‘Floating’ aircraft cockpit could be the future of travel

Editor’s note. The Monthly Pass is CNN’s travel series that highlights some of the most interesting topics in the travel world. In June, we will take to the skies to see the latest developments in aircraft interiors, including the people who are working to change the way we fly.

Hamburg (CNN) – Floating aircraft furniture designs and a cabin concept that can give each passenger a personal refrigerator are among the winners of this year’s Crystal Cabin Awards.

The prestigious aviation awards, which recognize innovation and creativity in aircraft interiors, were announced at a ceremony at the 2022 Aircraft Interiors Expo (AIX) in Hamburg, Germany.

Speaking to CNN Travel at the awards ceremony, Crystal Cabin Award Association President Lucas Kestner said a team of industry experts spent a day going through each application before making a decision. The judges discussed the creativity and ingenuity of the ideas, as well as the reactions of airlines and potential passengers.

According to Kestner, not all of the finalists’ products are on the market or anywhere near it. Many of them are still just concepts. But “the core issue of most jury decisions,” he explains, “Does he have a real chance to take off? That’s really the core issue of most jurors’ decisions.”

Floating cabin furniture

After much deliberation, the 24 finalists, already cut from the long list, were narrowed down to eight winners with Teague and NORDAM’s Elevate cabin design, which visualizes a premium cabin with “floating” seats, taking first place in the cabin. category concepts.

Speaking to CNN Travel earlier on AIX, Teague’s team explained that the idea behind the concept was to “open up more space” in the cabin by attaching all the furniture to a single rail that connects to the side wall and walkway.

The idea, Teague’s team says, came about three years ago when aircraft designers chatted over beers at AIX. Designers and engineers realized that they were faced with the same problem – how to free up space in the cabin without losing space. They began to come up with a solution.

Meanwhile, Collins Aerospace’s concept of a passenger refrigerator called the SpaceChiller won an award in the Passenger Comfort category. The Crystal Cabin jury was intrigued by Collins’ claim that the refrigerator would use half the energy of traditional aircraft refrigerator designs. The ability to expand or shrink the refrigerator, allowing a mini version to be placed within reach of a potential passenger, also caught the attention of the judges.

Among the nominees who missed the night were Collins Aerospace’s non-reclining Airlounge business class seat, which premiered earlier this year on Finnish airline Finnair flights, and Pexco Aerospace’s pandemic-inspired AirShield, created in collaboration with Teague and designed to improve air quality in aircraft. a flow that creates an invisible “shield” around individual passengers.

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