At last month’s Aircraft Interiors Expo in Hamburg, Germany, Lufthansa Technik (Stand 443) was one of the winners in the Crystal Cabin Awards. It would seem that something as simple as photoluminescent emergency floor-path lighting would offer little room for improvement. But the new technology contains more than just a few improvements.
Its new floor-path lighting strip is 50-percent smaller than existing products, requires just 15 to 30 minutes of cabin light to charge the strip for a 12-hour flight, comes in a broad range of colors to blend with the interior decor, is barely 2.3 millimeters high and has “an unlimited lifespan.” In fact, in durability testing for use in the galley, after more than 30,000 cycles under the weight of a galley cart, the tests were suspended when a wheel on the cart broke.
The Crystal Cabin Awards are given annually in six categories and a public ceremony in the main exhibitor hall to publicly present the winners traditionally kicks off the three-day Hamburg show. This year, a total of 52 entrants representing 21 countries were pared down, coincidentally, to 21 finalists. In addition to Lufthansa Technik in the Material and Components category, the other winners were:
ŸThe IMS Company of Brea, California, in the Entertainment and Communication category for its new RAVE embedded in-flight entertainment system. It has just two part numbers – one a system control box and the other a self-contained, fully autonomous seat display unit which is the point of content storage, storage functionality and playback.
ŸRecaro of Kaiserslautern, Germany, in the Industrial Design/Interior Concept category for its skinnier, lighter BL3520 seat. It provides the passenger 1.7-inches additional legroom, weighs just under 24 pounds and is already in 21 layouts in five airlines.
ŸRecaro, again, in the Passenger Comfort category for its SkyCouch three-abreast seat arrangement. Air New Zealand is already selling the economy seating arrangement, typically to families who will buy two seats at full fare and get the third for half-off. With the leg rests for all three seats in full-up position, a wide platform for sleeping is created.
ŸElektro Metall of Ingolstadt, Germany, in the Green Cabin, Health and Safety category, for its sensor-operated no-touch waste bin flap designed to create more hygienic lavatory interior.
ŸMunich University of Applied Sciences of Munich, Germany, in the University category for its Airgonomic interior design concept. Primarily an economy class creation, the emphasis is on a total seat redesign that includes gel-pads that switch automatically from hard state for takeoff and landing to soft for a more comfortable ride in flight. –K.J.H.