crystal cabin award winners 2022

Crystal Cabin Awards 2022 winners revealed

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crystal cabin award winners 2022

The Crystal Cabin Awards, which celebrate innovation and excellence within the aircraft cabin, were held in person again this year on Tuesday evening 14 June. A jury of industry experts selected eight winners during an in-depth final viewing and the winners were announced during an exclusive awards ceremony and gala dinner in Hamburg.

The Cabin Concepts Category was won by Teague and NORDAM’s Elevate concept.  The visually arresting design uses floating furniture attached to wall braces to give a freer, more organic and more immersive feel than comparable premium accommodation concepts for single aisle aircraft. The key driver behind the approach was to offer the privacy and exclusivity of the wide-body premium experience to narrow-body airliner passengers.

Caeli Nova’s Cordillera system won the Cabin Systems category. The system is designed to disrupt the established processes and protocols and allow airlines to open direct routes over mountain ranges by extending the time aircraft can fly at high altitude after a decompression incident from 22 to 180 minutes. This is a potential game-changer for airlines that have until now had to circumvent high terrain such as the Himalayas, Rockies or Andes. One route that would become widely available using Cordillera is airway L888, which crosses the Himalayas and is 30 minutes quicker than other routes between Europe and parts of Asia.

Safran Cabin’s “Fire Resistant Cargo Container” was the judges’ first choice in the Health and Safety category. Lithium-ion battery fires are a fairly new, but highly dangerous threat. Safran Cabin’s solution wowed the jury by offering fire containment for Class D fires for up to six hours, the maximum distance aircraft are allowed to fly from an airport. The device gives passengers, crew and operators an additional level of protection from a threat that has the potential for catastrophic consequences during flight.

Winner of the Passenger Comfort category, Collins Aerospace’s SpaceChiller, is a personal refrigeration unit for individual passengers or larger areas of the aircraft cabin eschews traditional air-cooling technologies. SpaceChiller requires half the power of traditional designs and its modular architecture offers a premium passenger experience and gives airlines added flexibility for services and crew workspace. Conceived primarily for premium seat classes, SpaceChiller can be scaled in size as required, another factor that impressed the jury.

IFEC & Digital Services category was won by Anuvu and Southwest Airlines’ new system called Dedicated Space. The system promises a five-fold increase in available personal bandwidth and a dramatic reduction in latency. Along with faster downloads and uploads, passengers are promised more stable in-flight connectivity with the new system.

Winner of Material & Components, Thales Avionics’ Pulse, is a charging solution for aircraft cabins that uses patented power management technology to dynamically allocate power during the flight. The slim, low-weight power supply unit lets passengers recharge their device in flight via USB-A, USB-C or wireless connection, taking away charge anxiety and letting travellers enjoy their device at any point during their journey.

Crystal Cabin awards organisers say that the competition’s Sustainable Cabin category was a hotbed of activity this year, and the top honour in this category was claimed by Swedish manufacturer Diab in cooperation with AkzoNobel, Rescoll and Roctool. The group has pioneered a thermoplastics manufacturing process to produce 100% recyclable panels for cabin interiors. Among the aspects that particularly impressed the jury were overall reduction in life cycle cost and lower environmental impact by facilitating recycling of cabin elements. The process developed by Diab and its partners is not only more eco-friendly but also faster than methods using adhesive films. The thermoplastic sheets are welded directly to the foam core which also offers improved acoustic insulation for the finished material. 3D-shaped and decorated panels can be produced in a one-step process, resulting in components that are lighter and cheaper to produce.

Finally, the winner of the University category this year was Ken Kirtland from the Georgia Institute of Technology. His idea for a new type of airline featuring electric aircraft convinced the jury with its unique approach to sustainable air travel. The focus of the concept is to use underused regional airports in a fascinating departure from traditional hub-and-spoke concepts for air networks. The portal envisages a new type of zero-emission electric-powered aircraft to ferry passengers between local hubs; the plane would have a range of 1,000 miles and accommodate 30+ passengers. The layout of the Portal cabin was another aspect that drew the jury’s admiration. The cabin features all-premium seating with panoramic window views.

