May 19, 2015 – Airbus’ ‘Fly Your Ideas’ contest has reached the final stages, with five finalists now vying for the €30,000 jackpot. One team – the ‘Multifun’ team comprising members from universities in India, the Netherlands, the USA and the UK – has devised the ‘Good vibrations’ energy-harvesting aircraft skin, which sees aircraft wings dressed in a composite skin that harvests energy from the natural vibrations or flex in the wings.
Piezoelectric fibers gather electrical charges from even the smallest movements during flight, storing the energy generated in battery panels integrated in the fuselage and using it to power auxiliary in-flight systems, such as lighting and IFE systems. This reduces the energy footprint of aircraft during flight and could even replace the entire power source for ground operations, according to the team.
You can follow the progress of the Multifun team on their teamline HERE.
Below: How Airbus envisions the concept