Originally created by Brazilian aviation students from Sao Paolo University (and a competition finalist in the 2015 Airbus Fly Your Ideas competition), the Retrolley is a totally re-designed trolley that collects trash and separates it at the same time.
Nicolas Jourdan, an Airbus cabin innovation manager saw the students’ concept from the Fly Your Ideas challenge and thought: “Wow, this is so clear we should do something with this. We can make it fly, especially as it combines innovation and environmental goals together.”
Airbus worked on maturing the students’ idea and transitioning the design into reality together with Iacobucci HF Aerospace, an Italian manufacturer that makes such cabin products as coffee machines, trash compactors and trolleys. The initial student concept has been refined and first test flights were performed in late 2018.
The Retrolley has several different compartments that can be customised according to airlines’ specific needs. They were created with flexibility in mind, and possible configurations have many variations, such as one container for stacked-up cups, another for liquids, one more to hold recyclable paper and plastics, and a fourth slot for trash that cannot be easily recycled.
Lucio Iacobucci, the CEO of Iacobucci HF Aerospace, explained: “As a very simple system, the Retrolley can be used on different flights. Each airline has its own approach and needs, and this trolley is adaptable to various requirements.”
With its straightforward, non-electrical and lightweight design – as well as an ability to be integrated into any galley without modification – the Retrolley fulfils airlines’ key requirements and contributes to a more environmentally-friendly approach to in-flight waste, Iacobucci added.