Congratulations to all the winners!

Elevate by Teague

World’s first single-aisle cabin ‘floating’ furniture on show at AIX

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Elevate by Teague

Teague and NORDAM will be showcasing Elevate, the world’s first single-aisle aircraft cabin that uses “floating” furniture, at the Aircraft Interiors Expo 2022 on Stand 7C10.

Elevate, which uses NORDAM’s patented Nbrace composite seat attachment, reimagines the narrowbody experience – offering passengers more space, privacy and comfort in a home-like cabin without compromising seat numbers.

As more single-aisle aircraft enter service on longer routes, the onboard passenger experience is in direct competition with twin-aisle aircraft that fly the same routes. Passengers may feel the premium experience in a narrowbody cabin does not meet or exceed the standard of a widebody – owing to the reduced cabin footprint, seat pitch and constrained cabin architecture.

Teague says that, to date, innovation in the cabin interior has been limited due to furniture attachment points being in the seat tracks only. Elevate is the first cabin in history to implement sidewall attachment points that enable the creation of a lighter and more efficient suite environment.

The suite environment wraps around the whole living space for front row and business class passengers, creating a more exclusive and private zone that moves away from the typical tubular environment into a more luxurious residential atmosphere, while customised entrance lighting and overhead bins deliver a wow factor for all passengers entering the cabin.

Anthony Harcup, Senior Director of Airline Experience at Teague, says: “At a time when passenger wellbeing and sustainability are industry priorities, Elevate heralds-in a new generation of beautiful, simplified cabin products that will enable airlines to deliver exceptional experiences for their passengers with the economic efficiency that these smaller aircraft were designed to deliver.”

NORDAM CEO Meredith Siegfried Madden says: “This is a next-generation innovation that enables more creative freedom for the aircraft interior design community. By revolutionising how seats and other monuments attach to an aircraft, Nbrace recruits previously wasted space, transforming it into new aesthetic possibilities and dramatically improved passenger comfort, space and privacy.”

crystal cabin awards 2022

Crystal Cabin Awards 2022 finalists announced

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crystal cabin awards 2022

The Crystal Cabin Awards jury of 27 aviation industry experts has selected 24 entries for the final round.

The winners will be announced at a special gala dinner on 14 June 2022 at the Aircraft Interiors Expo in Hamburg. The competition has eight categories, including new cabin concepts, innovative sustainable technologies, next-generation passenger comfort and pioneering safety features.

In the Cabin Concepts category, in co-operation with Finnair, PriestmanGoode and Tangerine, Collins Aerospace submitted one of the year’s most widely discussed entries, AirLounge. This new business class seat developed for Finnair features seating with a contoured shell design providing passengers more living space and freedom to relax in a variety of sitting or sleeping positions with added privacy.

Another entry in this category that provoked wider media interest outside aviation was Teague and NORDAM’s Elevate concept for premium accommodation. Floating furniture is attached to wall braces and combines with inviting materials and contouring to build an organic, homelike space concept that nevertheless allows the same number of seats to be fitted as traditional designs. i4A’s Smart Space 4 Passengers, on the other hand, focusses on maximising comfort options for the economy class.

The Cabin Systems category in 2022 shows how innovation in the cabin can improve air travel in many different ways. The possibility of sudden in-flight cabin decompression means that aircraft must carry large reserves of fuel to comply with ETOPS standards, and Caeli Nova’s new Cordillera emergency oxygen system could save the aviation industry US$500m and 1.2m tonnes of CO₂ annually by opening direct routes over high terrain and increasing the duration that aircraft can fly at high altitudes after a cabin decompression from 22 minutes to over 180 minutes, without any weight or maintenance penalty.

