The finalists for the Crystal Cabin Awards for excellence in aircraft interiors innovation have been named. One of them, a University submission from TU München in Munich, is for a so-called Time Economy Chair, a concept conceived for special short range flights, "where commuters and travellers have nothing but carry-on luggage with themselves", according to a brief distributed by the Aviation Cluster Hamburg Metropolitan Region, which spearheads the yearly awards. Is this music to the likes of Spirit Airlines or what?
Here is the rest of the brief:
Passengers store their carry-on luggage in a luggage compartment beneath their seats. The elevated position and the double folding mechanism of the seat are allowing an enormous gain of space between the seat rows. Therefore no aisle congestion arises and passengers can remain seated, while others take their seat without causing any inconvenience. The elevated seating position and the reduced and ergonomic form are providing a healthy and active sitting, without getting uncomfortable at the short distance. Even, the system is easier and faster to clean. Passengers and Airlines profit due to minimized waiting time at the airport and a reduced boarding time.
The awards will be handed out at the forthcoming Aircraft Interiors Expo in Hamburg. In addition to the Time Economy Seat, a number of other interesting ideas have been shortlisted in various categories, including an "integrated flexible lavatory", the James Park Associates/Sicma Cirrus seat, Lumexis' fiber-to-the-screen in-flight entertainment system (nice graphic Lumexis!), Teague's Boeing SkyLoft concept and Teague's work with Weber and Panasonic Avionics on the first fully integrated in-flight entertainment and connectivity (IFEC)/seat design, just to name but a few.
Executive briefs follow.
FINALISTS CRYSTAL CABIN AWARD 2010
HILA - high integrated flexible Lavatory - Dasell Cabin Interior GmbH (Hamburg, Germany):
The lavatory is based on a flexible space concept that offers greater room, convenience, comfort and hygiene than a traditional lavatory compartment. During boarding, the lavatory is
compacted to the size of a standard lavatory. However, when the aircraft has reached cruising altitude, the cabin crew will enlarge the lavatory, which is done swiftly in a few steps. The lavatory then provides extra space and additional amenities such as a urinal or changing room facilities. The extra space is taken from the cross-aisle area near the main-door entrance, which is only used during boarding but not during flight. HILA has been developed and produced as a fully functional prototype by DASELL Cabin Interior GmbH together with Airbus Operations GmbH and in cooperation with iDS Hamburg.
Cirrus Business Class Suite - James Park Associates (London, UK) and Sicma Aero Seat (Issoudun, France):
JPA and Sicma Aero Seat have developed a unique reverse-herringbone configuration Business Class Suite. Because passengers sit at an angle, facing away from the aisle, the Cirrus design enhances privacy for all passengers. The attractive, symmetrical, 1-2-1 design also means that every passenger benefits from direct aisle access. Additional advantages of the seat include the open armrest design which provides greater passenger comfort by maximizing living space. The extra-wide centre console also provides extra surface
space for stowage, dining or working more comfortably. Cirrus' design provides unparalleled benefits to passengers whilst also offering airlines a high degree of flexibility for branding and
L&L Embedded Acoustic Solution - L&L Products (Molsheim, France):
L&L Embedded Acoustic Solution is a reproducible cabin acoustic treatment with high acoustic performance to added weight ratio. Its novel concept allows precious cabin space
savings with unprecedented incorporation flexibility on conventional interior lining panels for all types of aircraft. With limited manufacturing process intrusiveness L&L Embedded Acoustic Solution additionally improves panel mechanical properties. From engineered material to cabin comfort there is only a small step L&L Products has made to introduce a novel acoustic concept. This solution, which is both simple and efficient, should seduce interior part manufacturer and designer that are willing to bring cabin interior acoustic to another level.
Industrial Design / Interior Concept
Staggered Premium Class Suite - B/E Aerospace (Miami, U.S.A):
The Staggered premium suite presents an elegant solution to the socially annoying problem of stepping over a sleeping aisle passenger to get out of a window seat. The innovative layout
gives an airline a 2-2-2 or a 2-3-2 configuration while granting passengers substantial privacy and direct aisle access. The original suite reflects modern architectural design expressed by
the use wood veneer, rich burgundy suede fabric and chrome plating. An optional electro-chromatic glass privacy divider provides a surprise feature to offering flexible privacy at the
touch of a button. The glass gradually and politely transitions from clear to opaque using
LCD technology to provide a visual and sound barrier between adjacent suites.
