Boeing has just upped the ante in the world of long range business jet travel . The concept of multiple private airborne sleeping berths for long haul flights has been tossed around for some time without much movement. Until now, that is. Boeing has just announced the first delivery of their new 747 Aeroloft™ Business Jet. And they’ve teamed up with longtime aircraft layout and design partner Greenpoint Technologies to bring the idea to fruition.
In a creative feat of engineering, an extra cabin has been carved out of a portion of the upper deck which will accommodate eight private sleeping suites, complete with a shared dressing room and lounge. The new cabin is accessed from the main deck via a forward entry staircase and will allow guests to escape from the noise of the main cabin for sleep or private relaxation. The new Aeroloft™ cabin adds 393 square feet to the already huge jet, bringing total cabin space to nearly 5200 square feet, outsizing the Airbus 380.
As a Boeing-centered business, Greenpoint Technologies has worked with Boeing for over a decade customizing private business jets for their VIP clients and for international governments. Their Boeing experience was an advantage as the nitty gritty of the engineering got underway. Greenpoint VP of Sales Bret Neely stated, “Being a Boeing-only completion center is a key advantage to our customers. They know we have the technical experience to deliver on our promise. The Aeroloft™ product is a great example of this.” Their video of the project explains the Aeroloft™ module:
The Aeroloft™ concept arrives in response to client demand, three years after the program was first announced. This first 747 Aeroloft™ was created for an unnamed client, rumored to be the government of Qatar. Boeing recently delivered the plane to Hamburg, Germany, to the design team at Lufthansa Technik, where the interior furnishings and custom luxury details will be completed over the next year. The client is expected to take possession in 2014.
To date, nine heads of state have placed orders for the Aeroloft™, with two more aircraft currently in production and scheduled for delivery within months. Yes, it may be a good time to be a head of state. But does this mean that commercial carriers will adopt this sleeping cabin idea with a new class of service? Will the public want private sleeping suites on future intercontinental flights?