The Aircraft Cabins of Tomorrow and What They Offer Their Passengers


No matter whether we’re talking about touch-screens built into the back of every seat or practical laptop charging points located within reach of all passengers, the Crystal Cabin Awards are all about each and every innovation that has the potential to improve the flight experience. The finalists at the Crystal Cabin Awards of 2014 all presented interesting and innovative concepts, and it is out pleasure to present the most interesting ones to you.

The first group of innovations I’d like to make mention of is hardware aimed at increasing passenger comfort. The ones given special recognition this year are:

Diehl Comfort Modules – Germany: Hygienic toilet unit with non-touch functions
The fact that all of the functions of this toilet unit operate without the necessity of being touched is what makes it as sanitary as it is. No reason to get your hands dirty, even a little, as the toilet lid and seat open and close by an automatic drive, as does the flush function.

ZIM Flugsitz GmbH – Germany: EC-00 seat
This seat was especially designed to accommodate the amount of space on the smallest of single aisle airplanes. One one hand, much space can be saved, and on the other, installation of these seats ensures higher comfort and increased living space.

RECARO Aircraft Seating – Germany: RECARO CL3710 seat
The lightest seat in its class, the CL3710 can be easily adapted to various passengers’ needs, such as those connected with their heights. Maximum shin space and a high literature pocket offer exceptional comfort.

The next group of innovations that will be mentioned here is connected with making the cabin greener, and paying special attention to health, safety and the environment.

DIEHL Aerospace – Germany: DACAPO Energy Autonomous Cabin
The DACAPO’s (Distributed Autonomous Cabin Power) objective is to separate the A/C into cabin systems and aircraft systems with independent power networks.

Vision Systems – France: Energia aircraft window
The Energia is the world’s first self-powered dimming aircraft window whose benefits include energy savings, increased passenger comfort, reduced maintenance costs and easy installation. It is able to work thanks to solar energy it harvests while on the ground, which is then stored in a battery in the casing.

Zodiac Aerospace / ZEO Design Studio– France: ISIS Modular Lavatory
The ISIS Modular Lavatory stands out mainly thanks to the weight savings, high level of hygiene and passenger comfort it allows for, as well as the longevity of the lavatory, which is substantial. The ISI is also easily removable for deep cleaning purposes.

The last group of innovations that will be mentioned here is of materials and components that have succeeded in making an impression on the Crystal Cabin Awards judges:

Zodiac Aerospace – France / Zodiac Galleys – USA: Galley Airbag System
The airbags that are installed are fully integrated into front row monuments; however, they are not bulky and uncomfortable as such airbags tend to be. This space saving, together with the other layout changes, will allow additional pitch and potentially an additional seat row.

Schott AG – Germany: Laminated special glass composite
These sidewall window panes, consisting of special flat glass and foils, offer  additional benefits to airlines and passengers alike. They are far superior to plastic-based panes, one of the reasons for that being that they are 40% lighter, resulting in savings in fuel and lower emissions.

As you can see, the Crystal Cabin Awards of 2014 have seen many interesting ideas and projects, and it will be truly exciting to see just how much the flight experience can be improved for everyone involved once they’re implemented.