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The top airline innovations shortlisted for the 2020 ‘Oscars’ of cabin awards

The best airline innovations for 2020 have been revealed and they include a coffee shop-style cabin, Virgin Atlantic’s swanky loft lounge and economy seats that allow passengers to face each other.

A total of 105 concepts are in the running for gongs at the prestigious Crystal Cabin Awards, which are dubbed the Oscars of aircraft cabin design.

They were whittled down from a record number of submissions from 21 countries. Awards will be presented in March across eight categories.

Dubai Aviation Engineering Projects’ retractable aircraft cabin, pictured, which will allow whole rooms, from restaurants to spas, to be inserted into the cabin during ground handling

The University of Cincinnati has developed the idea of placing a long coffee table in the cabin of an aircraft

The University of Cincinnati has developed the idea of placing a long coffee table in the cabin of an aircraft

The luxurious business class seat Acumen created for All Nippon Airways. The judges say it combines modern, Japanese style with best-in-class dimensions

The luxurious business class seat Acumen created for All Nippon Airways. The judges say it combines modern, Japanese style with best-in-class dimensions

Virgin Atlantic's 'The Loft', which was created for the airline's first A350-1000. It's an exclusive lounge and bar for premium class passengers

Virgin Atlantic’s ‘The Loft’, which was created for the airline’s first A350-1000. It’s an exclusive lounge and bar for premium class passengers

The categories are cabin concepts; cabin systems; greener cabin, health, safety and environment; in-flight entertainment and connectivity; materials and hardware; passenger comfort hardware; the university award and visionary concepts.

Among the concepts in the running for an award are submissions that the judges say show potential for revolutionising cabin layouts.

One of these is Dubai Aviation Engineering Projects’ (DAEP) retractable aircraft cabin, which will allow whole rooms, from restaurants to spas, to be inserted into the aircraft cabin during ground handling.

DAEP says it developed the concept to ‘capitalise on unutilized airline seating capacities to enable new ways of passenger engagement’.

The University of Cincinnati, meanwhile, has developed the idea of placing a long coffee table in the cabin.

It explains: ‘With four passengers seated at each table, the Coffee House Cabin allows passengers to have personal workspace during flight. For safety, during takeoff and landing, all seats rotate towards the front of the aircraft, and table wings fold down and are secured.’

Hamburg-based Heinkel's 'Flex Lounge' – groups of four seats that can be rotated so passengers can face each other

Hamburg-based Heinkel’s ‘Flex Lounge’ – groups of four seats that can be rotated so passengers can face each other

Adient has been praised for its idea to add an extension/retraction mechanism to the seating row behind the partition separating business class from economy to create a single large surface for parents and children to lie down together

Adient has been praised for its idea to add an extension/retraction mechanism to the seating row behind the partition separating business class from economy to create a single large surface for parents and children to lie down together

A graphic showing how the 'Greywater Reuse Unit' from Diehl Aviation works. Instead of using precious drinking water, it uses water from handwashing in the basin to flush the toilet

A graphic showing how the ‘Greywater Reuse Unit’ from Diehl Aviation works. Instead of using precious drinking water, it uses water from handwashing in the basin to flush the toilet

London-based Acumen’s ‘The Room’ also impressed. This is a luxurious business class seat it created for All Nippon Airways, that the judges say combines modern, Japanese style with best-in-class dimensions.

Virgin Atlantic also get a nod for ‘The Loft’, which was created for the airline’s first A350-1000. It’s an exclusive lounge and bar for premium class passengers.

Economy cabin concepts that have caught the judges’ eyes include Hamburg-based Heinkel’s ‘Flex Lounge’ – groups of four seats that can be rotated so passengers can face each other.

And Adient has been praised for its idea to add an extension/retraction mechanism to the seating row behind the partition separating business class from economy to create a single large surface for parents and children to lie down together.

