Inside the unique private jet with an ‘invisible ceiling’
See-through floors and slide out verandahs are just two of the standout features in this concept Airbus A330.
First class is often held up as the epitome of the inflight experience, yet few beyond the Gulf carriers compare to the bespoke interiors of private jets. Jetting off whenever and wherever the mood takes, they offer freedom and flexibility limited only by the depth of your pockets.
This Parisian penthouse in the sky is one such luxury design, as is the grand A220 layout by Jacques Pierrejean, the man behind the stunning Singapore Airlines First Class concept. Yet both pale in comparison to German firm Lufthansa Technik’s radical Explorer VIP plane.
First unveiled at the Monaco Yacht Show 2021, and recently nominated in the Crystal Cabin Awards in Hamburg, the one-of-a-kind design raises the stakes for private jets. It’s more than just fancy decor too.
Created specifically for the Airbus A330, although easily adapted for other twin-aisle aircraft, it features a special slide-out verandah – a perfect spot for wildlife spotting and mimosas – and unique interior projection system that can make the ceiling almost ‘disappear’.
Developed by Diehl Aerospace, the innovative projection system transforms the ceiling and side walls into a variety of themed worlds, from cloudscapes to an underwater scene or 70s disco.
Beyond these high tech enhancements, there’s an aft cargo compartment accessible by stairs and viewable through an impressive see-through floor, presumably so you can admire your supercar or off-road vehicle en route before driving it out of the hold on arrival.
Concept images for space, known as the ‘BRABUS Adventure Lounge’, include a limited-edition BRABUS 1300 R, created in collaboration with Austrian motorcycle manufacturer KTM.
In addition to offering a highly-customisable interior with lavish seating and an Emirates A380-style bar, the aircraft is envisioned as a complete lifestyle for its well-heeled owners, a "base camp" if you will for a variety of off-the-beaten-path adventures.
“In yacht building, multifunctional exploration vessels have now become a class in their own right. And many owners of such vessels also call an aircraft their own,” explains Wieland Timm, Head of Sales VIP & Special Mission Aircraft Services at Lufthansa Technik.
“We have therefore now created a flying platform for the first time. Unlike a yacht, however, our Explorer aircraft allows passengers to travel to the other side of the globe within hours and set up their own individual base camp for further activities. This opens up completely new possibilities for explorers.”
Designed for up to twelve VIP passengers, the aircraft includes all the usual bedrooms and bathrooms, office and dining spaces, as well as a multifunctional room which can be used as a gym or converted to a medical room (useful for those off-grid getaways).
Private jets have remained a hot-ticket item among those who can afford them in recent years, with the Brussels-based General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA) reporting global sales of 710 new business jets in 2021, up 10% from the 644 jets purchased in 2020.
A further sign of their appeal is Airbus Corporate Jets’ recently unveiling of its ACJ Two Twenty Creative Studio, which allows buyers to customise their jet using VR technology.
It’s an extravagance for sure, but if you can afford it, go for it.
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29 Jan 2012
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A concept I like, could never afford, but definitely like. As I am sure with most readers, would love the opportunity to live the experience.