While Airbus will confirm only that it is “in talks with a couple of potential Middle East customers for an Airbus A380 ‘Flying Palace,’” the interior possibilities are rapidly taking shape at independent completion centers.
Edése Doret Industrial Design of New York recently presented an interior proposal for a Middle East customer in the form of computer-generated images that reflect an opulent, spacious twin-deck cabin. One of the more striking images is of what company president Edése Doret refers to as the “Oasis Lounge” with tent-like fabrics and a fiber optics mosaic designed to give the appearance of shifting desert sands.
The cabin Doret is creating would accommodate about 82 passengers in a volume that would typically carry seven times that number in an airline configuration. The cost of the completion, about $100 million, includes an Air Force One-style stairway that would allow passengers to enter the aircraft through the baggage bay. That ladder would lead to a spiral staircase up to the entry lounge.
A second spiral staircase would lead passengers to the grand lounge on the aircraft’s upper deck. The self-contained airstairs to the ground are necessitated by the fact that many of the airports that would be visited by a private aircraft of such proportions would not have a jetway or portable aircraft stair sufficient to reach the lower-deck doors.
The upper deck would be primarily living quarters for the owner’s family and friends and would include a 600-sq-ft master suite and other bedrooms, a Jacuzzi, a family dining room, a game room and offices. To meet aviation safety authority requirements, the Jacuzzi would have a rapid-drain system to empty the tub in seconds into a tank in the baggage compartment below. Doret believes it would be the first Jacuzzi authorized for in-flight use.
The lower deck would have an additional dining room and work space as well as seating for the crew and staff in a business class section.
In addition to the interior design, Doret Industrial Design will also act as an independent completion process manager on behalf of the owner. Doret estimates the actual cabin completion work, apart from the design phase, will require about 18 months.