Team Multifun consisting of five young Indian innovators from Indian Institute of Science (IISc) have won this year’s Unesco-Airbus ‘Fly Your Ideas’ global student competition. The team, mentored by Prof. Dineshkumar Harursampath, jointly created the world’s first airplane that generates its own power by the vibration action of its wings.
The team uses piezoelectric fibres that gather electrical charges from the smallest movements during a journey on a flight, thereby storing the energy generated in the battery panels. This innovative idea earned the team not only recognition but also a cash prize 30,000 Euros.
“There is a natural vibration that exists in every aircraft when it flies, during which energy is generated,” team leader Satish Kumar from Delft University of Technology told TOI. “At present the energy goes wasted. We intend to harvest the energy from the vibrations which will be sufficient enough to power in-flight operations like lightening and in-flight entertainment,” he added.
‘Fly Your Idea’ is a biennial event which urges youngsters to take up ideas related to sustainable aviation. Each year, a list of themes is sent out to participating teams, and this year’s themes included energy, efficiency, affordable growth, traffic growth, passenger experience and community friendliness. The winning team chose efficiency.