Innovative Aircraft Cabin Interior Designs Honored at AIX2018

QSuite on the A350-1000 (Photo: AirlineGeeks | Fabian Behr)

The Aircraft Interiors Expo (AIX) was held in Hamburg, Germany this week, an industry event which has in the past attracted over 16,000 attendees. AIX 2018 is described as ‘the world’s leading event for airlines and the supply chain to source the latest innovations, technologies and products for the cabin interiors, inflight entertainment and passenger comfort industries,’ and this year over 550 exhibitors were present.

As a showcase for aviation design, the Expo recognizes excellent achievement with the Crystal Cabin Awards. A highlight in the expo calendar, this year there were over 90 submissions, with finalists in eight categories and the winner was announced during an awards ceremony on Tuesday evening.

A summary of this year’s category winners, with links to all of the finalists, is as follows:

Cabin Concepts

Qatar Airways Qsuite designed by PriestmanGoode – the four-seat business class configuration which can be rearranged to provide a socialising environment.

Qatar’s QSuites (Photo: Qatar Airways)

Cabin Systems

Rockwell Collins: Silhouette MOVE – a cabin partition which can be adapted during the flight to create more space for passenger legroom and/or baggage

Greener Cabin, Health, Safety, and Environment

Villinger GmbH: LiteHeat IHP – Indestructible Heated Floor Panel

Inflight Entertainment and Connectivity

Bluebox Aviation Systems (cooperation partners Virgin Atlantic & The Guide Dogs for the Blind Association): Bluebox aIFE: Accessible IFE) – an onboard entertainment system for visually-impaired passengers.

Material & Components

Airbus (cooperation partner Altran): Printed Electrics applied: The new Info-Panel – which FlightGlobal reports ‘could eliminate the need for cable harnesses for cabin electronics by using directly printed wiring.’

Passenger Comfort Hardware

Rockwell Collins: Valkyrie Bed – a roll-out mattress for premium customers.

University

Cranfield University: E-tome Smart Faucett – a smart tap for aircraft toilets reducing the amount of water used and therefore saving on fuel to carry it.

Visionary Concepts

Renacen Sistemas SL: 3D SeatMap VR – a 360 aircraft cabin virtual reality experience assist passengers in making a purchasing decision during the booking process.

One concept which garnered a lot of publicity prior to and during AIX was Zodiac Aerospace’s Durinal – an answer to the passenger complaint about the seemingly decreasing number of bathrooms available for as airlines densify aircraft cabins. This concept gives male passengers a ‘quick’ comfort stop option freeing up the conventional bathrooms for those with a greater need.

John Flett

John Flett

John has always had a passion for aviation and through a career with Air New Zealand has gained a strong understanding of aviation operations and the strategic nature of the industry. During his career with the airline, John held multiple leadership roles and was involved in projects such as the introduction of both the 777-200 and -300 type aircraft and the development of the IFE for the 777-300. He was also part of a small team who created and published the internal communications magazines for Air New Zealand’s pilots, cabin crew and ground staff balancing a mix of corporate and social content.

John is educated to postgraduate level achieving a masters degree with Distinction in Airline and Airport Management and has recently led an undergraduate Aviation Management course for 450 students at a leading London university. John is currently an external instructor for IATA (International Air Transport Association) and a member of the Heathrow Community Fund’s ‘Communities for Tomorrow’ panel.
John Flett