Award-winning: 2016's Innovations for Aircraft Cabins

Award-winning: 2016's Innovations for Aircraft Cabins

by Lukas Kirchner | News, Press, Award | Wednesday, 06 April, 2016

The Crystal Cabin Award for 2016 goes to Rebel.Aero, Etihad, B/E Aerospace, Lufthansa Systems, Boeing, Sekisui SPI, TU Delft and Zodiac Aerospace

Passenger Comfort Hardware - Rebel.Aero

Hamburg, 5 April, 2016: This year’s winners of the world’s most famous and highly regarded prize for aircraft interiors, the Crystal Cabin Award, have been decided. Rebel.Aero, Etihad, B/E Aerospace, Lufthansa Systems, Boeing, Sekisui SPI, TU Delft and Zodiac Aerospace prevailed over their opponents in a total of eight categories and collected their trophies in the ball room of Hamburg’s Hotel Atlantic Kempinski. In 2016, once again, the winners provide a creative foretaste of the future of civil aviation. The innovations in the field of aircraft cabins and on-board products range from foldable economy seats to self-cleaning toilets. The Crystal Cabin Award trophies are presented each year as part of the “Aircraft Interiors Expo” trade fair. In its 10th anniversary year, the award, launched by the Hamburg Aviation cluster, set a new record with 95 entries from 18 nations. Supporters of the Crystal Cabin Award include such major players in the industry such as Airbus and Emirates.

The Crystal Cabin Award is recognised, well beyond the bounds of the industry, as a launchpad for innovation. Many of the successful ideas will later be succesfully enhanced and implemented. Sir Tim Clark, President of Emirates Airline, underlined the significance of the Crystal Cabin Award in his speech. "Hardly any industry is as open for creativity as the aviation industry. Every day we embrace new trends - in design, in sustainability, and of course in the area of safety and security. It is essential that we encourage and appropriately reward the experimentation with new materials, the questioning of established approaches, and the empathic adoption of a customer perspective. This is the only way we can continue to motivate the industry to think outside the box."

The Emirates CEO presented the first Crystal Cabin Award of the evening, for the "Passenger Comfort Hardware" category, to Rebel.Aero for an innovative standard seat for the economy-class cabin. The concept promises more legroom thanks to a seating surface that can be folded upwards during flight.

The next category to be announced - new for this year - was dedicated to innovative "Cabin Concepts". It was presented by Jennifer Clay of "Jetliner Cabins". This race was won by Etihad Airways. Ingenious use of space gives the company's Boeing 787 First Suite the same comfort as the Airbus A380. Working together with Acumen Design, the airline from the United Arab Emirates picked up a trophy for the second year in a row.

Everything is illuminated: The trophy for the "Cabin Systems" category, presented by Ian Harbison of the "Aircraft Cabin Management" trade magazine, went to B/E Aerospace from the US for the "Viu" LED lighting system. Flexible LED elements make it possible to illuminate almost every space in the cabin, from the entry to the overhead lockers.

The "Electronic Systems" trophy was presented by Hamburg State Councillor Dr Rolf Bösinger to Lufthansa Systems. The company's "BoardConnect Portable" solution is a portable, and therefore much lighter, complete solution consisting of server, modem, entertainment packages and access point for up to 50 passengers and their mobile devices. The hardware box is a thoroughly flexible approach; the crew can carry it through the cabin as needed and new content such as films can easily be installed via USB stick.

Already a hot topic for the international media and now also the proud winner in the "Greener Cabin, Health, Safety and Environment" category: Boeing and the "Fresh Lavatory". The on-board toilet sets new standards in terms of hygiene, automatically disinfecting surfaces and the water supply to the washbasin using UV light the moment the passenger leaves the room. Furthermore, infrared sensors make almost completely non-contact usage of the toilet, water tap, hand dryer, and door lock possible. The trophy was presented by Peter Bishop, CEO of the Hamburg-based engineering service provider, Bishop - Aeronautical Engineers. 

Forget grey and white: Sekisui SPI has developed a thermoplastic surface design that allows for much more creative printing on cabin elements, seat shells, partition walls, etc. Airlines with more striking corporate identities are sure to be keen on this. The "Infused Imaging" technology won the company the prize for the "Material and Components" category, presented by Walé Adepoju of Global Eagle Entertainment.

The winner was clear from the start of the evening in the "University" category. All three finalists came from Delft University of Technology. In the end, Melissa Raudebaugh, General Manager - Customer Experience at Delta Air Lines and a member of the jury, presented the trophy to Manon Kühne for her idea of a "hammock" as a headrest in the economy-class cabin. Foldout wings provide a more comfortable anti-slip position on the "HeadRest".

The final award of the evening, dedicated to "Visionary Concepts", was presented by Katie Murphy of Reed Exhibitions, the host of the Aircraft Interiors Expo. Zodiac Aerospace's "Lifestyle Cabin" won the day here with its completely new definition of cabin categories. Instead of the traditional, established class system, there are different areas - sleeping, meeting, and lounge. Instead of leaning back in your seat, for example, you can go to the upper deck to the sleeping area.

The Crystal Cabin Awards 2016 were presented at a gala function in the Hotel Atlantic Kempinski in Hamburg. Speakers at the dinner included Sir Tim Clark, President of Emirates Airline, and Brigitte Zypries, Germany's Federal Parliamentary State Secretary for aerospace policy. The day before, all of the finalists had to personally answer the critical and probing questions of the 24 international experts on the judging panel - airline representatives, professors, aircraft manufacturer representatives, and journalists.

The Crystal Cabin Award 2016 is supported by the following sponsors and media partners: Airbus, Aircraft Cabin Management, Aircraft Interiors Expo (Reed Exhibitions), Aircraft Interiors International Magazine, Aircraft Interiors Middle East, APEX, B/E Aerospace, Bishop GmbH Aeronautical Engineers, Dabelstein & Passehl, DIEHL Aerosystems Holding, Emirates Airline, FERCHAU AVIATION Division, Flightchic, HAECO Cabin Solutions, Inflight Magazine, Jetliner Cabins, Lufthansa Technik AG, Panasonic, Reaktor.Aero, Runway Girl Network and SEKISUI SPI.

Images and information of the winners are available for download here:     

Press contact:
Crystal Cabin Award e. V. | Hamburg Aviation
Lukas Kirchner
Telephone: +49 (0)40 / 22 70 19 – 87
Mobile: +49 (0)171 334 19 13

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