Archive for the 'private jet' Category

Supersonic Business Jet Plans

When talking about supersonic commercial aviation, we all think about the Concorde which is out of operation by now, but a small, supersonic aircraft is being currently developed by a private firm in the US. Even though they will not be able to use such a name as “Concordino” (as it has been unofficially taken by a small turboprop airliner by Swedish aircraft manufacturer Saab), the US Firm, Aerion (Advanced Aeronautical Engineering Organization taking on the name of the Greek heroic horse of Adrastus) is planning to roll out a new generation business jet: a small, supersonic plane carrying 8-12 passengers.

 Supersonic Business Jet - copyright by Aerion Corp.

The Reno, Nevada based manufacturer that was established in 2002, based their business plan on the research that foresaw the sales of around 8300 business jets between 2004 and 2014. Their idea is to get at least part of this potential market of around 131 billion USD, with a break-through, light, special, supersonic jet. The team of Aerion includes former top management figures of LearJet and Bombardier for example, which shows that the program is taken seriously and is not just some sci-fi style research.

The project that will include construction of 5 SBJ (Supersonic Business Jet) prototypes (2 to be used for tests on the ground, 3 in the air) has been financed by a Texas Billionaire who deeply believes in the success of this project. Even though some larger aircraft manufacturers turned their backs on the offer for a partnership for now, he has continued to finance the progress that included a few successful, high altitude, high speed tests with smaller models of the plane with the radical new design for the wings.

The tests included flights at 2.5 Mach, even though the planned supersonic cruising speed of the SBJ would be 1.6 Mach. As traveling at supersonic speed is not allowed at most parts of the world (except for above the oceans, and a few areas above Siberia, Canada and some parts of Australia), the aircraft will have to travel between 0.99 – 1.1 Mach above the mainland and can only increase its speed to 1.5 Mach once it reaches the Ocean. According to the manufacturer, the new wing design allows for a boomless cruise of 1.1 Mach. The radical new design of the wings also brings much lower noise emmissions, and according to the manufacturer, the plane will deliver within the most strict noise limitations. The engines are to be provided by Pratt & Whitney based on an existing engine specification.

Supersonic Business Jet Interior - copyright by Aerion Corp.

In reality the new plane would be able to fly as far as 7400 km’s, thus the New York – Paris flight would be reduced to 4.25 hours, and New York – Tokyo for example would be 9.5 including a one hour refueling stop in Anchorage, but even the flight between New York and Miami could be reduced by almost one hour. A possible route between Chicago and London would be flown at 5 hour 42 mins, including the 2 hour Atlantic crossing at high altitude (flight level 510) and at supersonic speed. The guests on board can have lunch, take a nap, send/receive emails, or talk on the phone – just like in any business jet currently existing. The cabin would feature a restroom, a kitchen and could carry a lie-flat bed or a four seat sofa or even a shower if required. It can seat a maximum of 12 people, with an internal cabin height of 1.88 m. The designer claims that the operating costs will be comparable to today’s larger business jets, thus they will not be supersonic, regardless of the possible speed. Possible routes, ranges and times can be found on the manufacturer’s site.

Aerion at the Dubai Air Show 2007 

As the latest chapter in the story of Aerion SJB, at last year’s Dubai Air Show, ExecuJet Aviation (based in Switzerland) received unique sales rights for the the world outside of the US, and just days later the first potential customer, Sheik Rashid Bin Humaid Al Noaimi has signed a letter of intent and even provided a USD 250.000 deposit for the first of the USD 80 million private jet, which is now planned to be delivered in 2014.

by balint01


Possible Cabin Configurations Of The Airbus A380 Interior

The Airbus A380 will be delivered to Singapore Airlines in less than two weeks and will make its first commercial flight in a little more than three weeks from now (25OCT2007) with the scheduled services following only 3 days later. What will be awaiting the first passengers onboard? And what will be waiting for other passengers flying on the same plane but with a different airline, or as a private jet? We are trying to give you an idea!

First of all the facts: The A380 has approximately 633 square meter (sq m) of cabin area, the upper deck has 300 sq m and the main deck has 333 sq m. Airbus claims the typical configuration would mean 555-seats with three cabin classes (in this arrangement a peson in first class would have 6 times as much cabin space as a person sitting in economy). But the maximum can go up to around 800 passengers in a full economy, low-cost airline type of seating arrangement, and of course the minimum can be one passenger if the aircraft is used as a private jet – there was at least one such order placed as Airlineworld has reported earlier.

A380 Interior Bar on the Proving Flight (March, 2007)

Singapore Airlines’ A380s will be configured with a first class cabin consisting of 12 “Singapore Airlines Suites,” at the front of the main deck, 60 business class seats on the upper deck and 399 economy seats spread across both decks. So the aircraft will seat 471 in total. (You can find the seatmap here.) It will be replacing one of three 747-400s on the Singapore-Sydney route, which seats a total of “only” 375, so the increase is almost one hundred passengers. SIA said the business and economy cabin products are modeled on those launched in late 2006 on the 777-300ER. The new Singapore Airlines Suites, which will be unveiled at the delivery of the A380 on Oct. 15, “will feature the ultimate inflight luxury, in a class beyond First,” according to the carrier.