Integrated Smart Monitor - Teague (Seattle, U.S.A.):
The integrated smart monitor (formerly known as Fusion) is the very first fully integrated In-Flight Entertainment (IFE) seat designed for commercial aircraft. It combines breakthrough industrial design with practical ergonomic solutions, advanced technologies and innovative materials. The result of a unique collaboration between Panasonic Avionics, Weber Aircraft and Teague, the in-seat display monitor and passenger seat were purposefully design with one another other in mind. The design inaugurates Panasonic's Eco Series TM Smart Monitor architecture, designed to reduce monitor power consumption, heat generation and weight while at the same time improving passenger usability. In addition, the design of the monitor eliminates the need for excess seat peripherals by incorporating all functionality and navigation into the monitor. On screen navigation, reading light and volume controls, flight attendant call, universal serial bus (USB) port and audio jack are incorporated into the IFE monitor and illuminate when needed through the use of proximity sensor, ensuring a streamlined entertainment experience. The seamless integration of next generation, touch-screen IFE with an ultra-thin, lightweight economy seat brings a previously unachieved level of class and comfort.
Boeing SkyLoft Concept - Teague (Seattle, U.S.A.):
The Boeing SkyLoft explores the impact of cabin-accessible facilities in the "crown" area of the new Boeing 747-8 Intercontinental. The design is intended for VIP individual passengers or groups. The space can include anything from private sleeping quarters to an open multi-media room, conference area, business center, bar or lounge. Access, available only by private staircases at the rear of the aircraft, underscores the sense of luxury aroused by the exclusivity of the SkyLoft. Completely customizable, the SkyLoft offers a unique opportunity for individual airlines to leave a lasting impression on their most valuable customers. Currently used to house air conditioning ducts and wiring, a reconfiguration of the crown area has the potential to establish an additional revenue stream to support current business as well as future growth.
Greener Cabin, Health & Safety
Temperature Accumulator (TempAccu) - B&W Engineering (Wildberg, Germany):
The Temperature Accumulators (TempAccu's) keep food or beverages within the required temperature range, selectable from -20 °C up to +1 10 °C. The TempAccu's are collecting heat (in case of "Frozen" and "Chilled" applications), or spending heat (in case of "Hot" applications) on the certain temperature level adequate to the individual application. Ice Cream will be kept at -8 °C through -5 °C, not frozen to be hard as a bone like with -80°C cold dry ice. Fresh food like sandwiches will be kept longer below +8 °C than with known cooling agents. Hot food (e.g. Lasagne) will be kept hot above 65 °C fo r up to 12 hours and more in ready-to-serve condition without overheating. TempAccu is a long-term multi-use equipment
which saves dry ice costs, and enhances on-board service possibilities. In addition, the Temperature Accumulator, which needs no certification, is a high-class environmental-friendly product that does not consume energy on board nor generates waste. Soon it will be generally approved by EASA.
Climatex® LifeguardFRTM - Lantal Textiles AG (Langenthal, Switzerland):
Climatex® LifeguardFRTM is an innovative seat cover fabric providing two compelling benefits: Unmatched ecological soundness and enhanced passenger comfort through climatized seating. The seat covers made of Climatex® LifeguardFRTM are fully biodegradable and compliant with all safety standards of the transport industry. The climatized seating has been developed as an optimal solution for prolonged seating. The selection of fibers, a combination of wool and Redesigned ViscoseFR™, and an appropriate weave construction are the basis for this patented function. The moisture accumulated while the passenger is seated is absorbed by the cover fabric. When the seat is vacated, the moisture is slowly released to the ambient air.
Innovative Lightweight Trolley - Norduyn (Montreal, Canada):
Norduyn and its partner LSG Sky Chefs introduce the lightest weight trolleys in the world. They developed a new type of aviation trolley entirely made of composites which are significantly lighter, better insulated, sturdier, easy to track and trace and comprising up to 45% fewer parts than legacy aluminum-frame trolleys. The trolley is made of a single‐body shell with top and wheel‐base attachments. All screw inserts are molded into the structure of the trolley. This weight reduction enables measurable fuel savings. A single Boeing 747 fullyloaded with Norduyn ultra-light, eco-friendly trolleys for example, would be carrying approximately 850 kg less weight, which amounts to about €80,000 a year in fuel savings and 13,600 tons
of CO2 emissions less over a year's time.
