Airbus has won in two categories in this year’s Crystal Cabin Award for the first time at the Aircraft Interiors Expo in Hamburg, Germany.
The winning projects are the ‘ReTrolley’ in the Greener Cabin, Health, Safety and Environment category, and the ‘Smart Cabin Reconfiguration’ in the Passenger Comfort Hardware category. Airbus received two additional awards for partnering in the ‘Smart Onboard Wheelchair’ in the University category and the ‘Octaspring Lightweight Seat Cushion’ in the Material & Components category.
“Winning several categories at the aviation’s ‘Oscars’ shows that we are constantly pushing the latest in innovative cabin design solutions,” said Ingo Wuggetzer, vice president Airbus Cabin Marketing. “This means we stay true to our Airspace principles, delivering comfort and benefits to both passengers and airlines.”
Charles Champion, Executive Vice President Engineering, added: “The awards also demonstrate that we strive with our partners to continuously innovate for our customers and passengers worldwide. I am proud of the teams that have worked really hard and I congratulate them on their well-deserved success.”
Octaspring Lightweight Seat Cushion
Cabin comfort is one of the top priorities for passengers and designers constantly seek to maximise it. In cooperation with Studio Moderna, Boxmark, and Stelia, Airbus has found a way to enhance seat comfort and save weight at the same time.
The breathable Octaspring seat cushion featuring coil springs made of foam uses different levels of density to optimally distribute the passenger's body weight over the entire seat.
It also helps to keep the seating surface cool through better ventilation inside the cushion. This cushion is about a third lighter than an all-foam cushion, equalises pressure and facilitates an ergonomic seating position.
The Crystal Cabin Award is the leading international award for excellence in aircraft interior innovation, sponsored by the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg. A total of 85 applicants from 21 nations entered their latest innovations in the competition across seven categories.
ReTrolley separates waste as it is collected in the aisle, reducing its volume by up to 30% through manual compression.
This saves space in the galley and increases the share of recyclable waste as airlines are looking for new and simple solutions that reduce the cabin’s ecological footprint. Only separated recyclable waste can actually be recycled.
The ReTrolley solution is based on a concept first designed by students of the University of São Paulo and later advanced by Airbus Innovations experts.
As part of the Airbus BizLab Accelerator programme, the concept was validated with airlines last year using a demonstrator.
Smart Onboard Wheelchair
For passengers with limited mobility, independence on board an aircraft is highly desirable. This is made possible with the Smart Onboard Wheelchair which the passenger can roll over the toilet seat unassisted. Structural changes to the aircraft lavatory are not required.
The wheelchair was designed by students of the Hamburg University of Applied Sciences supported by Airbus experts. The project was tested by wheelchair users. Their verdict: easy to handle, stable, and safe.
Smart Cabin Reconfiguration
At least three seats remain unoccupied on many flights. Now, passengers can benefit from it. The Smart Cabin Reconfiguration project frees up space in A320 Family cabins without much effort.
It uses movable seats designed in cooperation with seat manufacturer Recaro.
Selected rail-mounted seat rows, designed in cooperation with THK, enable cabin crew to adjust seat pitch based on flight reservation data – within turnaround time.
A member of the cabin crew can fold away one seat row and then quickly move those in front of it just like a car seat. Passengers in these seats benefit from more legroom.