Designed by Airbus Operations GmbH in cooperation with RECARO Aircraft Seating, Flex OLED Kit is a low-weight, wafer-thin HD display that can be placed anywhere in the cabin, including in seatbacks and ceilings for video playback, ambient lighting or to direct passengers through the aircraft.

Seeking to end limitations on flying often experienced by passengers travelling in a powered wheelchair, a consortium comprising Flying Disabled, PriestmanGoode, SWS Certification and Sunrise Medical has designed Air 4 All. The system allows travellers with reduced mobility to slot their wheelchair into a seating space by folding the seat up into the backrest, offering wheelchair users a safe and easy way to travel without being forced to move into a standard cabin seat.

In the Health and Safety category, Safran Cabin’s Fire Resistant Cargo Container adds an additional layer of protection against fire involving lithium batteries. Thanks to its high-temperature resistant panels and unique door materials, Safran’s new device can withstand fire for up to 6 hours, the maximum range an aircraft is permitted to fly from the nearest airport during flight.

Meanwhile, the COVID-19 pandemic has shown the vulnerability of aircraft cabins to air-communicable pathogens. Developed in a cooperation between Pexco Aerospace and Teague, AirShield uses airflow from existing overhead air-vents to create protective air barriers between passengers. Exhaled air is redirected downwards and out of the cabin to the aircraft’s filtration units.

Hypergamut Light by Collins Aerospace is a new cabin lighting system attuned to human biology that helps passengers feel more comfortable during and after their flight. Compatible with human circadian rhythms, the system’s architecture attenuates blue light in a unique way that helps passengers relax even with the lights on and fall asleep faster on long haul flights. Blue light is added back in prior to arrival to help passengers arrive alert, all without affecting the quality or appearance of the light and reducing feelings of jetlag. The system automatically adapts lighting to adjust to the aircraft’s flightpath, time of day, and global positioning.

In the Passenger Comfort category, premium economy seating is one of the industry’s most hotly contested arenas. ZIM Aircraft Seating’s ZIMprivacy seat manages to increase passenger comfort while also prioritising privacy giving more living space and a heightened sense of personal enclosure. The fixed seat back houses a special recline system offering several different body positions. Its fully mechanical assembly is easier to maintain than comparable electrically powered systems.

The accelerating trend to a more personal travel experience is mirrored in Personalized Sound Zone by Jamco Corporation and NTT sonority Inc. Using loudspeakers built into the headrest, PSZ creates a spherical audio area around the passenger’s head where playback is heard by the passenger but is inaudible to others in the cabin. The system achieves this without the need for headphones and audio cables by using wave cancellation to ‘build’ a sound stage around the passenger.

Collins Aerospace’s SpaceChiller offers personal refrigeration for individual passengers or larger parts of the aircraft cabins in a way that was previously not possible using traditional air-cooling technologies. The system provides the luxury of cooled snacks for passengers in a compact device that requires half the power of traditional designs.

When it comes to the IFEC & Digital Services category, Anuvu and Southwest Airlines have designed a new system called Dedicated Space, promising a five-fold increase in available personal bandwidth and a dramatic reduction in latency. Along with faster downloads and uploads, passengers are promised more stable inflight connectivity with the new system.

Thales Avionics and Harman have cooperated to bring end-to-end 4K video quality to aircraft. Optiq is the first QLED IFE display, providing better resolution, colour fidelity and dynamics range, while offering better maintainability for operators.

In another product designed to bring an on-ground media experience into the cabin, ACJ Smart Lifi Monitor puts the customer’s device centre stage by combining a powerful OLED display with mobile processing power. Developed by Airbus Corporate Jets and Latécoère Interconnection Systems, the system pairs with customers’ personal digital devices which can then be used as a remote control. The Smart Lifi Monitor also offers VOD, live television, moving maps, video conferencing and more, making a wider spectrum of digital services and functions available to aircraft passengers.

