Wings Magazine

Young design talent shines at Crystal Cabin Award

April 3, 2009 – A young designer was one of the high profile winners of the Crystal Cabin Award, announced on March 30, 2009, at the Empire Riverside Hotel in Hamburg.

April 3, 2009  By Administrator

A young designer was one of the high profile winners of the Crystal Cabin Award, announced March 30, 2009, at the Empire Riverside Hotel in Hamburg.

25 year-old James Lee from Hong Kong celebrated clinching the Judges' Commendation Prize, for his Paperclip Armrest Concept, alongside industry heavyweights including B/E Aerospace, Boeing and Lufthansa Technik.

Lee's Paperclip Armrest Concept aims to eliminate the elbow-room struggle that is frequently a feature of economy class travel. The concept is a double-level armrest that allows two adjacent arms to occupy the same vertical space without clashing. Lee is a mechanical engineering and aeronautical engineering graduate and is currently working as a management trainee for Cathay Pacific.

This year's Crystal Cabin Award competition received entries from 51 companies representing 14 countries. This had been whittled down to 18 finalists by the 20-strong panel of international judges, and last night awards were given in six different categories.


In the Passenger Comfort category, seating expert Recaro won for its CL 3620 seating generation which offers passengers unprecedented legroom and seating comfort with its single-beam, light-weight aluminium structure, which helps it achieve a considerable weight reduction. Recaro also won the trophy in the Industrial Design / Interior Concept category with its SL 3510 economy class seat that weighs less than 10 kg.

In the Greener Cabin, Health and Safety category, the judges selected Boeing's Recyclable Aircraft Carpet as the winner. Produced without using harmful chemicals, the 100% recyclable carpet is returned to the manufacturer at the end of its useful service life and completely recycled into a new carpet.

First place in the Material and Components category went to B/E Aerospace. The US-based company has introduced an advanced series of designs for vacuum toilet assemblies, generators and waste tanks that provides weight savings of up to 30% as well as eliminating the need for costly hardware removals.

The winner in the Entertainment and Communication category was Lufthansa Technik with its niceview™ infotainment system. The system gives passengers a high-resolution, virtual 3-D view from a window seat or from the cockpit.

This is the third year that the Joint Initiative, Hamburg – The place for aviation has organised the Crystal Cabin Award. The competition recognises outstanding and innovative aircraft cabin products and concepts that aim to enhance air travel today.

As one of the sponsors of the event, Aircraft Interiors Expo's Event Director, Katie Murphy said: "The standard of the entries was very high this year and I'm really pleased that the judges were able to recognise clever innovations such as James Lee's Paperclip Armrest Concept as it is really important for the industry to promote, support and retain our young talent."

The Crystal Cabin Award 2009 is supported by the two Platinum Sponsors, Airbus and Bishop GmbH – Aeronautical Engineers, and by Aircraft Interiors Expo, Aircraft Interiors International Magazine, FERCHAU AVIATION Division, HTG Media Hamburg, the Heinkel Group, SGS Germany GmbH and Vartan Product Support GmbH.

Pictures of the award ceremony are available for downloading at
Downloadable images of the products and concepts of all nominated finalists are available at:

About The Joint Initiative, Hamburg – The place for aviation
In 2001, Hamburg's aviation companies, industry associations, institutions, universities and public administration joined forces to establish the Joint Initiative "Hamburg – The place for aviation". Out of it evolved a network of partnerships, the "Aviation Cluster of the Hamburg Metropolitan Region". The largest employers in this technology-driven network are Airbus, Lufthansa Technik and Hamburg Airport. There are also more than 300 small and medium-sized companies serving the industry as suppliers or service providers. Its integrated strategy to make aviation more economical, ecologically sound, comfortable, reliable and flexible made the Aviation Cluster of the Hamburg Metropolitan Region a winner of the Federal Government's cross-sector competition of industry clusters in September 2008. The Federal Government will provide long-term support for the development of the competence centre, "A New Kind of Aviation", by investing approx. EUR 40 million in innovative and sustainable projects in northern Germany's aviation industry.

For more information on the Crystal Cabin Award please contact:
Kirstin Rüther
Press Officer
Phone: +49 (0) 40 / 22 70 19 – 87
Mobile: +49 (0) 170 / 23 666 22


Stories continue below