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