Airbus has hit a bit of turbulence lately, including an EU court case involving low-interest loans (in which Airbus welcomed the WTO's mixed ruling), and a public spat with Air France over a 2009 crash investigation.
While rival Bombardier is seeing a slow return to growth, Airbus is finding increased demand for its A320 model, and more interest in China. The CEO of Airbus, meanwhile, is in Beijing this week to strengthen its business there, including talking up the company's corporate jets with their new livery (above) — or as the aircraft-maker puts it, "new branding, colours and names for its corporate jets, reflecting aircraft improvements, the company’s culture of innovation and family commonality."
The company is also spurring innovation through academic crowdsourcing.
Airbus just announced the five university teams (from Chile, China, India, Malaysia, and Sweden) that made the cut for the final round in its second annual Fly Your Ideas competition. The winning team will be announced at the 2011 Paris Airshow on June 23rd.
The five teams making the finals and their ideas:
· Chile - Team Condor, Universidad Técnica Federico Santa María - for their novel alternative design for an aerodynamic speed brake that would recover energy for on-board reuse.
· China - Team Wings of Phoenix, Nanjing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics - for their suggestion of a ground-based wind power generation system derived from aircraft wakes.
· India - Team O3, Indian Institute of Technology Roorkee - for their proposed approach to prevent aircraft icing by the use of water-repelling polymer coatings.
· Malaysia - Team Msia on Mars, Universiti Kuala Lumpur Malaysian Institute of Aviation Technology - for their idea to use biodegradable materials from Kapok tree fibres for aircraft thermal and acoustic insulation blankets used for aircraft cabins.
· Sweden - Team SSE, Stockholm School of Economics - for their formulation of an ECO points scheme to promote environmentally-friendly flying.
The first prize of €30,000 will be shared by the winning team and the runners up will win €15,000.