April 16 2013  |  Inflight Entertainment

2013 Crystal Cabin Award winners celebrated in Hamburg

By Maryann Simson

Donated by the Senate of the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg, the Crystal Cabin Award is the only international award for excellence in aircraft interior innovation. This unique honour for outstanding cabin products and concepts was presented for the first time ever on April 17, 2007 during the Aircraft Interiors trade fair in Hamburg.

A total of 47 entries from eleven countries were received by the Crystal Cabin Award Association in Hamburg for the 2013 competition. Twenty-one entries made it into the final round of judging and one day before the gala dinner and awards show, the finalists presented their concepts to the judging panel of 25 international industry experts. Judges hail from the academic and research sectors, various airlines and specialist media.

“Seeing the real product and concept presentations of the finalists, I was convinced that the winners of the Crystal Cabin Award really deserved the prize,” said Professor Peter Vink of Delft University of Technology and Chairman of the Judging Panel. “These are very good examples of how to improve various aspects of the cabin interior, for example by increasing comfort levels and reducing weight.”

After a formal dinner, 180 invited guests followed the award ceremony with excitement as the trophies, designed to represent the arc of a fuselage section, were presented.

In the Industrial Design & Visionary Concepts category, Zodiac Aerospace’s “ISIS” (Innovative Space Interior System) product won the hardware. This re-interpreted cabin offers space for 60 percent more cabin baggage and yet feels more spacious with new lighting elements and modern touch-based control panels.

The trophy in the Premium Class & VIP category was presented by Rainer von Borstel (Diehl Aerosystems Holding GmbH) to Dornier Technologie Systems from Germany. Their capacitive touchscreen by the name of “Glass PCU” lends a modernand elegant appearance to passenger seating.

The trophy for the Passenger Comfort Hardware category went to MERU. The English team developed the “MERU TravelChair”, a flexible seat for severely disabled children between 3 and 11 years of age. The TravelChair, approved by EASA, can be folded together in the middle and fits on the seats of most airlines.

For their “Eye Tracking and Gesture Control” system, Thales received the Passenger Comfort Systems trophy from Melissa Raudebaugh of Delta Air Lines. The company’s special in-flight entertainment system lets passengers control entertainment programs using eye movements and hand gestures.

Boeing won in the Greener Cabin, Health, Safety & Environment category for its “Insulated Galley Cart”, which makes onboard cooling systems superfluous by keeping products cool from the caterer to the aircraft and throughout the flight. This change in the storage of refrigerated food products can dramatically reduce load and aircraft weight.

The trophy for the Material & Components category was presented to Diehl Aircabin from Germany for their “iPanel” product. Electronic components are integrated into the iPanel, allowing for savings in both weight and installation effort.

The trophy in the University category was presented to René Waldheuer and Bengt Brötzmann from the Hamburg University of Applied Sciences. The students created more space in the aircraft lavatory with their “Big Lavatory Concept” (BigLavC). The new diagonal positioning of the toilet improves on the dimensions of the conventional aircraft lavatory. The students were also presented with a cheque for 3,000 euros.

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