Could this be the future for plane travel?

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French airplane manufacturer, Airbus teamed up with UNESCO to invite aeronautics and engineering students from all over the world to develop their most innovative air travel ideas and compete to see who has the greatest potential to make the greatest changes to the air travel industry.

The Airbus Fly Your Ideas competition, now in its third year, exists with the goal of inspiring the next generation of engineers to channel the future of air travel while keeping an eye on sustainability.

This year’s entries were inspired by a need for more energy friendly air travel and included engines that run on methane, body heat-powered in-flight entertainment and even air hockey inspired luggage movers amongst others.

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“We’re trying to encourage the next generation of leaders to think about ways in which the aviation industry could be made more eco-efficient, and to be sympathetic to its environmental impact,” said Airbus’s Senior Manager for Research and Technology, Dale King.

Australian’s Team CLiMA from the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology drafted a proposal for the development of aircraft fuelled by a blend of biomethance and liquefied natural gas, called BioLNG.

“Even if you replaced (jet fuel) with liquid natural gas,” said the Australian team’s Luke Spiteri, in reference to his team proposal’s potential to improve a jet’s eco-friendliness, “you could cut CO2 emissions 20%.”

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Brazilian representatives were inspired by a children’s game for their new technology. Team Levar, from the University of Sao Paulo, proposed a luggage/unloading system for airplane cargo compartments that create an aircushion to move baggage, much like the tiny jets of air that propel air hockey pucks.

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