A look at the finalists and winners of the 14th Crystal Cabin Awards, presented today in Hamburg, makes clear that innovation remains strong in the aircraft interiors world.
Normally, the leading prize for the international aircraft cabin industry brings the Who’s Who of the industry together for a gala event during the Aircraft Interiors Expo trade fair in Hamburg. The ceremony for the eight winners of the 2021 trophies, however, was a digital affair.
Winners include Airbus, Diehl Aviation, e2ip, Eviation with Almadesign, and the University of Cincinnati plus Safran taking three trophies home this year.
Alice, the first purely electric commuter jet, from Israeli company Eviation Aircraft, made its debut at the Paris Airshow in 2019. Today it won the Crystal Cabin Award in the Cabin Concepts category for its innovative cabin concept with a fishbone seating layout, created by Almadesign of Portugal.
The Material and Components category was won by e₂ip technologies, in partnership with the National Research Council of Canada. The company’s In-Mold Electronics (IME) solution brings surface-printed electrical circuitry into the aviation world, saving on complex, heavy cabin electronics. The IME control element can be seamlessly integrated in its environment, taking on a range of functions such as the positioning of the aircraft seat. Furthermore, the system is “retrofittable”, making it suitable for a wide range of existing aircraft. This resource-friendly aspect won over the jury.
Washing your hands on board could soon help save water in flight. The Diehl Aviation Greywater Reuse Unit won in the Greener Cabin, Health, Safety and Environment category. The system allows for re-use of water from the hand basin to flush the lavatory, rather than consuming precious potable water. As a result, the aircraft has to carry less water reserves, making it up to 500 pounds lighter per flight. That savings adds up over time.
When it comes to Passenger Comfort Hardware Safran‘s new Modulair S economy class seating concept took home the title. Developed in cooperation with the French university ENSCI, the seat can be extended with various “plug-and-play” features. These include stacked tray tables, tablet holders and an eight-way neck support and head rest system.
Digital connectivity featured in a pair of winners. In the Cabin Systems category Safran took home the top prize for its SOPHY catering trolley insert. The module monitors cart usage and reports back on sales, as well as maintenance and cleaning needs through a mesh networking platform.
And Safran also won on the In-Flight Entertainment and Connectivity category for its RAVE Bluetooth connectivity. The system allows passengers to connect their own wireless headphones to the aircraft entertainment system without dongles or adapters.
In the University competition the University of Cincinnati, partnered with Boeing and The Live Well Collaborative, took home the prize for a “Coffee House Cabin” design that includes shared workspaces on board.
Airbus won the Visionary Concepts award for its Airspace Cabin Vision 2030, an extension of its existing Airspace cabins.
More to come in 2021!
In view of the global Covid-19 pandemic and its impact on global air travel the Crystal Cabin Awards plans to award prizes in two special categories. Crystal Cabin Awards for Clean & Safe Air Travel and a Judges’ Choice Award are scheduled for presentation at the Aircraft Interiors Expo in Hamburg on 31 August.
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