel lies in airliners that are clean, quiet and efficient. Our aim is to inspire youngsters, engaging them in the exciting science, engineering and technology that is helping to build a sustainable future for us all."

Lord Sainsbury, Science and Innovation Minister added: "Future Flight - Greener by Design is an exciting opportunity for today's young people, the future leaders of science, to let their imaginations and creative flair flow in a hands-on and interactive way.

"By actively encouraging young people to explore emerging technologies like e-science and web technology, the Government is committed to developing the next generation of science leaders and ensuring the UK remains at the forefront of science and technology in the future. I am looking forward to seeing the results of this year's competition."

Future Flight - Greener by Design is funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council and organized by the University of Southampton's School of Engineering Sciences.

Notes for editors

  1. More information about the contest, including current and future air transport and the environmental issues, careers advice and free posters, and wallpapers to download is available on The web portal is built using next-generation web technology being developed at the University of Southampton under the DTI e-Science programme.
  2. Supporting organizations include: Airbus, BAE SYSTEMS, INTECH, Microsoft, AMD, BAA, the Engineering and Technology Board, the Greener by Design Consortium, the Royal Aeronautical Society, Society of British Aerospace Companies, Horizon Simulation and AVSIM.COM.
  3. Future Flight - Greener by Design will also be present at the Royal Aeronautical Society's Aerospace 2005 industry conference on 12th -14th April.
  4. The University of Southampton is a leading UK teaching and research institution with a global reputation for leading-edge research and scholarship. The University has around 20,000 students and nearly 5,000 staff. Its annual turnover is in the region of £270 million.
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