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Interior Amenities: Themes And Seating

One of the fastest growing segments of the aircraft interior completion business is a customized or themed interior. During a flight- the passengers will be seated for extended periods of time- so the seating must be comfortable. The interior design and décor- on the other hand- will be determined by the tastes and choices of the individual desiring the aircraft.

The factory-provided designer utilizing the limited factory selected materials will be sufficient for the majority of aircraft buyers. But there are a number of aircraft owners who would prefer something different - something to reflect their personality- success and their vision. This group is growing.

For some time the yachting industry has been the domain of exclusivity and extravagance for the wealthy. Since the majority of yacht owners move up to aircraft- it was a natural fit for them to ask their yacht designer to incorporate their tastes and themes into the aircraft. Many of the successful yacht designers such as Andrew Winch are now also involved in the interior design of large- widebody aircraft for their clients.

Their taste and vision has moved from the owner’s yacht stateroom into their BBJ stateroom. What was once for a select few is now becoming almost common place. The surge in themed interiors can be attributed to the success of the widebody aircraft. If a company or high net-worth individual is going to spend upwards of $50 million on an aircraft- some will have a desire to make that aircraft unique. Why have the same cookie-cutter interiors as all the other jets when one can have a distinct interior. Seating has also been changed to reflect this new trend and the standard aircraft seat has changed more in the last five-years than in the previous 10-year period. Just look at the airline industry to see the transformation of lie-flat business class seating and first class pods. This concept has now moved to the corporate aircraft and is reflected by more comfortable VIP seats with leg extensions and lie-flat capabilities.

Modern materials
Since the early seats contained a lot of metal- research and development - lead by BE Aerospace - has produced lighter and stronger seats to meet the stringent requirements of the FAA and JAR OPS. Modern foams and materials provide better and more comfortable support.

The corporate VIP seat of today is a marvel of comfort and features anything from manual to electronic movement. Divans and sofas are also becoming more popular since they can seat more people and are easily converted to sleeping arrangements while taking up little space and proving comfort at the same time.

Materials from leathers to durable ultrasuede to various cloths and wool are also available to meet the personal choice of the owner. Since the majority of the time the passengers will be seated- it’s important that the owner/operator spend the time to try the different seating styles and arrangements to best find a seat they are comfortable with.

The OEM’s have mock-ups of the seats they offer and one can also request special seating if desired. Talk to your aircraft designer and ask about seating options available for the aircraft type you are acquiring. This is where a consultant or personal designer will come in handy since they will be dedicated to the buyer’s desires. For larger aircraft such as the BBJ and the ACJ along with the even larger airliner type aircraft such as Airbus and Boeing 757- 767 and the new 787- dedicated staterooms or full size bedrooms with shower capabilities are becoming the norm. Companies such as International Water Guard and AeroQuest have dedicated aircraft shower systems that maximize the utilization of water on board the aircraft. This ensures a pure effective way of traveling totally refreshed after a long journey to maximize the traveler’s schedule.

Not just the big jets...
The themed interior is now progressing faster than ever to the small and medium size jets. One of the most common experiences that wealthy individuals share is the pride and selection of their luxury automobile. Many times the automobile will be purchased by the appeal it has for the owner- so why not carry this to the aircraft. This has resulted in interesting concepts such at the Jaguar Edition that was made available for Raytheon King Air turboprop buyers. The aircraft was outfitted with similar seats to the classic jaguar automobile along with the distinctive green color used as an accent strip on the aircraft. Raytheon sold a fair number of the aircraft and proved the concept of bridging the luxury automobile with the aircraft.

Today- this has spurred a new industry- and offerings such as Grob Aerospace’s spn Porsche designed interior. The interior will have the look and feel of this classic automobile right down to the soft leather seating and rich brown accents of the woodwork.

BMW will be offering a similar concept to the Boeing 787 VIP aircraft. Rich seats worthy of the BMW name- along with the prestige and comfort of an interior one is already familiar with.

And it’s not just aircraft that are the canvases for these automobile inspired interiors: AgustaWestland has teamed with Versace to design- develop and produce interiors for the private helicopter buyer.

Endless possibilities
The beauty of a themed interior is that the possibilities are endless. Research has shown that people are most comfortable in their day-to-day environments- their home- automobile and prized possessions. So why not bring those comforts to the aircraft? There are aircraft with themes of Country Western- to Sports- to whatever the imagination of the owner is- such as the striking interior unique for the founder of Cirque de Soleil - use your imagination and create what makes you comfortable. There are many dedicated designers and consultants who would be pleased to ensure your desires are met and exceeded in your aircraft.

This article was written by Aerospace Concepts (John Brodeur) which specializes in Completion Management and Interior Design of large cabin business aircraft. In business since 1998 ACL has managed the completion of over 50 widebody aircraft including 40 Global Express aircraft. Photos used within this article are copyright of Aerospace Concepts.
Mr. Brodeur can be contacted at Tel: +1 514-331-7900 or by email at jbrodeur@aerospaceconcepts.com.

More information from www.aerospaceconcepts.com


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