Crystal Cabin Winner: What’s Special About Safran’s Seat With Wings?

Well-known aviation company Safran has scooped two brand new awards for cabin innovations at yesterday’s Crystal Cabin Awards. The firm won the top spot in both the ‘Judges Choice’ and the ‘Clean and Safe Air Travel’ categories with its products submitted. Judges picked their Interspace seat system as their choice award, while its Beacon Clean Lavatory concept saw it snag the prize for cleanliness.

Safran Interspace seat concept
The concept uses easily deployed ‘wings’ to provide more privacy and comfort. Photo: Safran

Interspace – the seat with wings

Aircraft interiors expert Safran has scooped the first-ever Judges Choice award at the Crystal Cabin Awards with its innovative seat with wings. Interspace, designed by Universal Movement, was brought into the Safran stable in 2020 after the arm was spun out by parent New Territory and quickly snapped up by the French firm.

The seat has a folding backrest, which can be reconfigured to provide a ‘wing’ either on the left or the right. This gives passengers something comfortable to lean up against, giving them more support and a better opportunity for restful sleep.

Safran Interspace seat concept
The ‘wing’ can be popped out from the backrest by the passenger. Photo: Safran

Targeted at the premium economy market, the product is easily retrofittable to existing seats, or can be designed in on a brand new cabin. Safran says that the product conforms to existing weight and certification requirements, so the path to certification in the cabin should be an easy journey.

Safran Interspace seat concept
With more support, passengers can get a better sleep. Photo: Safran

Safran and Universal Movement are also working on a new edition of the seat, known as Interspace Lite. This will have applications in the economy class cabin, enabling airlines to block out middle seats for privacy in domestic first and business class, or to offer couples traveling together the opportunity to block the aisle seat for more seclusion.

Safran economy interspace lite
The firm is working on a version for the economy cabin too. Photo: Safran

Also up for the Judges Choice award were the Cloud Capsule concept and the Positively Economy concepts, both from Toyota Boshoku. FACC AG, in cooperation with FH Joanneum, Netwiss, Raltec Research Group, Rodlaur Consulting, TU Vienna, FFG, and BMVIT presented the LAV4ALL, an accessible lavatory concept for narrowbody aircraft, while Rosen Aviation was shortlisted with its Maverick Cabin concept. You can see all the finalist’s projects in the clip below:

Clean & safe

The second new category in this year’s Crystal Cabin Awards was the Clean & Safe Air Travel category. Safran snagged the top spot here also, with its Beacon Clean Lavatory concept.

Safran Beacon lavatory
The Beacon lavatory uses touchless controls and biocidal technology to create a cleaner space. Photo: Safran

Safran’s lavatory concept integrates a truly clean bathroom with visual cues to build passenger confidence. Using biocidal technologies, the bathroom uses touchless technology to provide a more hygienic bathroom experience, with visual cues to confirm the cleanliness of the space.

The concept features a sanitization space on the outside of the bathroom as well as inside. This allows passengers to clean their hands without having to enter the lavatory space.

Safran Beacon lavatory
Passengers in the cabin can sanitize their hands from outside the unit. Photo: Safran

Finalists for the Clean & Safe Air Travel award included Rosen’s Holographic Controller, a touchless control panel, and MGR Foamtex’s MGRSafeWall, an invisible protective shield for cabin surfaces. The SafeWall has been proven in laboratory conditions to eliminate COVID virus load by 85% in just 15 minutes, and 99% in two hours. You can see all the finalists in the clip below:

What would you have picked as your Crystal Cabin winner? Let us know in the comments.