The winners of the prestigious Crystal Cabin Award have been revealed at the Aircraft Interiors Expo in Hamburg, in the 12th year of the annual extravaganza that celebrates innovation in the field of aircraft cabins.
All finalists and special guests gathered last night at the Hotel Atlantic Kempinski for the glossy awards ceremony, now firmly entrenched as a must-attend gala night for a who’s who of experts from the cabin interiors sector.
Top of the pile in terms of number of awards was Rockwell Collins, which walked away with a winning double – for its revolutionary, flexible ‘Silhouette MOVE’ cabin divider solution in the Passenger Comfort Hardware category, and its ‘Valkyrie Bed’ business class seat that quickly folds away to be replaced by a full-size mattress out of a console, in the Cabin Systems category.
Airbus (in co-operation with ALTRAN S.A.S) came out on top in the Material & Components category for its ‘Printed Electrics applied’ custom-fit solution using conductive inks, while Renacen won with its ‘3D SeatMapVR’ visualisation engine that displays an immersive 360 degree view during the booking process in the Visionary Concepts category.
Bluebox Aviation Systems (in co-operation with Virgin Atlantic Airways and The Guide Dogs for the Blind Association) was the clear winner in the In-flight Entertainment and Connectivity (IFEC) category for its ‘Accessible IFE’ solution, which provides identical content to that available for fully sighted passengers for travellers with visual impairment.
PriestmanGoode, meanwhile, won the Cabin Concepts category for the much-heralded Qatar Airways Qsuite, first retro-fitted in a Qatar Airways Boeing 777 aircraft and featuring the commercial aviation sector’s first-ever double bed in Business Class; Villinger GmbH won the Greener Cabin, Health, Safety & Environment category for its virtually indestructible ‘LiteHeat IHP’ floor panel heating technology; and last but not least, Cranfield University won the University category for its ‘E-tom Smart Faucet’ water atomisation concept.
The organisers described this year’s awards as the most hard-fought yet, with 91 applicants from 18 nations making the initial shortlist. A total of 24 products and concepts were in the final round of eight categories, each of which had to present their ideas in person to the 28 expert jury members.
In a nice technology touch, each of the white trophies presented this year were for the first time made using 3D printing technology.