The big news this week is the Thales deal to purchase LiveTV and you can read it here. We found another blog reporter who had some interesting things to say about the deal. (Editors Note: In the past the folks at LiveTV have focused on the US, given their JetBlue customer. However, their plan for global reach has been one of Ku-band IPTV. They do have Ka-band capability in the HTS region that has a Ku overlay. With Thales, they now have the Inmarsat option that might change the order of things. Either way, they will be getting a new super-salesman, Mike Moeller… and we sure hope they keep those award winning trade show booths coming!)

2014 Crystal Cabin Award finalists announced

The finalists for the 2014 Crystal Cabin Awards have been announced, following deliberations by the 24-strong international judging panel, which includes representatives from airlines and all the major aircraft manufacturers, as they examined each of the 55 shortlisted entries from 12 countries. (Apologies to AIX/Reed for reformatting their release!)

  • Passenger Comfort Systems category include

The acWAP from Lufthansa Technik, is a high-speed router that makes data-intensive applications such as online games possible.

Armstrong Aerospace’s PowerBox, a mobile power point module that can be installed under a seat was announced.

Zodiac Aerospace’s ISIS Aft Complex, which puts the toilet and galley modules side-by-side on the rear wall, to add 3ft to the cabin length.

  • Industrial Design & Visionary Concepts

US finalist B/E Aerospace took a similar approach to win a place with its Advanced Lavatory, a slimline toilet module which makes it possible to integrate up to six additional seats in an aircraft.

Zodiac’s Halo First Class design study, which is a lounge-like suite.

Also included was French seat maker Expliseat’s lightweight titanium seat.

  • Greener Cabin, Health, Safety & Environment

German finalist Diehl Aerospace has developed DACAPO, a power saving, self-sufficient cabin system using rechargeable and replaceable battery trolleys.

Vision Systems has reached the final round with the Energia aircraft window in which a transparent photovoltaic film inserted into the pane simultaneously “harvests” solar energy and makes it possible to dim the window at the press of a button.

Zodiac enters the fray with another product in the ISIS range: the Modular Lavatory, which facilitates resource-friendly customization and substitution of individual bathroom and lavatory modules.

  • Passenger Comfort Hardware

The hygienic toilet developed by Diehl Comfort System is operated using movement sensors, requiring no contact.

The other finalists in the category are Recaro’s ergonomic, lightweight CL3710 economy seat with extra knee room.

ZIM Flugsitz’s EC-00 economy seat for short and medium-haul flights, including a new table and backrest concept was included.

  • The Premium Class & VIP

Thales’ Immersive Business Class Seat was included.

Hong Kong-based Paperclip Design’s Convertible Long Haul Seat Concept, which can be quickly converted from premium economy to a full-flat business seat.

Zodiac Aerospac’s Premium Cabin, which not only creates more space for every passenger but also even allows room for an on-board bar.

  • Material & Components

Zodiac Galleys impressed the judging panel with an airbag system for front-row passengers.

Specialist Aviation’s Satto solution for minor repairs to cabin components.

Schott’s lightweight glass structure for windows, which is not only more resistant than conventional window plastic but also making significantly larger panes possible.

  • University

Two entrants from Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands have reached the final, with Sense the Transitions, an innovative geotainment concept; and the ARC Seat Concept, an aircraft seat that can withstand stresses up to 16g.

Monash University in Australia is showing a concept for wheelchair boarding.

The finalists’ products and concepts will be presented in the Crystal Cabin Award Gallery at Aircraft Interiors Expo in Hamburg, Germany next month (Hall B1, Booth A41), and on the second day of the exhibition (9 April, 11am), the winners will present their concepts to the public.

OMG!

The IFExpress team has purposely avoided any updates of MH370 until we saw this article on Sunday that mentioned IFEyou have to read it… we were dumbstruck!

Beacon technology has been hailed as a game-changer in retail. It uses Bluetooth to trigger the display of information on phones and tablets that is relevant to the specific location and context of the user. Connecting and communicating efficiently with passengers throughout their journey is a widely held goal in the air transport industry and SITA Lab’s research has investigated the potential of using beacon technology in today’s airports. The benefits being touted for the technology, such as low cost and wide range, have a strong appeal for anyone wanting to connect directly with customers. But SITA Lab investigated if the technology works as advertized in the real world. Trials with a leading international airline and airport have produced results that are both promising and cautionary. SITA ’s CTO, Jim Peters noted; “SITA Lab is currently building an industry registry for all beacons. The goal is that any airline will have a single point of contact to go to use any beacon deployed by airports around the world. We are already working with some early adopters but are looking for other airports, airlines and app developers who are interested in leveraging the potential of beacons in the air transport industry to join the project.”

