One of the highlights of the Passenger Experience Week for me (apart from learning about the innovations at Aircraft Interiors Expo and the Passenger Experience Conference), is seeing what the Crystal Cabin Awards has to offer in the way of innovations in the cabin.
As usual – there are eight categories that are being contested
Here is the shortlist for this year
- The Boeing Company (cooperation partner Teague) – 777X Sky Architecture. This allows for a flexible “mix-and-match” approach to baggage bin and ceiling configuration in the aircraft cabin.
- Eviation & Almadesign – ALICE – The First totally electric regional jet, nominated for its innovative cabin concept with a fishbone seating layout.
- Virgin Atlantic (cooperation partners AIM Altitude, Factorydesign, Boltaron, Isovolta, Mankiewicz UK & F.H.Lambert) – Virgin Atlantic Upper Class Loft – The welcome area and lounge aboard the Virgin Atlantic Airbus A350-1000.
- Safran Cabin – SOPHYTM, The Smart Trolley Solution – The tiny module is integrated into the catering trolley and provides the operator with information on the entire journey of the equipment, from maintenance and cleaning needs to load.
- SFS Intec GmbH Aircraft Components & jetlite GmbH – lite2fix – jetlite’s products is the idea that the right light can have an impact on the comfort and even the biorhythm of passengers. Their concept is now being applied in the lite2fix cabin wall systemThe wall shells can be installed into the aircraft fuselage with a simple snap-in process and integrate lighting scenarios and information displays for passengers.
- SITAONAIR – Next Gen Connectivity Mobile ONAIR 4G – bringing the on-board network to the aircraft and will in future even support 5G connectivity in the air.
Greener Cabin, Health, Safety & Environment
- ATR (cooperation partner Bacqueyrisses) – AudioBack – The first aid for hearing that is laid like a pillow on the headrest. Audioback connects with the passenger’s hearing aid and allows the passenger to be part of on-board communication (as featured by us last year).
- Diehl Aviation – Greywater Reuse Unit – The Greywater Reuse Unit from Diehl Aviation makes it possible to re-use water from the hand basin to flush the lavatory, rather than drinking water – reducing the amount of water needed to be carried.
- PriestmanGoode – Zero – economy meal tray – This promises that absolutely everything on the tray is either edible, biodegradable or recyclable, completely. And the tray itself, meanwhile, is made from coffee powder.
- JetBlue Airways (cooperation partners Thales Avionics, Spafax, Viasat & Astronics) – The Multi-Screen Experience – The carrier’s Multi-Screen Experience, developed in cooperation with Thales Avionics, Spafax, Viasat and Astronics, allows passengers to watch films, surf the web and communicate without interruption, whether on the in-seat entertainment system, their own devices or even both at the same time.
- Safran Passenger Solutions – RAVE Bluetooth – bringing the Bluetooth connectivity into the seat.
- Spafax (cooperation partner Air Canada) – Spafax IQ – This allows airlines to more precisely evaluate the content that is particularly popular, by time and route.
Material & Components
- Diehl Aerospace – Experience Line BRIDGE – the “digital decor” idea with numerous colours and patterns and can even project onto curved surfaces.
- e₂ip technologies (cooperation partner National Research Council of Canada) – In-Mold Electronics (IME) A Paradigm Shift In Manufacturing And Design – a panel based on In-Mold Electronics (IME), surface-printed electrical circuitry that saves on complex, heavy cabin electronics.
- Schott AG (cooperation partner PriestmanGoode) – SCHOTT® Jade reading light – The Jade Reading Light made of glass is the first such product to make it this far. It is designed not just to feel like a premium smartphone surface, but also to be touch-controlled.
Passenger Comfort Hardware
- ADIENT AEROSPACE – SFA (Space For All) – This equips the seat row behind the bulkhead separating Economy from Business Class with “SFA Space for All”, a new extension/retraction mechanism that turns the seats into a large single surface for parents and children. Individual seats in the row can also be converted into beds.
- Ciara Crawford – Row 1 Aircraft Wheelchair – The Row 1 Aircraft Wheelchair is issued at check-in and simply slides above the seat on board the aircraft, reducing switching between wheelchairs on the ground.
- Safran Seats (cooperation partner ENCSi) – Modulair S – An economy class seat that promises comfort, can be extended with various features, giving “cattle class” passengers the benefit of such niceties as neck support or a tablet holder.
- Delft University of Technology (cooperation partner KLM) – Collapsible beds for the Flying V – They have combined a hostel with a futuristic aircraft, equipping KLM’s V-shaped Flying V concept aircraft with Collapsible beds that turn into seats for take-off and landing.
- HAW Hamburg – Isotravel: The ISOFIX-Adapter for Aircraft Passenger Seats – With Isotravel, they have developed an adapter that makes use of proven ISOFIX technology to allow child car seats to be safely installed in the aircraft cabin without outside help
- University of Cincinnati (cooperation partners The Boeing Company and The Live Well Collaborative) – Coffee House Cabin – Bringing the coffee house to the aircraft, The Coffee House Cabin, a long boardroom table for meetings, productive work and the occasional coffee.
- AIM ALTITUDE – ARCA – Galley System – Aiming to change the way the galley works, instead of trays, passengers will be served food packets chosen online in advance, which can be stacked practically in the reconfigured galley
- Airbus Operations GmbH – Airspace Cabin Vision 2030 – equipping the cabin with more flexible seating and sleeping configurations along with exchangeable modules
- AirGo Design – Galaxy: Flatbed for A321 – Designed for long-haul flights, which will soon also be operated using single-aisle aircraft such as the Airbus A321XLR, the seat can be completely reclined and, with the help of partition walls, converted into a private sleeping area,
How the competitors will try to win
To win one, the 24 finalists now have to present their ideas in person to the 27 members of the international expert jury.
The winners will be announced at a dinner on 31st March as part of the Aircraft Interiors Expo (31 March to 2 April in Hamburg). For those who have not got an invite to the awards ceremony, all the winners will present their concepts once more on Thursday 2 April at the Hamburg trade fair in the Cabin Space LIVE Auditorium.
In addition, the Crystal Cabin Award Gallery, with an overview of all the finalists, is to be found in the Hamburg Pavilion, jointly operated by Hamburg Aviation and Hanse Aerospace in Hall B6, Stand 6B90.
Looking forward to what can be next in the cabin
The Crystal Cabin awards give a good indication of where the Aircraft Interiors industry is heading to next, both in terms of real-world products and ideas of the future.
For airlines and fleet purchasers, it’s a chance to see how their competitors are evolving products, as well as seeing what products could be integrated into aircraft in the future.
And ultimately – how the passenger experience can be improved onboard an aircraft.
I’ll be digging out my dinner jacket again and covering the event live on Twitter, with a full look at the winners the next day or after.
Once again, I am indebted to FlightChic who is has kindly invited me to the awards ceremony.
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