BAE Systems has contracted with Design Q to develop five concepts for the Avro Business Jet (ABJ) and revealed the first of the new designs yesterday–the ABJ Explorer. A unique and never-before-seen design element of the Explorer is the Air Deck viewing platform adapted from the cargo side-door modification. The ABJ Explorer is available in two versions–the Explorer One and Four–both of which include the Air Deck.
The Air Deck is electrohydraulically controlled and can be opened or closed in small increments to adjust the amount of cover provided by the door, which hinges at the top. The deck itself is a concealed platform that slides outward from the fuselage and provides “an elevated outdoor viewing deck combined with a luxurious indoor space incorporating a state-of-the-art entertainment system and vast open-plan galley,” according to BAE.
The new unit is suitable for a relaxing post-flight cocktail hour or meal while parked in an interesting remote location accessible by the ABJ, which can land on unimproved airstrips. Air Deck takes about five minutes to set up, according to Stewart Cordner, vice president Avro Business Jets for BAE Systems.
So far, there have been 28 ABJ conversions of the BAe 146 or Avro RJ airframe of the nearly 400 produced from 1981 to 2004. Here at EBACE, BAE and UK-based Cello Aviation are showing Cello’s ABJ, which was completed by Inflite Engineering Services in Southend in the UK. The Cello ABJ includes a 46-seat first-class interior with hot galleys, but not the Air Deck.
Both the Explorer One and Four feature the Air Deck and the open-plan galley adjacent to the deck. The Explorer One’s lounge area is bracketed by curved sofas that surround a low central ottoman, and television monitors can be concealed in the central ottoman. The forward bulkhead houses an office workstation, and the entrance vestibule is enhanced with a white marble stone floor. Aft of the lounge is a central table positioned in its own room-within-a-room alcove, plus a large and elegant lavatory is accessible from an offset walkway, which also leads back to the rear entertainment lounge next to the Air Deck.
The Explorer Four incorporates more privacy, with four private cabins for travelers. The forward lower hold area is converted to a crew rest area for the on-board service team. The four cabins each feature a sofa-chair combination that can be converted to a full-size bed, an entertainment system with 17-inch HD monitor, full-height wardrobe and direct access to a mid-section dressing room with toilet and shower.