Editors Note: To get a bit more background on this exploding technology, here is a blurb from the Radius Network website about their Apple-based solution: “iBeacons are transmit only. They do not receive or collect any signals from mobile devices. iBeacons don’t detect the presence of your mobile device and therefore have no ability to know you are near or track your location. The bottom line, iBeacons are inherently privacy friendly. You can see them, but they can’t see you. With iBeacon technology, your mobile device is actually what detects the iBeacons. More specifically, an app installed on the mobile device can ask to be notified when the device sees a specific iBeacon. This works very similar to how geofences work when a mobile device crosses into a specific geographic location. Keep in mind that in order for a mobile device to detect and react to an iBeacon, an app MUST reside on the device and have requested the specific iBeacon identifiers it is interested in. The benefit of this approach is that it gives the user ultimate control. If a user does not want to interact with iBeacons, he or she can opt-out by not allowing the app to use location services (iOS), turning Bluetooth off, or uninstalling the app on their phone.” Think GPS when using iBeacons, and we also note, that there are already some 100 apps for iBeacons in the Apple iTunes store today. Android developers are spooling up as well. The underlying technology is Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) based and the rechargeable transmitter units are about the size of a mint tin that can run for days without a charge. If you want to build your own iBeacon application, check out the Travel Radar App in the iTunes App Store, put an iBeacon in your bag, and find your luggage before someone else does!

ALERTS!

  • We just heard that Aircraft Cabin Systems recently was granted and registered a patent for their new retractable monitor that features a charged capacitor retract solution!
  • Watch for Telefonix get more into Connectivity with the addition of Jim Costello to their staff!
  • If you are looking for an Electrical or Electro-Mechanical engineering job opportunity in the greater Seattle area (Kirkland/Redmond WA), we will send you contact information by email. Send a note to plwiseman@gmail.com and mark your email “Jobs” in the subject heading, the rest is up to you
  • The Crystal Cabin Award is the world’s first port of call when it comes to innovations in aircraft cabins. The 21 finalists for 2014 are now in place

Hamburg, Germany | March 5, 2014– From such futuristic concepts as an aircraft seat with a touchscreen in the backrest all the way to pragmatic products like a laptop charging point at each seat, the finalists for this year’s Crystal Cabin Awards are providing a good overview of what passengers can expect to see on board very soon. Again and again it comes down to the burning question: how can an increase in passenger comfort be combined with an increase in efficiency for flight operations. This was also a significant criterium for the 24-person international Judging Panel, including amongst its members numerous representatives of airlines and all the major aircraft manufacturers, as they examined every one of the 55 shortlisted entries from 12 countries with a fine-toothed comb. For the eight time, the finalists and winners in the seven award categories are being presented at the “Aircraft Interiors Expo”, a trade fair for aircraft cabins, being held in Hamburg from 8 to 10 April this year.

Innovations, that passengers can expect to encounter in the near future, are particularly well represented amongst the three finalists in the category “Passenger Comfort Systems”. The acWAP from Lufthansa Technik is a high-speed router which makes even data-intensive applications such as video streaming or online games possible throughout the cabin. It is due to be installed in 20 Lufthansa Airbus aircraft this summer. On-board surfing, however, does drain the battery at an alarming rate – a problem that Armstrong Aerospace, a finalist from the USA, has addressed. The company has submitted PowerBox, a mobile power point module, which saves space and can be installed under the seat in front with a minimum of effort. The product has already been certified by the American Federal Aviation Administration. Meanwhile, France’s Zodiac Aerospace has made it to the final without electronics, submitting the ISIS Aft Complex. This concept sees the toilet and galley modules, which to date have been separate units, put side by side on the rear cabin wall. The result: the available length of the cabin grows by three feet.

