© TU Delft

No money for a business class ticket and still have a flatbed on your flight to New York? TU Delft students have come up with the solution and have been nominated for the Crystal Cabin Award 2020 with it. In addition to the flatbeds, they also came up with chaises longues and a three-seater sofa that can be transformed into three sleeping places. The designs are part of the interior plans for the Flying-V project by Professor Peter Vink of TU Delft. The Crystal Cabin Award is the international prize for innovations in the field of aircraft cabins and passenger experience.

The Flying-V is a design for a very energy-efficient type of aircraft for long distances and is a collaboration between the faculties of Industrial Design and Aerospace Engineering of TU Delft, and KLM. The aim of the design is to make aviation more sustainable.

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The objective of the students is to improve the passenger experience with lightweight designs that contribute to the sustainability of the flight. Professor Peter Vink and industrial designer Thomas Rotte supervise students who made designs for the new oval-shaped cabin. They designed an experimental lightweight interior aimed at passenger comfort and still accommodating at least the same number of passengers as in an Airbus A350. The Chaise Longue, the three-seater sofa and the extended sleeping facility were designed for this interior.

© TU Delft

Generous length

The Delft designers came up with an economy class bed that is supposed to have a “generous length”. The trick is that the beds can easily be converted into an upright sitting position for three people, ensuring safety during taxiing, taking off and landing.

Chaise Longue for Flying V © TU Delft

The students say that all beds are designed to provide a comfortable feeling of space. Inside are infotainment screens, charging points for electronics, a tray table and an inflatable backrest for more upright seating.

Although not everyone will be looking forward to climbing a ladder inside an aeroplane to find a bed, TU Delft says that tests have shown that even elderly people can climb into the beds, as long as they go in head-first.

Flying V – © TU Delft

105 projects from 21 countries have been nominated for the shortlist of the Crystal Cabin Awards. The finalists will be announced at the beginning of March and the winner on Tuesday 31 March. The award ceremony will take place during the Aircraft Interiors Expo in Hamburg.

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Author profile picture Bart Brouwers is co-founder and co-owner of Media52 BV, the publisher of innovationorigins.com.