From a private Boeing 787 to super smart cabins, these innovations will transform air travel. If they ever get made. Crystal Cabin has announced the shortlist for its annual cabin design awards. An event that has been dubbed the "Oscars of Aviation". This year, there were 85 applicants from more than 20 countries and included designs from aircraft manufacturers, airlines, suppliers, engineering firms and universities. And while some are mere concepts, others have been developed.
We have chosen our favourites below. But the real winners will be announced in Hamburg, Germany in April. This year’s shortlist includes products flying today, and some we hope will fly soon.
Delta and United are both up for a Crystal Cabin Awards for their new business class products. Delta’s new Delta One Suite, which will be introduced on the airline’s A350 aircraft, is the first fully private suite introduced in this class category.
Crucially, two of the products – Delta’s suites and United Polaris – have designed their way towards solving the zero-sum problem with staggered business class seating, namely that at least half the seats in the cabin are markedly inferior to others owing to reduced privacy and being bumped into.
The Delta One Suites allows passengers seated immediately next to the aisle. Both to regain privacy and to wall off their aisle-side shoulder from passing people and trolleys, while the Polaris product tucks them away from the aisle at a slight angle and creates a small wall at shoulder level.
In2tec has been shortlisted for its "Smart Office". A folding tray table that transforms into a keyboard. Passengers simply insert a Bluetooth-enabled tablet into a slot and an illuminated, smartphone-style keyboard appears. Another nominee is Vision Systems' window pane, also a touchscreen. It projects information about the flight directly into the window. Passengers can regulate light and heat, reduce noise inside the cabin or interact with the moving map directly on the window.
Stone Floor For an AircraftStone Floor For an Aircraft
A family-run business in Austria has been shortlisted for its heated stone flooring. According the company behind the design, this 2.5 mm layer of real stone granite or marble can be added to private jets for the ultra-rich.