Forget range, business jets now prioritize oversized interiors – Robb Report

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From light jets to intercontinental commercial airliners, oversized interiors are, yes, the biggest design trend in business aviation.

“Maximizing space has become a default expectation for customers,” says Matt Hill, vice president of sales and marketing at Aloft AeroArchitects, which designs bespoke interiors for homeowners with myriad assignments. Aloft works exclusively with Boeing Business Jets, the world’s largest private aircraft converted from commercial airliners.

Once the aircraft is delivered with its “green” (meaning empty) interior, Aloft begins finishing the cabin, a process that can take thousands of hours of work. And while BBJs appear to have acres of available interior space, Hill compares his team’s challenges to those involved in designing a tiny house: the two share tightly defined dimensions that force designers to think creatively. . Increasing usable space is often a matter of inches, so finding the smartest way to use each area becomes the most important consideration. “We’ve always prioritized building multiple abilities into smaller spaces, to make each area more efficient,” Hill says.

View of the bathroom inside a BBJ 737-700, designed as a base in the air by Aloft and Edese Doret.

Aloft AeroArchitects/Edese Doret Industrial Design

For example, if a homeowner wants both an office and a guest bedroom in a limited space, Aloft will try to create a puzzle together. Hill lists possible solutions: “Can we create a desk that can be put away, have seats on rails that form a queen-size bed, or even take advantage of a Murphy bed?”

Oversized interior space has become equally critical in smaller jets. “I believe that interiors sell aircraft,” Bombardier CEO Eric Martel said at a recent business aviation conference, pointing to a mockup of the new Challenger 3500 cabin. super intermediate. most important factor, calling instead for comfort and intelligent use of space.

Although they share the same fuselage, the revised Challenger is more than a refresh of the last-gen 350. Bombardier Senior Industrial Designer. “Wherever we could, we saved volume to add open space.”

Boeing 737 business jet

Another view of the bathroom inside a BBJ 737-700.

Aloft AeroArchitects/Edese Doret Industrial Design

At Gulfstream, multifunctionality has become a mantra. “If you could have [multiple]zones offering exceptional experiences – two, three or even four – it will no longer be a big game,” says Tim O’Hara, Director of Design Innovation. “It will be about the quality of the cabin experience.” Gulfstream’s flagship G700 features tables that slide down aisles to form a large dining area and surround sound technology that creates a wallless cocoon around the entertainment space. In the new G400, the seats convert into beds and the designers have designed the storage compartments behind the seats to allow them to lie completely flat.

“Homeowners these days are more concerned with lifestyle in their designs,” says Arnaud Martin, director of strategy and business development for Zurich-based Comlux, which recently took delivery of the first of the 15 ACJ TwoTwentys for interior fittings. “Just a few years ago, most homeowners wanted custom interiors with as many parts as possible. Now they want private spaces for sleeping or working, but at the same time larger social spaces with more open spaces.

ACJ twenty two

French graffiti artist Cyril Kongo designed this colorful interior for ACJ TwoTwenty.

Courtesy of Airbus

The ACJ TwoTwenty, based on the commercial Airbus 220, has significantly more interior volume than purpose-built business jets such as the Gulfstream G700 or Bombardier Global 7500, but with less range, altitude and speed. ACJ president Benoit Defforge thinks more homeowners will accept those trade-offs if it means having, say, a spacious bedroom with a king-size bed and a seven-foot rain shower. “Why engage in the race for autonomy if you can fly comfortably for 12 hours while remaining intercontinental?”

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