The development of the AirShuttle has been a five-year project in collaboration with the Institute for Sports Research (ISR) at Nanyang Technological University in Singapore.
It all started with a vision to develop a new outdoor shuttlecock with increased resistance to wind, to allow people to have a more positive experience of badminton outdoors.
The main considerations were that it must be played with the same rackets and have good flight performance, spin response and durability.
In 2014, we signed a Memorandum of Understanding with ISR aimed at developing performance criteria and design parameters. Later that year, we signed a second MoU to commence development of the prototype shuttlecocks for testing.
The basic criteria agreed were:
- The shuttlecocks must have similar trajectory, acoustics and play feel to that of a traditional indoor shuttle.
- Similar flight properties with limited influence from humidity variations.
- Minimal impact from side and axial wind.
- Needed to be able to be played in winds up to 12 kmph.
- The shuttlecocks be durable and cost-effective.
During the period 2015-18, over 30 prototypes were developed and subject to rigorous testing.
A preferred design was confirmed in early 2018 and prototypes were then tested in independent studies by the University of Alicante and the Universiti of Malaya as part of the pilot programme, using groups of players from beginner level through to Olympic-level athletes.
Results from this testing were analysed and patents posted for the key design elements.
In March 2020, BWF introduced the shuttlecock to the global market.