Future Flight: These New Cabin Designs Include Floating Furniture, Sustainable Materials, and a System Called Cordillera - Lifestyle Asia

The Crystal Cabin Awards just wrapped up, giving every a glimpse into tomorrow.

For the first time in three years, the Crystal Cabin Awards—which honors ingenuity and innovation in aircraft interiors—were held in person once again.

READ ALSO: These First-Class Airplane Cabin Concepts Are Shortlisted For Awards

Among the big winners of the 2022 edition is Teague and Nordam’s “Elevate,” which bagged the Cabin Concept award. This makes use of floating furniture to give a passengers of premium tickets a bigger feel for space. This design attracted the most media attention leading up to the ceremony.

“Elevate”

“This visually arresting design uses floating furniture attached to wall braces to give a freer, more organic and more immersive feel than comparable premium accommodation concepts for singleaisle aircraft,” reads the announcement from the Crystal Cabin Awards. “The key driver behind the approach was to offer the privacy and exclusivity of the wide-body premium experience to narrow-body airliner passengers.”

The aim was to give passengers in single-aisle cabins a genuine sense of space ownership, while offering airlines the same seat capacity. Elevate’s other features include lower weight, resulting in lower fuel burn, as well as simpler components that are easier to maintain. 

Another winner is a system developed by Swiss company Caeli Nova. Their design allows airlines to open direct routes over mountain ranges by extending the time aircraft can fly at high altitude after a decompression incident from 22 to 180 minutes.

Interestingly called “Cordillera,” the system would lead to an anticipated annual savings of $500m and 1.2 million tonnes of CO₂ for airlines.

The Crystal Cabin Awards says that this is a “potential game-changer for airlines that have until now had to circumvent high terrain such as the Himalayas, Rockies or Andes. One route that would become widely available using Cordillera is airway L888, which crosses the Himalayas and is 30 minutes quicker than other routes between Europe and parts of Asia.”

Another design honored at the event is “SpaceChiller” by Collins Aerospace, which won the Passenger Comfort category.

“SpaceChiller”

“This personal refrigeration unit for individual passengers or larger areas of the aircraft cabin eschews traditional air-cooling technologies, offering customers cooled snacks and drinks within arm’s reach was long considered difficult to implement,” reads the announcement.

While it was conceived for premium tickets, the system can also scaled in size as required. This enables airlines to provide self-service catering areas for passengers without encroaching on flight attendant workspaces or passengers’ personal space.

For the Sustainable Cabin category, the top honor went to Swedish manufacturer Diab in cooperation with AkzoNobel, Rescoll and Roctool. Their “100% Recyclable Panels for Cabin Interiors” made use of a thermoplastics manufacturing process.

“Fire Resistant Cargo”

“Among the aspects that particularly impressed the jury were overall reduction in life cycle cost and lower environmental impact by facilitating recycling of cabin elements,” says the Crystal Cabin Awards. “The process developed by Diab and its partners is not only more eco-friendly but also faster than methods using adhesive films.”

Other awardees included a fire resistant cargo container by Safran Cabin as well as Anuvu coop. Southwest Airlines’s “Dedicated Space.” This gives a five-fold increase to personal bandwidth while in flight.

Download this month's LIFESTYLE ASIA digital copy from:
Order your print copy of this month's LIFESTYLE ASIA Magazine:
Subscribe via [email protected]