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Kabinenkonzept von Etihad Airways und Acumen Design © Hamburg Aviation

Trends in aircraft cabins 2016

Finalists in eight Crystal Cabin Award categories announced. New space concepts, broadband technologies and seat sponsorship

A total of 24 finalists in eight categories at this years’s Crystal Cabin Awards will give an overview of trends in aircraft cabin interiors. The prize, now in its tenth year, was called into life by the Hamburg Aviation cluster, and saw a record number of submissions in 2016. Some 78 ideas from 18 different nations have been shortlisted. Eight finalists will take home one of the trophies on April 5.

Conference room or lounges

Several entries in the “Visionary Concepts” category have already attracted attention. One finalist, Formation Design, has been turning heads with a mix of First and Business Class while another finalist, Zodiac Aerospace, completely redesigns the cabin with different areas for sitting, sleeping, meeting and a lounge. A third finalist, the design studio TEAGUE has developed an entire new airline concept called Poppi. Companies can sponsor the unpopular middle seat and offer passengers free products and additional services.

Galley with induction technology

This year’s new “Cabin Concepts” category, aimed at airlines, is far more advanced. Etihad Airways, who collaborated with Acumen Design, has made it to the final round for the second time. Their ingenious use of space gives the Boeing 787 Dreamliner First Suite the same comforts as their Airbus A380, despite a significantly smaller fuselage. The London-based design agency Seymour Powell has also created a special cabin experience called First Spaces with a boutique hotel atmosphere complete with single and double rooms.

The Hamburg-based Lufthansa Technik is among the finalists in another new category, “Cabin Systems”. The company has developed an inductive hotplate allowing fresh meals to be prepared in the galley.

Broadband for the skies

Numerous finalist innovations in the “Electronic Systems” category include, for instance, the 2Ku technology developed by the U.S. company Gogo. It guarantees stable broadband internet access in the skies for all passengers thanks to a double antenna on the aircraft roof. Lufthansa Systems has focussed on data transmission within the cabin. Using the BoardConnect Portable solution, the crew just has to pick up a broadband router and carry it through the cabin.

Presentation of Aircraft Interiors Expo

The winners of the Crystal Cabin Award 2016 will be announced during the Aircraft Interiors Expo at a gala on April 5 in Hamburg’s Hotel Atlantic Kempinski. This year’s speakers include Sir Tim Clark, President of Emirates Airline, and Brigitte Zypries, Germany’s Federal Parliamentary State Secretary for aerospace policy. The finalists will first answer questions put by a panel of 24 international experts – airline representatives, professors, aircraft manufacturer representatives and journalists. They will also have to present their projects in an “elevator pitch”.

Sources and further information:

About the Crystal Cabin Award

The Crystal Cabin Award is an international award for excellence in aircraft interior innovation. A jury of renowned scientists, engineers, representatives of airlines and airline makers and journalists decides on unique cabin interior concepts and products. The competition was initiated by the Hamburg Aviation cluster and is organised by the Crystal Cabin Award e.V. Since 2007, the prize has been presented annually during the Aircraft Interiors Expo in Hamburg.

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