Monday, 18 October 2021

easyJet launches competition for children to design a zero-emission passenger plane

The budget airline easyJet is launching an initiative to inspire younger generations to get thinking about sustainable air travel by designing a zero-emission passenger plane.

The competition is open to children across the UK, aged between 7 – 16 and has been launched just in time for UK half-term. It is open from now until 23.59hrs on Friday 31st October 2021. Children will be able to enter by drawing a zero-emission aircraft design on paper or tablet, complete with notes and descriptions highlighting how their aircraft works and why they have chosen the elements of their design. Entries can be submitted via

Entries will be judged and shortlisted in two age categories – age 7 – 11 years and age 12 - 16 years, where a winner and runner-up will be awarded in each category.  All designs will be judged by an esteemed panel representing world-class experts in flying, sustainability, design and zero-emission technology.

easyJet’s First Officer Debbie Thomas, who is also an engineer and zero-emission aircraft modeller will be joined on the panel by easyJet’s Director of Sustainability Jane Ashton;  Glenn Llewellyn from aircraft manufacturer Airbus who is currently leading their zero-emission aircraft programme; Jeff Engler, CEO of Wright Electric which is developing a zero-emission short-haul plane; and world-famous automotive transportation designer Frank Stephenson, best known for his iconic car designs for MINI and Fiat 500, as well as recent innovative work designing electric flying vehicles.


The winning entry will receive a money-can’t-buy prize in the form of a trip to the easyJet Training  Centre in London Gatwick and an experience in a full-flight simulator, plus return easyJet flights to anywhere on the airline’s network for the winner’s immediate family, as well as a 3-D model and rendering of their design, produced and signed by Frank Stephenson. 

In addition, the winner of the 12-16 year age category will also win a trip to Airbus and a chance to feature on Frank Stephenson’s YouTube podcast channel to discuss their design. Runners up will also be in with a chance to receive a signed rendering of their design.


Successful designs must consider both technical and creative elements of aircraft and the reasons for including them, such as the materials used, patterns, shapes and colours of the plane, how it will take off and land and most importantly, what sustainable source will power it.


Entries will be judged on the quality of the design, interpretation of the theme, creativity, innovation, practicality and most of all, how the design has considered sustainability and the environment.

The judging panel will make a final decision on the winners and runners-up jointly.

easyJet First Officer, Debbie Thomas, said:   “At easyJet we are very clear about the imperative to reduce CO2 and to stimulate radical technologies, and zero-emissions flying is our ultimate destination. We know the environment is important to all of our customers, including our younger passengers, so we are really excited to launch our Aircraft of the Future competition to engage younger generations in the exciting possibilities of new zero-emission technology for air travel and inspire them to become designers and engineers of the future, who will play a vital role in the industry’s future.”

Frank Stephenson, world-renowned designer, said: “Design has the power to improve the world and it is important to allow the future custodians of the planet to have their say. It is an honour to be involved with easyJet’s aircraft design competition as we look to inspire the designers of the future to get involved with the development of zero-emission planes. I can’t wait to see what incredible designs they come up with.”

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