Crystal Cabin Award Winners 2020/21

As the biggest awards ceremony for the cabin interiors industry, the Crystal Cabin Award winners often points to what we can expect to see on planes in the future.

The awards ceremony is usually held at Aircraft Interiors Expo, and was delayed due to the pandemic. Instead, the award ceremony was held virtually on 30 March 2021, with an excited audience tuning into the livestream.

The shortlist contained 24 entries from a wide range of aviation businesses, including heavyweights such as Airbus, Safran and Diehl Aviation. The judges then managed to decide on the eight winners for the 2020/21 awards. Find them all below:

Cabin Concepts

Taking home this award is ‘Alice’, the first completely electric commuter jet. Built by Israeli company Eviation Aircraft, the jet first appeared at the 2019 Paris Airshow.

Alice interior. (Eviation Aircraft)

The innovative cabin concept was designed by Almadesign and features a fishbone layout to utilise the available space.

Nominees

  • Virgin Atlantic Upper Class Loft, Virgin Atlantic, AIM Altitude, Factorydesign, Boltaron, Isovolta, Mankiewicz UK & F.H.Lambert
  • 777x Sky Architecture, The Boeing Company, Teague

Visionary Concepts

With aviation needing to innovate, this category helps to look ahead. Winning the award is AIRBUS with its Airspace Cabin Vision 2030, and extension of its “Airspace” concept.

Airbus Airspace 2030 Concept. (Airbus)

The concept allows the cabin to be digitally tailored to passenger needs with flexible seating and lounge configurations.

Nominees

  • ARCA – Galley Systems, AIM ALTITUDE
  • Galaxy: Flatbed for A321, AirGo Design

Material and Components

This category focuses on advances in the enormous variety of materials and components. The winner is a panel based on In-Mold Electronics (IME) from e2ip technologies in association with National Research Council of Canada. The surface-printed electrical circuitry saves on the complex and heavy cabin electronics.

IME control panel concept. (e2ip)

The IME control element can be seamlessly integrated and can complete a range of functions including positioning of the aircraft seat.

Nominees

  • Experience Line Bridge, Diehl Aerospace
  • Jade Reading Light, Schott

Greener Cabin, Health, Safety and Environment

This hotly contested category is awarded to Diehl Aviation with its Greywater Reuse Unit. Taking the handwash water (greywater) from the sink and reusing to flush the toilet instead of potable water.

The Diehl Aviation Reuse Unit. (Diehl Aviation)

The Reuse Unit would help to reduce the amount of potable water on a Boeing 787 Dreamliner by 250kg and a CO2 saving of 550 tonnes per year per aircraft.

Nominees

  • AudioBack, ATR
  • Zero economy meal tray, PriestmanGoode

Passenger Comfort Hardware

For ideas that enhance passenger comfort, this category was won by Safran Seats with its Modulair S economy seat concept.

The Modulair S. (Safran Seats)

Developed in cooperation with the French university ENCSi, the seat can be extended with various features, bringing creature comforts such as neck support to the largest section of seating.

Nominees

  • Space For All, Adient Aerospace
  • The Row 1 airport wheelchair system, Ciara Crawford

Cabin Systems

The winner is the SOPHYTM smart trolley system from Safran Cabin. This tiny module can be installed into existing catering trolleys and provides the operator with information on the entire journey of the equipment, from maintenance and cleaning needs.

The SOPHYTM smart trolley system. (Safran Cabin)

Nominees

  • Lite2fix, SFS and Jetlite
  • Next Gen Connectivity Mobile ONAIR 4G, SITAONAIR

In-Flight Entertainment and Connectivity

As the fastest growing sector of aviation, IFEC receives plenty of innovations. This time, the winner is SAFRAN Passenger Innovations department with RAVE Bluetooth Audio.

RAVE Bluetooth Audio. (Safran Passenger Innovations)

The problem of too many passengers using Bluetooth enabled headphones is solved by this solution as it controls power and antenna direction to each passenger or seat.

Nominees

  • Multi-Screen Experience, JetBlue Airways
  • Spafax IQ, Spafax

University

Highlighting new ideas from universities, the winner in 2020 is University of Cincinnati. Their Coffee House Cabin concept would place a long work table down the centre of the plane to allow for productive work groups.

The Coffee House Cabin Concept.

The idea was developed with The Boeing Company and The Live Well Collaborative.

Nominees

  • Isofix, The University of Applied Sciences Hamburg (HAW)
  • Collapsible beds for Flying V

More Crystal Cabin awards to be won in 2021

To recognise the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on aviation, there will be two new categories in 2021: Clean & Safe Air Travel” and the “Judges’ Choice Award”. Find out more about them on the Crystal Cabin Awards website.

Update: The shortlist has been revealed for the two new categories. Find them on the AIX Hub here.


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Aircraft Interiors Expo (AIX) is the world’s leading cabin interiors event where airlines and the supply chain to meet and has been for over 20 years. AIX plays host to the latest innovations, technologies and products for the cabin interiors, inflight entertainment and passenger comfort industries.

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