Supernal, Hyundai Motor Group’s Advanced Air Mobility (AAM) company, has won recognition from the renowned International Forum (iF) Design Award competition.
Supernal’s electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) vehicle cabin concept, which the company debuted at the 2022 Farnborough International Airshow, was awarded a product design award by a jury of international design experts.
Supernal created the concept in partnership with Hyundai Motor Group’s design studios as it works to develop its eVTOL vehicle for launch of commercial flights starting in the US in 2028.
Supernal’s five-seat cabin concept is believed to provide clues to how the company is harnessing automotive design processes and materials, while aiming to meet commercial aviation safety standards, to optimize passenger experience and price-point. The concept’s design embodies a “biomimicry” philosophy and the company’s pillars of safety above all, human-centered design and environmental responsibility.
Prioritizing sustainability, the cabin concept incorporates materials such as advanced recyclable carbon fiber reinforced thermoplastic, durable plant-based leather, recycled plastic fabric and responsibly sourced woods. The seat frames also use excess raw material from the airframe manufacturing process.
“The iF Design Awards is one of the world’s top product design competitions and Supernal’s recognition reflects only some of the capabilities that Hyundai Motor Group will bring to the emerging Advanced Air Mobility industry,” said Luc Donckerwolke, Chief Creative Officer, Hyundai Motor Group. “One of the most important parameters for a designer is to learn. To be confronted by the influential factors required to design an aircraft therefore boosts our creativity. My team and I truly enjoyed exploring ideas, taking into account physics, aerodynamics and ergonomics of a new mobility concept, and designing the journey; the experience of the passenger in future eVTOL mobility.”
Supernal’s eVTOL vehicle cabin concept mimics the security and comfort found in a car. Highlights include structural components built out of lightweight forged carbon fiber, ergonomically contoured seats that offer a cocoon-like environment, deployable seat consoles that provide a charging station and storage compartment for personal items and grab handles built into the cabin doors and seatbacks to assist with ingress and egress. A combination of lighting, including overhead lights inspired by automobile sunroofs, adjusts with the various stages of flight to emulate a light therapy effect.
“The Supernal eVTOL vehicle cabin concept draws on the competence of Hyundai Motor Group and the skillset of experienced automotive designers, which allowed us to develop a new air mobility concept that will be not only safe and rational but also highly emotional,” Donckerwolke added.
The iF jury judged nominees across multiple categories and disciplines based on five criteria: idea, form, function, differentiation and impact. The competition received 11,000 entries from 56 countries this year.
iF also recognized Supernal’s corporate brand identity. The company’s “Green Apex” logo was said to embody its bold and innovative spirit and is a symbol for a continuous effort to create a more sustainable future through electrified air mobility. Winners will be recognized at the iF Awards ceremony on May 15th, 2023, in Berlin