Submissions for the 2020 Crystal Cabin Award have increased for the seventh year running, with the shortlist comprising a record 105 entries from 21 countries.
An international jury consisting of 27 experts will select three finalists for each of the eight Crystal Cabin Award categories before meeting on March 31, during the Aircraft Interiors Expo in Hamburg, to hear a pitch from each finalist and to decide the winners.
As ever, there are many innovative aircraft seating solutions in the mix, and refreshingly, many of them focus on making economy class travel more comfortable and more flexible.
Following Hongik University design student Sahngseok Lee’s 2019 win in the University category for his “1FA” (one for all) seating concept, which was sponsored by Adient Aerospace, the two parties have come together again to enter a new product idea for 2020, “Space for All (SFA).”
The concept of “Space for All” is to use the space between the bulkhead seats and the bulkhead wall to create an “extended flat surface to use as a lounge seat or, with all three deployed, a common space for children and adults,” the submission said. How? With the “help of individual extending mechanism that translates out from the lower bulkhead wall.”
The submission also clarifies that while it could be retrofitted, the design has been developed to work best with the Adient Aerospace front-row triple seat, which incorporates a patent-pending folding center armrest with bifold meal table.
Another company with a solution that could make traveling with a family in economy class more enjoyable is Heinkel Group, which has come up with the “Flex Lounge” concept for long-haul aircraft.
According to Heinkel Group’s submission, “The backrest of the first seat row can easily be moved by the flight attendants to create a communal space for a group of four people. If not booked, the seat row can be used in the standard configuration without any loss of cost for the airline.”
Finally, Safran’s “Modulair S” economy-class seat has been designed to “offer a complete set of new experience-enhancing features” without compromising on “technical and business sense.”
While further information in their written submission is sparse, from the range of images submitted by Safran it looks as though the seat offers three variants in terms of headrest position, three variants of recline and two different ways to store and/or use a personal electronic device.
Flexible economy-class solutions are proven to be well-received at the Crystal Cabin Awards, with Air New Zealand taking home the trophy in the Passenger Comfort category last year for its Skycouch product, which has now been licensed to other carriers operating on non-competing routes.
The winners of the 2020 Crystal Cabin Award will be announced at a gala dinner in the trading floor hall of the Chamber of Commerce on the evening of March 31.