The organiser of the Crystal Cabin Awards has announced details of the ten finalists in its two special categories, Clean & Safe Air Travel and the Judges’ Choice Award. The winners will be honoured in a ceremony to be held at 3.15pm CET on 15 September at the virtual Aircraft Interiors Expo.
The final shortlist for the Clean & Safe Air Travel category is made up of clearly defined ideas to help passengers board flights without fear again. Touchless features in the cabin, in particular, have received a real boost since the onset of Covid-19. US company Rosen Aviation has developed its Holographic Controller so that even cabin crew members don’t have to touch surfaces. With this futuristic control panel, functions in the galley, for example, can be activated and operated using infra-red and motion sensors, eliminating the need for buttons.
From Safran Cabin comes Beacon Clean Lavatory, a concept for antimicrobial surfaces in the cabin bathroom where, once again, elements can be used without contact as far as possible. The in-flight safety concept with Lilac-UV from Collins Aerospace means that both cabin crew and passengers can activate an ultraviolet disinfection lamp above the passenger seat during the flight for reliable occasional cleaning.
The innovation submitted by MRG Foamtex is another invisible protective shield, in this case designed to close the hygiene gap represented by seat fabric. As a rule, only superficial cleaning is possible between flights, which is where the MRGSafeWall comes into its own: usable on surfaces hard or soft alike, it has been shown to reduce the SARS-CoV-2 virus load on material by 88 per cent within just a quarter of an hour.
Likewise, CleanAir from finalist Villinger also promises to make germs and viruses harmless. This air filter makes use of thousands of ionising micro-electrodes which enable it to absorb particles substantially smaller than what is required by the current HEPA standard. Furthermore, the filter does not create ozone or nitric oxide as by-products.
Judges’ Choice Award entrants impress the jury
The second Crystal Cabin Award special category, the Judges’ Choice Award, acknowledges entries that particularly impressed this year’s international jury. Toyota Boshuko has a pair of horses in the race, with two ideas for upgrading economy class. The Japanese interior specialist’s Cloud Capsule Concept could soon offer economy passengers the option of climbing into a comfortable bunk bed berth in addition to their seat. Meanwhile, the Positively Economy concept delivers three economy classes in one: an innovative eco-seat at the window, a personalised premium economy class, and premium plus seating in the centre with more space and privacy.
Safran Seats (in cooperation with Universal Movement) is in contention for a space on the podium with the foldable Interspacewings, another concept promising a more peaceful experience for individual passengers. The wings, which can be retrofitted to economy and domestic business class seats, fold out of the backrest when required, providing both comfort and a protective screen between adjacent seats.
Rosen Aviation made it into the top five in this category, too: the Maverick Project features a private jet cabin full of digital highlights and intuitive control panels and applications, developed in cooperation with SKY Style and KIPCreating, that learn from passenger behaviour.
Austria’s FACC and its partners FH Joanneum, Netwiss, Raltec, Rodlauer Consulting, TU Vienna, FFG, and BMVIT are also aiming to make an aircraft that is more accessible to everyone. On short and medium-haul single-aisle aircraft, the lavatories are not really barrier-free, because the space for toilets is limited by the demand to maximise seating capacity. LAV4ALL promises 100-per cent disabled-accessible aircraft lavatories for retrofit in aircraft ranging from the Airbus A320 up to wide-bodied jets.
In March, the ceremony postponed from 2020 due to the pandemic took place digitally and was streamed live around the world. Safran scooped three prizes, including the one presented by Aircraft Cabin Management (the print magazine published by the owner of aviationbusinessnews.com) for its Sophy trolley in the category, Cabin Systems. Airbus, Diehl Aviation, e2ip, Eviation with Almadesign and the University of Cincinnati were the other winners of this year’s globally respected prizes for cabin innovation and on-board products.