2017’s Crystal Cabin Awards finalists revealed!

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The Crystal Cabin Awards – often referred to as the “Oscars” of the aircraft interiors industry – are approaching once again. The shortlist for the 2017 awards – the 11th year of the event – has just been revealed by organizer Hamburg Aviation, and it boasts 85 applicants from 21 countries, with aircraft manufacturers, airlines, suppliers, engineering firms and universities all in contention for prizes.

The applicants are vying for prizes across eight awards categories: Cabin Concepts; Cabin Systems; Electronic Systems; Greener Cabin, Health, Safety and Environment; Material & Components; Passenger Comfort Hardware; University; and Visionary Concepts. The full list of shortlisted entries can be found below.

The Cabin Concepts category is of particular interest in this year’s event, as the latest business class products from US airline rivals Delta and United are in contention for the title. The Delta One Suite, being introduced on the airline’s A350s, offers enclosed suites for every business class passenger, while United’s Polaris business class boasts an innovative LOPA that combines direct aisle access with cabin density. Other business class contenders in this category include Qantas, with its A330 Business Suite, and Hawaiian Airlines with its Premium Cabin.

Below: Delta’s enclosed business class suite is impressive, but it faces stiff comptition from United’s innovative Polaris rival

Flexible seat pitch is trending

A strong entry from the aircraft manufacturer’s side is Bombardier’s C-Series cabin concept. This B737 and the A320 rival is claimed to offer outstanding in-flight comfort to all passengers, regardless of the seating arrangement, and the first examples were delivered to launch customers Swiss Air Lines and Air Baltic in 2016.

Meanwhile Airbus has developed an innovative seating rail concept called Smart Cabin Reconfiguration (pictured below), designed to allow crew to adjust seat pitch in the cabin based on reservations for a particular flight. The advantage for the passenger is that 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 more legroom.

Little luxuries 

Sometimes it’s the small things that make all the difference to the flying experience, and there are several innovative concepts on the shortlist that could make flying more attractive. For example, Vision Systems has developed a window that doubles as a touchscreen, projecting information about the flight directly on to the window surface.

There are also several innovative headrest concepts for long-haul flights, such as the successful Kickstarter project, FaceCradle, which can be used to gently support a weary traveler’s head from all sides.

Sustainable ideas

The shortlist also includes ‘green’ ideas for aviation, such as an innovative and environmentally friendly aircraft lavatory design from Zodiac Aerospace, and the Re-Trolley from Airbus, which allows crew to sort and compress garbage while they pass through the cabin. Engineering firm Altran has also developed a cabin trolley, a futuristic an autonomous concept that passes through the cabin and serves passengers by itself. Meanwhile, Diehl Aerospace’s Wireless Seat System aids safety on board by informing the crew automatically if any passenger seatbelts are not fastened when they should be.

How it works

For each of the eight categories, the 29 international experts on the judging panel select three shortlist entries to become finalists. These concepts are then presented in further detail at a final judging event just prior to Aircraft Interiors Expo in Hamburg, where the winners are decided. The winners of the Crystal Cabin Awards 2017 will be formally announced on the evening of April 4 at a gala dinner in the Hotel Atlantic Kempinski in Hamburg.

The judging panel includes representatives of all parts of the industry, including airlines, aircraft manufacturers, suppliers, universities and consulting firms. Members include Adam Gavine, editor of Aircraft Interiors International; Peter Cooke, design manager for aircraft cabins at British Airways; Paul Estoppey, senior director and head of cabin product management for the Lufthansa Group hub airlines (Austrian, Lufthansa and Swiss); Kent Craver, director of cabin experience & revenue analysis at Boeing; Melissa Raudebaugh, general manager for aircraft experience at Delta Air Lines; and Paul Sweeney, program manager for aircraft design & projects at Qantas Airways.