Material & Components category includes an entry by Thales Avionics: Pulse is a slim, low-weight power supply unit with dynamic power allocation that lets passengers recharge their device on-wing via USB-A, USB-C or wireless charging. Low power anxiety is one of two major concerns addressed by Smart Lock Door, Diehl Aviation’s security device for crew handhelds that allows crew to use digital devices behind a screen mounted in a lockable door to keep tablets safe from theft. Lufthansa Technik’s CabinSHINE maintenance process is designed to make repairing fixtures and furniture up to eight times cheaper and nine times faster than using conventional methods.

The Sustainable Cabin category includes creative submissions that seek to reduce aviation’s ecological footprint. Recycling cabin plastics is an attractive but difficult way to lower ecological footprint and in cooperation with AkzoNobel, Rescoll and Roctool, Swedish manufacturer Diab has pioneered a thermoplastics manufacturing process to produce 100% recyclable panels for cabin interiors.

A co-operation between Lantal Textiles and Olivenleder® have come up with Sustainable Genuine Leather, which uses a tanning process based on vegetable oils instead of chrome- and gasoline-based chemicals, with no compromises on haptic quality.

But materials hidden from passenger view can also have a sizable impact on sustainability, as proved by Lufthansa Technik AG’s AeroFLAX prepreg. Using natural fibres and a bio-based resin system instead of glass fibre, AeroFLAX saves CO₂ not only as a by-product of weight reduction but also during the manufacturing process itself.

The University category is a playing field for imaginative concepts with a clean-sheet approach to a range of issues and situations. Carlos Gatti, student at Wichita State University, has come up with a novel way of accommodating wheelchair passengers. The Fly Your Wheels Suite replaces the front left closet on aircraft like the Boeing 737-800 with a multi-purpose module that can function as a safe parking berth for a wheelchair user during a flight. Rather than taking away existing seating, the idea would let airlines add one paying passenger – the wheelchair user.

Jiayi Yu from the University of Reutlingen designed the Shift Cabin Interior, a study that allows operators to configure seats in multiple positions for work or relaxation, both along the axis of the seat as well as to the side. Aside from the advantage of flexibility, the concept lets airlines fit more seats into the same business class space.

Ken Kirtland of the Georgia Institute of Technology has high aims with Portal: to create an electric short-haul airline based around an innovative aircraft that emphasises a calmer flight experience at slower speeds and fantastic views.

Lufthansa Explorer VIP 1

Crystal Cabin Awards 2022: Focus on sustainability, digitalisation, flexibility

By Crystal Cabin Awards 2022, Design, Featured, InteriorsNo Comments
Lufthansa Explorer VIP 1

The Crystal Cabin Awards 2022 competition is returning on 14 June as an in-person event and will see an international expert jury gathering at the Aircraft Interiors Expo in Hamburg.

This year, the main focus is not just about quality, with the shortlist demonstrating that manufacturers, academia and individuals around the world are continually innovating to reduce the environmental impact of aviation and offer new solutions to give airlines more flexibility in configuring their aircraft cabin.

The Crystal Cabin Award is presented in eight categories that include cabin concepts, cabin systems, health & safety, IFEC & digital services, material & components, passenger comfort, sustainable cabin and university. For each category, 28 expert members of the jury select three finalists which will be announced at the beginning of May and the winners will be announced at a gala dinner in Hamburg on the evening of 14 June.

Entries this year include tangible concepts of cabin space re-configurations such as Elevate, an entry by Teague and NORDAM, who have collaborated on a “floating furniture” strategy designed to bring wide-body comfort to the single-aisle business class.

Collins Aerospace, PriestmanGoode and Tangerine joined forces to produce Finnair’s new business class offering, AirLounge. This disruptive design does away with some traditions such as seat recline while embracing others to offer an organic, cocoon-like feel.

The entry shortlist also sees multiple features that take a clean-sheet approach to cabin accommodation such as foldable, reconfigurable elements that allow airlines and passengers alike to reconfigure their expectations of how aircraft cabins use the available space. One example of this is the the ‘Shift Cabin Interior Study’ entry by student Jiayi Yu from the University of Reutlingen. The study allows seats to be configured in multiple positions for work or relaxation along the axis of the seat as well as to the side and fits more seats into the same business class space as existing, fixed seating.

