Crystal Cabin Awards presents trophies for eight great ideas

Award for cabin innovations and onboard products presented in Hamburg
09 April 2021
Airbus Airspace Cabin

This year's Crystal Cabin Awards trophies were presented Monday (March 29, 2021) to Airbus, Diehl Aviation, e2ip, Eviation with Almadesign, the University of Cincinnati — and three to France's Safran, which has a branch in Hamburg. The finalists of the eight categories learned of their victories on TV and were then brought into the studio by livestream for the ceremony.

Bright ideas for aircraft cabins 

The Israeli company, Eviation Aircraft, won the “Cabin Concepts” category with Alice -  the first purely electric commuter jet, that can carry nine passengers on a distance of up to 1,000 kilometres. The plane’s innovative cabin concept with a fishbone seating layout, created by Almadesign of Portugal, won a Crystal Cabin Award trophy. 

Airbus won the trophy in the “Visionary Concepts” category for its Airspace Cabin Vision 2030, which digitally tailors the cabin to passenger needs and expands the on-board experience with flexible seating and lounge configurations, for instance, a gaming or family compartment.  The trophy in the “Material and Components” category went to the Canadian victor, e₂ip technologies. The company had joined forces with the National Research Council of Canada to come up with a panel based on In-Mold Electronics (IME), surface-printed electrical circuitry that saves on complex, heavy cabin electronics.

Recycling waste water and intelligent catering

Diehl Aviation triumphed in the “Greener Cabin, Health, Safety and Environment” category for its Greywater Reuse Unit that re-uses water from the handbasin to flush the lavatory, rather than tipping precious drinking water down the drain. The aircraft has to carry less water reserves, making it significantly lighter. For a Boeing 787, this means savings of up to 550 tonnes of CO2 per year. 

The French company, Safran Seats, secured the trophy in the “Passenger Comfort Hardware” category. Its Modulair S economy seat concept has been developed in co-operation with the French university ENSCI. The seat can be extended with various features, bringing creature comforts such as neck support or a tablet holder to economy class passengers. Safran Cabin also won a prize in the “Cabin Systems” category with SOPHY. This tiny module is built into a catering trolley and provides the operator with information about the entire journey - from maintenance and cleaning needs to load. 

Safran also came up trumps in the “In-Flight Entertainment and Connectivity” and scooped its third award of the evening for a special Bluetooth connection that promises interference-free transmission throughout the aircraft. At present, in-flight entertainment via wireless headphones is a challenge for many airlines because conventional Bluetooth connections fail when the demand in the cabin reaches a certain level. 

The trophy in the “University” category went to the University of Cincinnati in the U.S. for the Coffee House Cabin or a long table for meetings, productive work and coffee breaks. The winner, Alejandro Lozano Robledo, had developed the concept with Boeing and The Live Well Collaborative.

New categories announced in wake of pandemic

Two special categories for the Crystal Cabin Award entitled “Clean & Safe Air Travel” and the “Judges’ Choice Award” have been announced in view of the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on global air travel. Prizes in those categories are scheduled for presentation at the Aircraft Interiors Expo in Hamburg on August 31, 2021t.