Boeing Business Jets president Steven Hill couldn’t help upstaging himself in a press conference yesterday, initially ignoring the announced subject of large aircraft executive/VIP cabin concepts in favor of an announcement that last night the company had inked deals for a new Boeing Business Jet and yet another VIP version of the 787 Dreamliner.
Collectively, the two sales are valued at about $203 million. The BBJ buyer is European private charter operator Ocean Sky Aviation. The 787 was sold to Hong Kong real estate tycoon Joseph Lau.
Hill remarked with a chuckle that with the earlier news that the company had sold a total of 137 business jets of all types, that the older number of 135 on the sign at the Boeing booth has been changed.
And with that, he launched into his intended promotion of the executive/VIP version of Boeing’s new 747-8. At a max cruise speed of Mach 0.86, it is not only the fastest large executive/VIP business jet available, it also offers a grand total of 5,667 sq ft of floor space for designers to work with, including the SkyLoft area atop the main cabin and between the distinctive 747 “hump” and the vertical stabilizer. In fact, Hill told EBACE Convention News, “It offers about three times the floor space of the original BBJ and a high ceiling with significantly more headroom.”
Showing 747-8 computer renderings by Boeing’s own design team, Hill unveiled uses for the SkyLoft that ranged from a vaulted ceiling in part of the main cabin to an Internet café, crew rest area, kids playroom and additional galley storage. The dining area featured a spiral staircase to the SkyLoft and a ladder allowing easy access to built-in bookshelves.
Comfort is an absolute necessity, he said, in an airplane that has a maximum flying time of 22 hours.
He also pointed out that with the technology, the 747-8 has a noise footprint 30 percent smaller than that of the 747-400, and that more than 200 airports worldwide can accommodate the big quad jet. The 747-8 in its executive/VIP guise will be capable of nonstop flights connecting such city pairs as Dubai and Los Angeles.
At the press conference, Hill also introduced representatives of five independent completion centers recommended by Boeing Business Jets for interior completion of its big birds: Patrick Altuna from Associated Air Center; Sloan Benson of Greenpoint Aviation; Jerry Gore with Gore Design Completions; Eugen Hartl from Jet Aviation; and Walter Heerdt of Lufthansa Technik. As it has traditionally, Boeing Business Jets aircraft are sent green from the factory to an independent completion center for the cabin finish process. The cabin completion for a BBJ may run as high as $17 million.