The Innovation Award of German Aviation (IDL) 2018

The award winners of the IDL 2018

Customer Journey

Innovations affecting the whole passenger process of travelling from booking a flight to leaving the destinations airport. Focusing on the special needs of a passenger, Customer Journey awards everything imaginable that positively influences the journey. Considering the increasing numbers of passengers, the category gets more and more relevant.

edm aerotec: CoAX 2D

Through the development of the CoAX 2D helicopter, edm aerotec and Dreiling Maschinenbau GmbH have created a novel flight experience in the ultralight category (UL) with a maximum take-off weight of 450kg. Outstanding distinctive characteristics lie in the contra-spinning and specifically generated rotor blades, 30% extra performance and 80% less noise emission. Equally as well, particularly smooth hover flight properties and full engine power to be converted into aerodynamical uplift display advantageous properties of the CoAX 2D.

Reduction of Emissions

Innovations striving for sustainability and the reduction of emissions like noise, carbon dioxide and air pollutants. Driven by an increasing social awareness and the need for reduction, every segment of the aviation industry can realize an important impact and change.

Airbus: H2Torque

Airbus meets the trend of electric aviation with an innovative drive concept. In essence, the approach integrates an electric motor, fuel cells and liquid hydrogen, acting as the fuel. This allows for green aviation, being i.e. CO2-free and noise-reduced and still meeting comparable speeds and ranges to today’s CS23 and CS25 aircrafts. All of the required technological elements are realistically presentable and the development of prime demonstrators has already been completed. Not only will the aviation business profit from this approach in the domains of drones, aircraft engines, small to transport or passenger aircrafts, but technologies in other industries, be it automotive or naval, will also be enriched by its virtues.

Cross Innovation

Innovations out of non-aviation branches that find usage in the aviation industry and vice versa, innovations that have been developed for aviation and get used in other branches.

Rolls-Royce: Enhanced time-on-wing for turbine blades

Rolls-Royce, Schölly Fiberoptic and Fraunhofer LBF are paying attention to the negative effects of polluted air streams in turbine blades. Blocked cooling-air channels can cause the melting of overheated blade components within a gas turbine. As a solution, an instrument for systematically cleaning the engine is presented. In greater detail, it constitutes an analogy to medical endoscopy, which embodies the area of expertise of the innovation partner Schölly Fiberoptic and Fraunhofer IPK. The miniaturized, highly agile apparatus can, supported by camera-control, be operated precisely and possesses a specific, up to 500 bar strong high pressure cleaning jet. Due to this particular method, the blades’ operating time can be increased by 20 to 30%.


Innovations in the fields of development, product, maintenance, repair and operations. Digitalization is simultaneously a challenge and a gift for the future. The category honors concepts presenting solutions for a digitalized value chain and furthermore how they can be implemented and relevant for other branches as well.

Premium Aerotec: Das Door Surround Center (DSC)

At Premium Aerotecs Door Surround Center humans and machines work hand-in-hand. The systems generates high productivity by automation, digitization and paperless production. Moreover the overall quality increases in various facettes, for example by providing real-time data of production steps or ergonomic workstations. A fully digital shift schedule, assembling with the support of cobots, driverless transportation between the workstations and quality inspections via voice-controlled data glasses are a few amongst many digital processsteps being accomplished during a work day.

The award ceremony

The third Innovation Award of German Aviation was awarded on May 25th at the ILA Future Lab in Berlin. More than 200 high ranking representatives from politics, industry and research attended the award ceremony.

Representative for the organizers and supporters of the IDL Prof. Rolf Henke (DLR, member of the executive board), Volker Thum (BDLI, executive director), Matthias von Randow (BDL, executive director), Niklas Veltkamp (Bitkom, member of the management board), and Prof. Thomas Prefi (P3, managing director) inaugurated the event. The ceremony was moderated by Alexandra Gerlach.