Material and Components
Digital Cabin Logbook (DCL) - Airbus (Headquartered in Toulouse, France):
The Digital Cabin Logbook (DCL) is one step towards e-cabin operation enabled by evolution of IT-technologies on ground and on board and thus the DCL provides commercial benefits
for cabin operation by the Airlines. One of the main advantages is the standardized cabin defect reporting. The cabin crew selects cabin defects from a standard defect catalogue, which is customized according to Cabin configuration. For selection of the location of a cabin defect, the user is guided via a graphical user interface. The usage of the web-based DCL application is very convenient for the cabin crew. The selected and stored standardised defect reports can be submitted to ground when the aircraft is still flying. This improves dispatch reliability because the logistics for repair can start before landing and thus delays can be avoided.
Pegasus Business Class Meal Table - C2 Composites (Devon, UK):
The new C2 table has been developed using a range of advanced composite polymers and a
stressed skin design. Elegant, lighter, stronger, rattle free, highly reliable and cost competitive compared to aluminium, the new C2 business class table can make a positive
contribution to both operator costs and the overall passenger experience. A weight saving of
15% to 40% per seat, when compared to a traditional aluminium table frame, translates into a
considerable saving per ship set and obvious economic benefit and thus is another step in the
quest for airlines to reduce fuel consumption and reduce their carbon footprint. The table has
undergone a full validation test programme, including abuse and cyclic testing, covering all
Powder coating of cabin interior parts - Diehl Aircabin (Laupheim, Germany):
Powder coating is a state of the art technology for metal coatings. In order to minimize weight and reduce fuel consumption, more and more cabin interior parts are made out of carbon or glass fiber reinforced plastics. Because of their non-conductive surface the existing powder coatings cannot be used. In addition, the currently available powder coatings do not meet the high requirements in case of fire. Diehl Aircabin succeeded in the modification of cabin
interior parts made out of glass fiber reinforced plastics that electrostatic coating becomes possible. Furthermore, scratch resistance, abrasion and cleaning properties of the powder coating have been optimized, so that all properties exceed the normal standard of the liquid coating or decorative foil.
Entertainment and Communication
Fiber-To-The-ScreenTM (FTTSTM) - Lumexis Corporation (Costa Mesa, U.S.A.):
Fiber-to-the-screen™ (FTTS™) is the first, fully fiber-optics based IFE system. The seat box and half of the other boxes required by legacy systems are eliminated. The technical benefitof the innovation provides huge bandwidth to each seat for future functionality to be addedover the 30-year life of the aircraft. FTTS™ reduces the weight and cost-of-ownership by half. Lumexis was able to expand all network channels to a Gigabit per second bandwidth while eliminating any possibility of radiated interference with aircraft systems. Against many skeptics, the fiber optic cabling came through without a scratch or in-line break during its first flight on USAirways' A320. On the contrary, it proved exceptionally durable in operation by standard cabin crews and maintenance personnel.
KuStreamTM 1000 - QEST Quantenelektronische Systeme (Holzgerlingen, Germany):
KuStream™ 1000 is a state-of-the-art antenna system that enables bandwidth-demanding services such as high speed Internet/E-mail access combined with GSM utilization (voice/data) and simultaneous live TV reception aboard aircraft. Due to its outstanding performance, KuStreamTM 1000 provides superior Ku band transmit and receive capability to
aircraft by fuselage mounted antennas communicating via geosynchronous satellites.
KuStream™ 1000 is a joint development of TECOM Industries and QEST. QEST's
contribution to the project are core radio frequency modules (i.e. antenna aperture and skew polarization control unit), whereas TECOM is responsible for the antenna positioning subsystem, antenna control unit, high power transceiver, overall system integration, product qualification as well as sales and after sales support.
