NBAA Convention News

JetBed is more than a mattress

 - October 13, 2010, 8:12 AM

JetBed (Booth No. 1135) is expanding its line of inflatable aircraft beds. CEO Gary Bosstick told AIN that the company will soon launch products for Embraer executive jets and Pilatus PC-12 turboprops.

JetBeds are available for most Bombardier, Cessna, Falcon, Gulfstream and Hawker business jets at prices that range from $5,000 to $6,000 each. The beds weigh less than 20 pounds and deploy from an integral carry bag when placed on an aircraft floor between two facing single seats. The mattress inflates in less than a minute with the aid of a portable and rechargeable battery pump. Mattress pressure may be changed by adjusting a valve and deflates by inserting the pump filler nozzle into the valve, folding the head and foot planks over it, and rezipping the bag.

Bosstick, a Citation CJ3 ­owner- pilot, developed JetBed after being frustrated with his lack of choices with regard to inflatable mattresses for his aircraft. “I wanted my wife and kids to be able to lie down in back and take a nap. In little jets there is no way to get your back straight, never mind trying to lie down and sleep.” After “kicking around some ideas for four or five years,” Bosstick contracted with a manufacturing partner to produce his design.

While he guards the specifics of JetBed technology, Bosstick does identify the fabric as a high quality “ballistic nylon” that does not stretch and is mated with “a precisely applied special formula urethane.” Some of the fabric technology is proprietary. It meets FAR 25.853(a) flammability standards, he said, Electronic welding is used to manufacture the units and tolerances are precise. “A variation of as little as three thousandth of an inch in the tooling can lead to a defective product,” Bosstick said.

“This is not like an air mattress you buy at [a discount retailer]. There is no sensation of differential pressure anywhere on a JetBed. When you lie on it, it is like lying on your bed at [a nice] hotel,” he added.

Bosstick said exact measurement is the key to constructing JetBeds that fit each aircraft type precisely. “We get the seat dimensions from the OEMs, but that is not sufficient,” he said, comparing the process to custom tailoring. “You can give a tailor some basic dimensions and get a suit based on that, but it is not like going to Saville Row and having the tailor measure you and then lay the fabric on your body.”

For that reason, JetBed personnel go aboard each aircraft and take measurements not of just the seats, but also of the adjacent structures. JetBeds “have to fit all sorts of little things that escape people’s attention,” Bosstick said.