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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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