The five best new aircraft cabin innovations
The winners of this year’s Crystal Cabin Award were presented their trophies earlier this month during a ceremony in Hamburg, Germany, as part of the Aircraft Interiors Expo trade fair. Launched in 2007 by Hamburg Aviation—an association of the city’s aviation-related companies, research institutions, and educational institutions—the award is billed as the world’s most prestigious prize for innovations in the field of aircraft cabins. The winners are selected by a panel of academics, engineers, aviation journalists, and executives from airlines and aircraft manufacturers.
Here’s a look at some of this year’s winners and finalists and the innovations they have brought or could bring to the passenger experience.
PriestmanGoode QSuite for Qatar Airways
The winner in the Cabin Concepts category, the QSuite was designed by the PriestmanGoode industrial-design agency for Qatar Airways. The stowaway privacy panels allow passengers in adjoining seats to create a private room or double bed. As many as four business-class suites can be converted instantly into a suite in which a family or other group of four can dine or socialize. The QSuite has been retrofitted in a Qatar Airways Boeing 777.
Singapore Airlines A380 Suite
Singapore Airlines launched its new suite design, a finalist in the Cabin Concepts category, in December on the Airbus A380. The suite is intended to create “an all-encompassing home experience in the sky,” according to the airline. Singapore Airlines designed it in collaboration with Pierrejean Design Studio, and Zodiac Seats U.K. manufactured it.
Rockwell Collins Valkyrie Bed
Rockwell Collins won a Crystal Cabin Award in the Passenger Comfort category with this design for a business class suite. In addition to a reclining seat, the Valkyrie Bed features a roll-up full-size mattress that can be drawn from the wall panel and across the seat.
Rockwell Collins Secant Luminous Panel
This finalist in the Materials & Components category is a lighting display that can be incorporated into the interior body and ceiling panels of aircraft and used as either a visual display (for branding, advertisements, or other images) or as a source of general cabin lighting. The lighting can be adjusted to help passengers sleep, or it can just improve the appearance of the cabin.
United Screens Group 3D Video Display
This glasses-free 3-D video screen was a finalist in the Inflight Entertainment & Connectivity category, a new addition to the Crystal Cabin Award. The display switches from full-resolution 2-D to an autostereoscopic full 3-D display to match the content being viewed. The display is designed for airliners as well as private aircraft. United Screens Group is developing interactive utility for games and conferences.