The shortlist

Acro Aircraft Seating: Series 6 economy class seat

AIM Altitude: Generation 2 autonomous lighting dimmer (ALD)

Air Caraïbes: iZivision

Airbus: Towards Wireless Aircraft

Airbus: Watchdog – prevention of inadvertent slide deployment

Airbus: ReTrolley

Airbus: A380 aft galley stair module

Airbus: Smart cabin reconfiguration

Air-Craftglass: Natural Collection

Airtango: Airtango Living Networks

Altran: Autonomous cabin trolley (ACT)

Ameco Beijing: Ink-and-Wash Landscape ACJ319 cabin concept

Anker: Flooro aviation carpeting

Astronics PGA Avionics: Philea

Autonomous University of Baja California: Baby Seat U

Axing: Asleep Mask

Axinom: Digital platforms

B/E Aerospace: Comfort Wellness System

B/E Aerospace: Device holder / snack package

B/E Aerospace: Project Somna

B/E Aerospace: Family Zone

Bishop GmbH: Half inch fitting for more comfort

Bishop GmbH: Micro-attachment systems

Boltaron: FAR-rated translucent decorative material collection

Bombardier: C Series Cabin

Bombardier: CRJ Series PRM lavatory

Composite Technology Center: Hybrid SMC technology

Composite Technology Center: REKAS recycled cabin lining (ReCaFi)

CTT Systems: CAIR Airliner System

Delta Air Lines: Delta One Suite

Diehl Aerospace: Smart wireless seat monitoring system

Diehl Aerospace: Power line communication (PLC) for aircraft

Diehl Aircabin: Direct digital printing for interior parts

Diehl Comfort Modules: Galley-bar module (GBM)

F.LIST: Heated stone flooring

GermFalcon: UVC airplane sanitizing device

Global Eagle Entertainment: Airtime Portal

HAECO Cabin Solutions: Arc headrest

Hairy Turtle: FaceCradle travel pillow

HAW Hamburg: StepSeat

HAW Hamburg: Cabin crew lair

HAW Hamburg: Smart onboard wheelchair (Smart OBW)

HAW Hamburg: Comfortmax – Economy seating meets comfort

Hawaiian Airlines: Premium Cabin

Heinkel Engineering: Topology optimized A380 ceiling bracket assembly

IFPL: Nexus integrated seat arm

Immfly: Immfly Wireless Solution

In2tec: In2sense Smart Office

Jamco: Villa

Jormac Aerospace: Carbon fiber profiles

Kestrel Aviation Management: Sky Blue BBJ 787

Krüger Aviation: K-Reflexion- the revolution of plastic mirrors

Lantal Textiles: TEC-Leather

Lufthansa Technik: GuideU Curved CustomFit

Lufthansa Technik: Mercedes-Benz Style VIP aircraft cabin

Lufthansa Technik: Niceview Mobile

Mirus Aircraft Seating: Mirus Hawk Smart Seat

Mli: Armrest 2020

Molon Labe Seating: Stagger Seat

Neotech AMT: Heated sidewall panel

Neutral Digital: Fleet Explorer

Pitch Aircraft Seating: PF27 economy seat

Qantas Airways: A330 Business Suite

Reliant Worldwide Plastics: Reliant-Lite thermoplastic carbon composite tray table

Reutlingen University: Visionair 2040

SACS/ Boysen Aerospace: Xbag

SleeperTech: Sleeper Seat – Premium economy & economy class

Studio Moderna BI/Boxmark: Octaspring liightweight seat cushion

TAP Portugal: Innovative A320 family layout

TC Inter-Informatics – C-spacer smart cabin divider

TU Delft: Myseat

TU Delft: Sky Grove

TU Delft: The Revitalisation System

Turkish Airlines: Sausage headrest

UERJ – Universidade do Estado do Rio de Janeiro: DIYFood

United Airlines: United Polaris

Villinger: Liteheat cabin heating systems

Vision Systems: Smart-Info window

Weigele Aerospace: Quahuay onboard live EMI monitoring system

Weigele Aerospace: IFPS inflight power supplies

ZEO/Zodiac Aerospace: ECOS luggage management system

ZIM Flugsitz: ZIMflexible NG economy class seat

Zodiac Aerospace: Five on board fragrance

Zodiac Aerospace: Revolution toilet

Zodiac Aerospace: Smartlock

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About Author

mm

Ever since his first flight on a TriStar, Adam has loved air travel, and since becoming editor of the Aircraft Interiors International brand he has really enjoyed the opportunity to be involved with the latest aircraft and airline products before they are even launched. Adam co-ordinates the running of the magazine, from commissioning articles and artwork, to ensuring that high standards of quality are maintained, as well as managing online content. Adam is proud to sit on the jury of the Crystal Cabin Awards and to have laid on the bed in Etihad's Residence.

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