EBACE Convention News

Airbus Corporate Jets Presents Bluejay Cabin

 - May 20, 2013, 4:10 AM
The partition walls of the Bluejay cabin concept can not only be switched between translucent and transparent but can also serve as loudspeakers.

The Airbus Corporate Jet Center (ACJC), the European consortium’s bizliner completion center in Toulouse, France, is here at EBACE (Booth 7040) presenting a new cabin concept. Engineers at the facility have also found ways to cut weight from its cabin interiors.

The new Bluejay ACJ319 cabin concept was inspired by the “avant-gardism, shapes and colors” of Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey movie, according to in-house designer Sylvain Mariat. Passengers are greeted at the entrance with a hologram displaying their names. Then, just after boarding, they see the pièce de résistance of the cabin: partition walls made of transitional glass that can change from transparent to translucent at the flip of a switch to favor social interaction or privacy. The partitions can also act as loudspeakers, using a technology that makes the glass vibrate like a diaphragm and “providing concert hall-like sound,” according to Mariat.

What makes the cabin furniture, monuments and lining more appealing, he explained, is their use of different textures rather than several colors and opulent materials. Mariat also worked on “a traditional symbol of travel,” the trunk, using leather, wood and crystal inserts. The internal padding is made for storing fragiles such as a bottle of whiskey and accompanying glasses.

Last but not least, the U-shaped galley is spacious enough to be called a real kitchen, in Mariat’s opinion. Another innovation in the galley, Mariat points out, is its handle-less doors, which open and shut in response to a slight push.

A fixture found in several places in the cabin is a decorative light made by French crystal house Baccarat, using fibers of carbon and crystal. “The fine light of the crystal glows from a central solar sphere, surrounded by a constellation of LED pendants,” according to Mariat.

For the ACJ320s and ACJ319s it outfits with luxury interiors (not specifically for Bluejay), the ACJC has found ways to cut cabin weight “on the order of 10 percent, or between 1,100 and 1,500 pounds,” according to CEO Benoît Defforge. The savings stem from “redesigned furniture fittings,” solutions inspired by serial production (as opposed to customized VIP cabins) and use of lighter composite materials for the furniture itself.

“A decrease in cabin weight is all the more relevant since today’s customers, and especially those from Eastern Europe and Asia, need the aircraft’s full range,” said Defforge.

Last year the company completed three aircraft for customers in “Eastern countries.” The first, a wealthy individual, received the ACJC’s first fully HDMI-connected cabin. Governments accounted for the other two aircraft, and these customers took delivery of cabins designed by Mariat.

The ACJC plans to deliver four cabins to Middle Eastern customers this year–three private individuals and one charter operator. The ACJC has recently obtained certification for its newly acquired skill of applying “real Chinese lacquer”–an industry first, the company claims. The company hired 40 new employees last year and intends to hire more this year.