Some 85 applicants from 21 countries have been shortlisted for this year’s Crystal Cabin Award, a press release announced Monday (January 23). Since 2006, the Crystal Cabin Award has been the annual indicator of trends in aircraft cabins and passenger experience. Last year’s tenth anniversary awards made headlines and sparked attention for global contestants. This year’s shortlist has hit a new record in terms of countries and marks the third, consecutive record of shortlisted entries. Aircraft manufacturers, airlines, suppliers, engineering firms and universities are vying to take home this year’s striking white trophies, traditionally awarded on the first evening of the Aircraft Interiors Expo (April 4 – 6, 2017) in Hamburg.
Direct access from seat to aisle
Submissions range from complete cabin systems to innovative individual components, from an economy seat for short-haul flights to luxury cabins for long-haul private jets. Two renowned US airlines – Delta and United – have been shortlisted for this year’s Crystal Cabin Award with their new business class products. The Delta One Suite, which is being introduced by Delta Air Lines on the Airbus A350, will for the first time provide every business-class passenger with an individual cabin area which is sealed off by screens. United Airlines, meanwhile, has recently launched the Polaris Business Class, offering a new cabin configuration with all-aisle access seats in a density neutral layout, not compromising space or comfort.
More flexibility in seat pitch
Canada’s Bombardier has entered the Crystal Cabin Award for the first time with two submissions. They include the cabin concept of the C-Series, which is a short and medium-haul airliner and marks a new development from the ground up and competes with Boeing’s 737 and the Airbus A320 range. The first examples were delivered to launch customers Swiss Air Lines and Air Baltic in 2016, and the manufacturer claims to offer outstanding in-flight comfort to all passengers regardless of the seating arrangement. Airbus has developed an innovative seating rail concept called “Smart Cabin Reconfiguration”, allowing the crew to adjust the seat pitch in the cabin based on reservations for the flight. When a flight is not fully booked, the last row of seats can be folded away and the remaining rows pushed back further, giving passengers even more legroom.
First trolley with garbage sorting
The shortlist for the 11th Crystal Cabin Awards also includes many sustainable ideas for aviation such as an innovative and particularly environmentally friendly aircraft lavatory from Zodiac Aerospace, the Re-Trolley from Airbus, allowing the crew to sort and compress garbage while they pass through the cabin. The engineering firm, Altran, has also developed a futuristic cabin trolley, which takes the burden off the crew, passing through the cabin and serving passengers by itself. Diehl Aerospace’s Wireless Seat System, meanwhile, goes a step further in terms of safety on board and informs the crew automatically when a passenger does not fasten his or her seatbelt on time.
Jury of 29 international experts
The Crystal Cabin Award, initiated by the cluster Hamburg Aviation, is awarded in eight categories: “Cabin Concepts”, “Cabin Systems”, “Electronic Systems”, “Greener Cabin, Health, Safety and Environment”, “Material & Components”, “Passenger Comfort Hardware”, “University”, and “Visionary Concepts”. The international experts on the judging panel select three finalists from the shortlisted entries. These concepts are then presented to the industry’s elite during the world’s leading Aircraft Interiors Expo to be held in Hamburg, from April 4 – 6, 2017. The winners of the Crystal Cabin Awards 2017 will be announced on the evening of April 4 at a gala dinner in the Hotel Atlantic Kempinski in Hamburg.
A 29-person international jury will decide on the final round of contestants. The panel includes representatives from all parts of the industry, as well as airlines, aircraft manufacturers, suppliers, universities, consulting firms and specialist press.
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