MMILLENNIUMM’s experimental seating concept AirSleeper is an aircraft seat architecture that leverages the available space and passenger ticket price in new ways. Each passenger is provided with a seat that can be folded into a flat bed, accompanied by multiple surfaces both at seat level and above passengers’ heads.

NeXtGC by the German Aerospace Centre gives the “group of six” a surprising new twist. The organisation has created a modular concept that attaches two facing rows of three seats to the sidewall and the floor as well as to a rail system in the ceiling area, freeing up the space usually reserved for overhead bins. Stowage is also provided below the seats for faster passenger in- and egress, while the option to turn the seating into a sleeping area adds a flexible component.

The shortlist also includes several clever ideas to minimise the spread of infectious diseases onboard aircraft. AirShield by Pexco Aerospace in cooperation with Teague uses existing cabin infrastructure to lower the chance of catching an infection by directing a specially designed airflow between passenger spaces, and Weigele Aerospace’s Vientum clean air system takes techniques proven in ground-based systems such as school classrooms into the aircraft cabin to suppress the spread of pathogens like SARS-CoV-2.

Entries that focus on passenger safety include Safran Cabin’s new fire-resistant cargo container that can can inhibit Category D fires for six hours, including those resulting from faulty lithium ion batteries found in digital devices.

Caeli Nova’s Cordillera emergency oxygenation system could, if implemented globally, save 1.2m tonnes of CO₂ emissions annually by allowing aircraft to fly at higher altitudes after a decompression event.

Many entries focus on bringing more sustainability to aircraft interiors. ELeather’s Essence solution recycles leather waste to produce its upholstery and save on raw materials, while Switzerland’s Lantal Textiles in cooperation with Tenerías Omega and Olivenleder has introduced a wet-green tanning process for its leather fabrics using vegetable oils instead of chrome- and gasoline-based chemicals. Aircraft seat cushion maker Metzo’s entry, in cooperation with The Vita Group, features a recycling system for old cushions that offers passengers an option with lower environmental impact.

Waste and weight reduction are also seeing significant development. Airbus Operations’ technology-driven solution is designed to tackle the problem of passenger food waste, with its AI-based Airspace Food Scanner capturing data about passengers’ food consumption that allows airlines to adapt their catering services to better match customer demand.

RECARO Aircraft Seating’s modular, lightweight plug-in seat table system made from sustainable materials promises aircraft weight reduction that according to the company, if adopted for 50 aircraft, could save 1,000 tons of CO₂ annually.

Gentex Corporation’s proposal for an iris biometric scanning system addresses digital and physical security. The company’s engineers envisage an aircraft-wide system, for example authenticating crew when entering the cockpit or implemented in a seatback device to personalise passengers’ media or shopping offerings.

In-cabin digital offerings are also a hotbed of innovation, with KrisShop on KrisWorld embodying a novel approach by Singapore Airlines, airfree and Thales that shows that the future of in-flight shopping will go far beyond paging through a well-thumbed catalogue. Touted as the world’s first in-flight eShopping experience on a seatback IFE system, KrisShop on KrisWorld lets passengers browse a digital catalogue, buy in real-time using a credit card and determining the delivery point, either along their travel route or at home.

AerQ’s engineers have submitted an entry for AERENA, a platform that helps airlines quickly and cheaply adapt onboard apps to personalise their customers’ digital experience while reducing development costs.

Noise cancelling in consumer electronics has seen avid uptake among frequent flyers, and ACM Aircraft Cabin Modification’s MYZONE entry applies active noise cancellation technology to the headrest and beyond. The system is compatible with any aviation seat and its designers say the system can also use window panels and other cabin elements as a loudspeaker, attaining a sizeable 3 dB reduction in aircraft noise.