VoCeM - TriaGnoSys GmbH (Wessling, Germany):
VoCeM is a satellite communications compression software that can be used in aviation for GSM calls, 3G/UMTS calls, and for Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) telephony. Inflight communication providers have long promised passengers the ability to communicate in the air as they do on the ground. VoCeM achieves compression gains of between 500% and 1,000% through advanced header compression, voice transcoding and channel multiplexing
techniques. It provides the most efficient use of satellite bandwidth on the market, enabling satellite operators to reduce the cost of inflight voice calls significantly.
Seat Concept Com.pax - FH Hannover (Hanover, Germany):
The Com.pax system is a 2-in-1 seat concept that offers more comfortable way of travelling for disabled passengers and a greater flexibility for airlines and flight attendants. The mobile board chair is waiting at the check-in counter to pick up the passenger. Then it is rolled to the base element within the aircraft and clicked into the lock-position (safety catch mechanism). The design is comfortable, sleek, and easy to manoeuvre. To unfix the mobile board chair from its base, the release button needs to be pushed. The passenger can roll freely through the small aisle to the lavatories. This innovative mobility solution allows the passenger to remain in the same seat for the duration of the airline experience.
Nested - TU München (Munich, Germany):
The cabin concept Nested uses the full capacity of the aircraft body in order to combine highest traveling comforts with the ability to carry many passengers. The perfect bearing is the position the body takes in absence of gravity. With Nested a modern interpretation of seating was born: (a significant shape of) a divan bed. You can reach the divan beds from different levels and sides. The entrances alternate in each level. The benefit for the passenger is the great legroom and the free view and space in front of him. With a continuously adjustable backrest you have the possibility to work, eat and sleep comfortably on the seat.
Time Economy Chair - TU München (Munich, Germany):
The Time Economy Chair is a concept, conceived for special short range flights, where commuters and travellers have nothing but carry-on luggage with themselves. Passengers store their carry-on luggage in a luggage compartment beneath their seats. The elevated position and the double folding mechanism of the seat are allowing an enormous gain of space between the seat rows. Therefore no aisle congestion arises and passengers can remain seated, while others take their seat without causing any inconvenience. The elevated seating position and the reduced and ergonomic form are providing a healthy and active sitting, without getting uncomfortable at the short distance. Even, the system is easier and faster to clean. Passengers and Airlines profit due to minimized waiting time at the airport and a reduced boarding time.
Hamburg Metropolitan Region
Judges' Commendation Prize
1cm seat rail - Bishop GmbH (Hamburg, Germany):
The 1cm seat rail is the world's first metric seat rail designed with a distance of 1cm between two consecutive attachment holes of the seat track. This seat rail offers many advantages to Airlines in comparison to the conventional 1" rail (2.54cm): Improved revenues due to extra seat row(s), installed seats and monuments with more than double accuracy, reduced vibrations and along with that reduced maintenance. It has a compact and robust design. It is 5% lighter than the 1" seat rail and has a visual better appearance. Using adaptive plates, old and corroded standard seat rails can be updated and existing aircrafts can be retrofitted.
Airborne Combfort - TU München (Munich, Germany):
The students from the TU München have the vision to raise the number of seats of modern wide-bodied aircrafts while withdrawing the feeling of mass transportation from the air passengers and ensuring higher individualism. For their concept airborne combfort they disputed with the applied science of bionic and biomorphic structures, especially with cell and cubical structures. Based on honeycombed structures, the fuselage section can be used more efficiently. The honeycombed cabins differ in size and shape and divide the long aircraft fuselage whereby the feeling of mass transportation can be antagonized. As a result the single cabins can be accommodated superiorly to the target groups like families or business people. Hence more comfort, space and individualism can be ensured.
Modulair System - TU München (Munich, Germany):
The system transforms the interior of the aircraft into a modular capsule, which can be
extracted at the airport terminal completely. (De-)Boarding becomes faster, more comfortably and more flexible with the whole aircraft interior becoming part of the terminal. While one capsule is deboarding another capsule, prepared before the aircraft's arrival, can be inserted into the aircraft at the same time. Passengers benefit from a reduction of latency and (de)boarding times to a minimum, while the holding time of the airplane is shortened to the duration of refueling. The modular, mutable assembly of every capsule allows for a multitude of different module configurations guaranteeing the aircraft's perfect calibration for every passenger- and utilization-situation. A vast variety of modules opens up new markets and new business models can evolve. Modules can be designed individually and combined in alliance, so that different airlines can fly together in just one aircraft.