What's more eye-catching than the stretched Boeing 747-8, which is an even bigger version of the iconic Boeing 747? A bespoke Boeing 747-8 that's been turned into a private jet.
Feted French design firm Cabinet Alberto Pinto was entrusted with a nose-to-tail fitout of a Boeing Business Jet (BBJ) 747-8i privately owned by a wealthy Middle Eastern businessman – and according to Yves Pickardt, who heads the VIP Aircraft team at Alberto Pinto, it was a "designer's dream come true."
“The owner gave us carte blanche," Pickardt told Altitudes Magazine. "He wasn’t looking for anything outrageously luxurious, with gold and diamonds. On the contrary, he called for some simplicity, which in the end is indeed the true luxury.".
A home away from home, in the sky
Nestled in the nose of the jumbo jet, directly under the cockpit and away from the engines, lies the master bedroom. The occupants will feel at home with touches such as a full-size bed, storage spaces, reading lights and a master bathroom with a walk-in shower.
Moving further towards the back, the space opens out to what might just be the centrepiece of the whole jet – a cavernous living area perfect for hosting guests or just kicking back. For more intimate discussions, paired leather seats offer more privacy along the sides of the hallway.
Many rooms are multi-purpose to make the most of the 420 sqm floor space available. For instance, this private office can also double as a dinner table for four. Towards the rear are additional seats for staff and other guests, as required.
Ultimately, the owner wanted the jet to feel 'like a family home'. Pickardt describes the style they went for as 'soft modern, which is somehow quite classical'.
"We used only noble materials, all of the best quality available of course, such as wood (African Wakapou and Sycamore), stone, wool and silk fabrics, natural leathers," he said.
Boeing's exclusive club
While owning a private jet is undoubtedly a status symbol, carrying the keys of a BBJ 747-8i is in a whole other league. Less than 10 private jets the size of a Boeing 747 are currently active – after all, the costs involved with flying a plane of this size are astronomical.
“Such a project is a dream come true that happens only once or twice in a designer’s lifetime. In a way, this is a landmark in aviation history,” adds Yves Pickardt.