US finalist B/E Aerospace took a similar approach to win a place in the last three in the “Industrial Design & Visionary Concepts” category. Their design for an Advanced Laboratory is a particularly slimline toilet module which makes it possible to integrate up to six additional seats in an aircraft. They are pitted against Zodiac’s final entry, the Halo First Class design study, offering passengers a lounge-like suite with expansive privacy. The French finalist Expliseat, meanwhile, focussed on Economy with a titanium seat. Not only does this particularly lightweight material offer 125 times (!) the life expectancy of conventional aluminium seat frames; it also results in a fuel saving of almost 300,000 euros and a CO2 reduction of 800 tonnes per aircraft per year.

Efficiency is also a key consideration in the “Greener Cabin, Health, Safety & Environment” category. German finalist DIEHL Aerospace has developed DACAPO, a power-saving, self- sufficient cabin system using rechargeable and replaceable battery trolleys. Vision Systems from France has reached the final round with the “Energia” aircraft window in which a transparent photovoltaic film inserted into the pane simultaneously “harvests” solar energy and makes it possible to dim the window at the press of a button. Zodiac is a finalist in this category, too, with another product in the ISIS range: the Modular Lavatory, facilitating resource-friendly customisation and substitution of individual bathroom and lavatory modules where, conventionally, only standardised complete systems could be installed and removed.

The “Passenger Comfort Hardware” category also features a lavatory project amongst the finalists: The aircraft toilet developed by Diehl Comfort System is operated with movement sensors, requiring no contact, making it especially hygienic. This could be a persuasive selling point for passengers from the Far East. The other finalists in the category are two economy class aircraft seats from German manufacturers: Recaro submitted the ergonomic, lightweight CL3710 seat with extra knee room, and ZIM Flugsitz responded with the EC-00 seat for short and medium-haul flights, including a new, patented table and backrest concept.

The “Premium Class & VIP” category features seats from the more expensive classes. Finalist Thales Avionics has submitted a genuinely futuristic product, Immersive Business Class Seat, with a screen and surround sound system covering nearly 360° that makes passengers almost forget that they are in a plane. The concepts from the two other competitors, meanwhile, concentrate on the connection between personal space and the cabin. Paperclip Design from Hong Kong presents an innovative solution, the Convertible Long Haul Seat Concept, a seating area that can be converted from Premium Economy to a Full-Flat Business Option in next to no time. Zodiac Aerospace has developed the Premium Cabin, which avoids space-hungry gaps and partition walls and not only creates more space for every single passenger but even allows room for an on-board bar.

The US subsidiary, Zodiac Galleys, impressed the Judging Panel in the “Material & Components” category with an airbag system for the cabin wall, rushing out to protect passengers in an emergency. The space-saving innovation avoids the need for the complex and uncomfortable installation of airbags in the seatbelt. British company Specialist Aviation reached the final round with a solution for minor material damage. The SATTO plastic glue allows minor repairs to cabin components to be carried out in 30 minutes without applying any heat. The third player in the ring is German glass-maker Schott with an innovative lightweight glass structure for cabin windows, not only more resistant than conventional window plastic but also making significantly larger panes possible.

The “University” category has progressed in leaps and bounds, with submissions from five different countries this year. And two entrants from Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands have reached the final. With “Sense the Transitions”, a team of female students presents an innovative in-flight entertainment concept where infographics and videos about the culture, history, and nature of the areas of the earth the aircraft is flying over are projected onto the backrest of the seat in front. And a fellow student is presenting the ARC Seat Concept, an innovative aircraft seat that can withstand stresses up to 16G. The longest journey of any of the

finalists comes from Monash University in Australia, with a concept for wheelchair boarding. A perfectly fitting seat module is pushed through the cabin to the relevant row and anchored there without the passenger having to stand or leave the seat.

All of the finalists’ products and concepts will be presented in the Crystal Cabin Award Gallery (Hall B1, Booth A41) at the Aircraft Interiors Expo in Hamburg (8 – 10 April, 2014) And on the second day of the trade fair (9 April, 11 a.m.), the winners will personally present their concepts to the public.

The official crowning of winners and presentation of trophies will take place the evening before at a formal dinner.

The Crystal Cabin Award 2014 is supported by the following sponsors:
Airbus, Aircraft Cabin Management, the Aircraft Interiors Expo trade fair (Reed Exhibitions), Aircraft Interiors International Magazine, the Aircraft Interiors Middle East trade fair (AIME), APEX, Bishop, DIEHL Aerosystems Holding, Embraer, FERCHAU AVIATION Division, Jetliner Cabins, KYDEX LLC and Zodiac Aerospace.