The latest edition of the Crystal Cabin Awards, which champion the most creative and exciting ideas in aircraft interiors, provides a glimpse of what we have lost and what is to come.
This year’s awards go to designs that include the ultra-connectable cabin of the future and the luxurious interior of the passenger electric plane.
The shortlist was announced in January 2020, and the results were supposed to be revealed during the Indoor Aircraft Show, which was originally scheduled to take place in Hamburg, Germany in March 2020.
And when the Covid-19 pandemic swept northern Europe last spring, this event was suspended. A year later, the winning designers were finally honored at a virtual ceremony this week.
While the shortlist was chosen in the pre-pandemic era, winning designs are gaining new significance in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“If the demand for air travel is to increase again, what is needed now are compelling ideas that inspire passengers and give them a good feeling,” said project manager at the Crystal Cabin Award Association, Carmen Krause-Boosterling.
Advocating for innovation
The original Crystal Cabin Awards shortlist included a bunch of interesting ideas. For example, the “Flex Lounge” design for the German engineering company “Heinkel Group”, which envisaged a flexible configuration of rows of seats in Economy Class cabins.
The idea behind the concept is that after takeoff, flight attendants can rearrange the seat rows so that passengers traveling together can sit facing each other.
Among the winners this year is a proposed electric plane dubbed “Alice”, which won in the “cabin concepts” category.
“Alice”, an idea of the Israeli company “Eviation Aircraft”, has been described as “the first purely electric passenger plane” and features an innovative interior cabin, which can carry up to nine passengers for a distance of 1,000 kilometers.
The “Alice” design trumps the Boeing 777X cabin experience and the “Upper Class Loft” cabin design by Virgin Atlantic Airlines.
The seats inside the Alice aircraft will be arranged in a “reverse zigzag” seating style, which means that all passengers will face the aircraft’s large windows.
In the ‘Foresight Concepts’ category, Airbus was honored for its next generation ‘Airspace Cabin Vision 2020′ concept.
Airspace Cabin Vision 2020 provides flexible seating and a “digitally enabled environment”, including optional pre-programmed seat tilt preferences as well as overhead luggage compartments that illuminate red or green, depending on whether they are full or empty.
Speaking of technology design in October 2019, Airbus’ vice president of marketing, Ingo Wojitzer, said the concept was based on the idea that “what you experience on the ground, you continue to experience it on a plane.”
The future of aviation?
Within the category “Passenger Comfort Devices” for this year, the “Crystal Cabin” Awards honored the “Modulair S” Economy Class seat, developed by Safran Seats in cooperation with the French University “ENSCI”, which is designed to make Economy Class more comfortable through additional functions. , Including neck brace and tablet stand.
Designed by designer Ciara Crawford, the ROW1 seat was also nominated in this category, and is an airplane seat that allows a wheelchair to be placed seamlessly between the row of seats, enhancing an accessible flight experience.
Safran Seats won two other awards at this year’s ceremony, the first for its in-flight entertainment system with Bluetooth technology, which allows passengers to use personal headphones instead of headphones fitted to the plane, and the second for an aircraft service cart that collects and transmits data in real time in a category. Cabin Systems.
In the “university” category, the University of Cincinnati came to the fore with a “coffee shop” design, a concept that reimagines how business travelers work on the flight.
The “Jury Choice Award” and “Safe and Clean Air Travel” categories have yet to be announced, two awards added in the wake of the pandemic designed to recognize the impact of “COVID-19” on aviation.
It will be presented during the postponed indoor aircraft exhibition, which will be held in Hamburg at the end of August.