This year, the Green Man festival in the Brecon Beacons, Wales, had a new stand within the walls of Einstein’s Garden – an area dedicated to making science and nature an inspiring part of the festival experience. As part of this, with funding from the European Commission, researchers from University of Bristol created an interactive experience to engage the public with all things green aviation. The team, a mix of the SABRE project team and researchers from the Bristol Composites Institute in the Faculty of Engineering, led by Dr Ben Woods, were well placed to showcase the variety of research taking place in composites, structures and what the future of green aviation might one day look like.
The successful collaboration lead to the development of a nature inspired aeroplane, part beeswax, part insight into research of morphing wing technologies. In this activity, festival goers were recruited into making and placing the nature-inspired composite materials on the model aircraft. They were taken through a whistle-stop tour of how aircraft structures will one day be stronger and lighter and as a result more fuel efficient.
Over 1300 adults and children stopped by to have a chat with our researchers and get stuck in with making our concept plane a real sight to behold. With an audience made up of families, teenagers and adults who wouldn’t usually attend a scientific event or conference, it presented a fantastic opportunity to shout about our research in a fun and creative way.