Shawn Raybell, director, Sales and Marketing, Rockwell Collins, puts the flexible Silhouette MOVE cabin class divider into action. Image: Maxim Sergienko

APEX Insight: In addition to showing its Meridian single-aisle, Aspire twin-aisle and Air Rest business-class seats, Rockwell Collins, which completed the acquisition of B/E Aerospace in April last year, showed a slew of innovations at its booth, including a micro LED lighting system, entryway pop-up social area, hot-and-cold food and beverage display, and a flexible cabin class divider – the latter which won a Crystal Cabin Award last night.

Making Light Waves

Inside a closed, dark room, Rockwell Collins displayed its Secant micro LED lighting system. The scalable lighting solution consists of flexible panels that can be used to form curved surfaces, such as cabin walls and overhead bins. “There is no limitation from a bend radius – no right angles – but you can concave or convex,” said Stephen Scover, vice-president and general manager, Lighting and Integrated Systems, Rockwell Collins. “It really will revolutionize how you can light and where you can light.”

The individual light panels are covered by a translucent fabric to form a larger panel that can be manipulated to form a ceiling panel, as was demonstrated in the booth. Scover pointed out that it was not edge lighting that we were seeing on the tiered ceiling panel. “This is completely revolutionary,” he said. “If you take this and then apply that to a monument or a full cabin wall, you will have light fully distributed throughout the cabin, as opposed to a rigid system which just generates light in a specific area.”

Rockwell Collins imagines that photos or videos can be showed through the lighting system for airline branding or advertising for ancillary revenue, but Scover said static images work better because moving images can induce nausea.

Matt Dunn, vice-president and general manager, Rockwell Collins, also added that the slightly fuzzy artwork displayed on the examples are intentionally less high-def. “They’re softer gentler scenes – this technology lends itself to that.” The current generation only emits white light (the color in the current display comes from a wallpaper), but the second generation will be a full-color system with rendered artwork or photos. Over time, Rockwell Collins hopes to achieve higher-def images. “What we really want is art in the cabin,” Dunn said.

In addition to adding visual interest and branding and advertising opportunities, Scover said Secant does not dissipate heat, removing the need for vents or any type of thermal management. “We’re trying to change the paradigm of how you bring light into the cabin,” he said.

Silhouette MOVE has an elevated base to give passengers more leg room or stowage space. Image: Maxim Sergienko

Moveable Class Divider

Instead of a fixed wall between cabin classes, Rockwell Collins has come up with the Crystal Cabin-Award winning Silhouette MOVE, a cabin divider that moves from an upright to reclined position. In the upright position, the wall is designed to give passengers behind it more knee space, and in the reclined position, it will allow passengers sitting in front of it to recline their seats. An elevated base gives passengers more room at their feet.

Safety mechanisms such as a tiny green and red light directly above the divider signal to crewmembers whether the divider is in a locked position. And a special activation required to move the divider prevents handsy passengers from playing with it.

Pop-Up Bar

As a solution to the underused door to entryway during flight, Rockwell Collins has come up with a pop-up social space, which is made of a series of collapsible panels that unfold into a bar area, with storage for beverages and a ledge for placing a drink on, inviting passengers to congregate or stretch their legs.

From Hot and Cold

Also on display was a cookie warmer and a champagne chiller, which Rockwell Collins has designed for self-service. The cabinet uses the Peltier effect which is the same type of semiconductor technology used to warm car seats and steering wheels.