(Update: you can find the Singapore Airlines marketing page about the new cabin here)

A380 Interior as planned by Emirates (Business Class)

Emirates President Tim Clark is promising a spectacular interior for its A380s but is tight-lipped on details, although he was happy to confirm that EK wants to double its commitment to the type. Emirates has recently unveiled the airline’s newest ultra-long-range product aboard a 777-300ER over the stunning skyline of Dubai, but he would only say, “You haven’t seen anything yet” compared to the 777 interior. He said the A380 interior will be revealed in the second quarter of 2008.

Emirates (EK) is reconfiguring its entire 777 fleet with the new look at a cost of $14 million per aircraft, installing the latest version of its Panasonic ICE inflight entertainment system, which now boasts more than 2,000 video, music and game options. The airline is installing first class suites with doors that give total privacy. The suites feature decor and fittings styled on the Orient Express train. Business class gets lie-flat beds while economy seats feature more legroom and larger ICE screens. Something similar can be expected for the A380, but probably with a more luxury… 🙂 There are no indications about how many seats Emirates is planning to place in their A380’s, but it will either be around Singapore’s 470 or below, as we can assume they will add more first class and business seats, which take more floorspace. I can also imagine they would add more social areas such as bars, or even a gym (as Virgin Atlantic is expected to do so).

Qantas also says it will offer a new first class product aboard the A380, where the seat will have a built-in massage system, and a sheepskin mattress for sleeping. They also say that first class passengers will be availalbe to invite a guest over for dinner in privacy! The massage seats will also be available in Business Class, together with a lounge and a bar, while the economy seats will be the widest across the whole Qantas fleet.

And top of all these luxury aboard the A380 while flying, airlines like Lufthansa are also planning new services even on the ground for first class passengers flying with the largest airplane ever, as Airlineworld has reported earlier.

These were only highlights from plans about the interior of the new A380, looking at only four airlines, but until this day 15 airlines have ordered the aircraft, so there will be at least 15 different interiors to choose from. We are really looking forward to the first one to be unveiled in about two weeks: Singapore Airlines!

by balint01

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Roman Abramovich Said To Be The Owner Of First Private Airbus A380

According to the French daily newspaper Le Figaro, the owner of the first private Airbus A380 is Roman Abramovich. Airbus had announced earlier this year at the Paris Air Show that they received an order for an A380 from an undisclosed private owner. The media had been speculating ever since that the future owner of the biggest private jet ever would be Bill Gates or one of the influential figures from the Middle East or the Sultan of Brunei.

But last Wednesday (06SEP2007) Le Figaro has supposedly ended the speculation based on an unnamed source, by announcing that the Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich, who owns the British football team Chelsea, is the mysterious private citizen who ordered an Airbus A380 superjumbo, the world’s largest commercial airliner. Another part of the story is the fact that Airbus did not confirm the report, and a spokesperson for Mr. Abramovich denied it: “Mr Abramovich has not purchased, nor does he currently intend to purchase, an Airbus A380 aircraft or any other large aircraft,” he said.

Abramovich’s fortune is estimated at 18.7 billion dollars. The A380, which has a 600 square meter internal surface area and can seat between 555 and 800 passengers, officially sells for around 300 million dollars. Mr. Abramovich would most likely replace those seats with a gym, a restaurant or a jacuzzi and would probably fly the plane to Nice and other locations where he owns expensive real estate or can board one of his three private yachts.

Abramovich currently uses a Boeing 767 as his private plane as AirlineWorld has reported earlier. Le Figaro said his A380 is to be delivered in 2011.

by balint01

John Travolta, Bruce Dickinson, Roman Abramovich – celebs with big jets

When we hear the phrase “private jet” we normally think about small planes like the one in my avatar. A Gulfstream or a Learjet. Most celebrities like Brintey Spears, Tom Cruise, Julia Roberts, Madonna or Paris Hilton own such smaller planes. But here are some of those enthusiasts who need big thingies.

Jon Travolta's houseLet’s start with the most famous celeb known for his crush on Jumbos: John Travolta. Mr Travolta has an official pilot license. When he needed to collect flight hours, he worked free for Qantas. He flew a Jumbo. Now he owns one of these aircrafts and he parks it right in fornt of his house. He lives in a place called Jumbolair, north of Ocala, Florida. Some years ago he lived in a fly-in community near Daytona, but he was sued by neighbors who found his jets too large and noisy. His new home is basically a small private airport. His passion for aircrafs is so strong, he even named his own son Jet.

John Travolta with his crewJohn Travolta with his jetPilot Travolta gives instructions to colleagues

Photos: Nigel Dickinson

Abramovich’s jetRoman Abramovich, the Russian owner of Chelsea Football Club in the UK, also owns a Boeing 767, quite a huge plane for a private jet. Besides this jet he owns 2 helicopters. Well, airports are usually far from the cities, that is true. I have to admit, I really like the painting of this aircraft. It is very modest and elegant. And there is no need for an airline’s name on an aircraft. 🙂

The 757 with Pilot Bruce Dickinson on board

Bruce Dickinson, the lead singer of Iron Maiden is also an official pilot. He is a first officer at an airline called Astraeus. It operates both shceduled and charter flights. Bruce flies Boeing 757s. So what is it with celebs and private jets? Well, on one hand they have too much to spend without control. We can read gossips all around the net about Tom Cruise sending his assistant on his private jet for his groceries. On the other hand probably there is the same rate of celeb flying fans as among us, just nobody cares about the likes and dislikes of us, regular people. Anyway, if I had the money and I made sure to give enough to foundations, I’d also have an aircraft. 🙂

Photos taken from

By Szafi

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