When it comes to sustainable travel and making cabins greener, the judges say that the ‘Greywater Reuse Unit’ from Diehl Aviation is a case in point.

Instead of using precious drinking water, it uses water from handwashing in the basin to flush the toilet. The result is a saving of up to 550 tonnes of CO2 per year for a single Boeing 787.

The Flymingo Next concept from Moment, pictured, which integrates Internet of Things (IoT) technologies for the crew, indicating, for example, seat occupancy and baggage locker-use

The Flymingo Next concept from Moment, pictured, which integrates Internet of Things (IoT) technologies for the crew, indicating, for example, seat occupancy and baggage locker-use

The AERQ concept, pictured, aims to make the partitions between classes almost invisible. Instead of partition walls, transparent screens show passengers information and offers from the airline

The AERQ concept, pictured, aims to make the partitions between classes almost invisible. Instead of partition walls, transparent screens show passengers information and offers from the airline

Several entries also looked at wireless entertainment, with the Flymingo Next concept from Moment going beyond classic in-flight entertainment, say the judges.

In addition to wireless streaming, the hardware integrates Internet of Things (IoT) technologies for the crew, indicating, for example, seat occupancy and baggage locker-use.

Other submissions have ‘taken up the fight against the grey cabin wall’.

One of these is AERQ, a joint venture between LG and Lufthansa Technik, which aims to make the partitions between classes almost invisible.

Instead of partition walls, transparent screens will show passengers information and offers from the airline.

Other award entries focused on sleep, such as Stelia’s sleep-care app for smartphones.

Some award entries focused on sleep, such as Stelia's sleep-care app for smartphones, pictured. It provides passengers with sleep and nutrition tips before the journey, based on his or her behaviour

Some award entries focused on sleep, such as Stelia’s sleep-care app for smartphones, pictured. It provides passengers with sleep and nutrition tips before the journey, based on his or her behaviour

The Zero-G Attendant seat, pictured, which focuses on making sure the crew is refreshed on arrival. Developed by Collins, it allows crew members to relax in the entry area to the aircraft

The Zero-G Attendant seat, pictured, which focuses on making sure the crew is refreshed on arrival. Developed by Collins, it allows crew members to relax in the entry area to the aircraft

It provides passengers with sleep and nutrition tips before the journey, based on his or her behaviour, and informs the crew to make sure that in-flight meals are served at times suited to individual sleeping patterns.

While another concept, a folding bed called the Zero-G Attendant seat, focuses on making sure the crew is refreshed on arrival, too.

Developed by Collins, it allows crew members to relax in the entry area to the aircraft.

Meanwhile, the judges were also impressed with concepts that aimed to make flying with small children and people with physical disabilities easier.

The Isotravel device that has been developed by the University of Applied Sciences Hamburg

The Isotravel adapter enables child car seats to be safely installed in the aircraft cabin

The University of Applied Sciences Hamburg has developed Isotravel, an adapter that enables child car seats to be safely installed in the aircraft cabin

Aircraft Innovations' junior comfort seat, pictured, consists of an inflatable element to protect children from falling into the footwell

Aircraft Innovations’ junior comfort seat, pictured, consists of an inflatable element to protect children from falling into the footwell

One idea, by the University of Applied Sciences Hamburg, is Isotravel, an adapter that enables child car seats to be safely installed in the aircraft cabin.

Another is by Swiss company Aircraft Innovations, which wants to transform the economy class seat into a child-friendly environment. Its junior comfort seat consists of an inflatable element to protect the child from falling into the footwell.

For each of the awards’ categories, the 27 expert judges will select three finalists, which will be announced at the beginning of March.

The finalists then get to pitch their concepts to the jury in person at the Aircraft Interiors Expo in Hamburg (March 31 to April 2).

The winners of the 2020 Crystal Cabin Awards will be announced at a gala dinner at the expo on March 31.

For the full list of nominations, visit the Crystal Cabins Awards website.  

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


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