By Ben Sandilands
Airbus is showing off new corporate jet interiors, but for mass transport users they are more about dreaming than flying.
Airbus supplied image of a new interior for its ACJ318 corporate airliner
A media release from Airbus about ‘new’ interiors for its ACJ series of single aisle corporate jets based on the A320 family is enough to sell the major stylistic merit of such aircraft, which is that you could drop the boring cabin shown above, and commission something far better.
Of course, this is a ‘dream’ or just an unfocused moment for most of us. We live in, and fly in, a very different reality. The point of plausible contact with these wonderful machines, is that we get elected to the winning side of parliament (not going to happen) or work for an enterprise that hires them from VIP charter flight firms to cross the Pacific for what can be a per person charge somewhere in the upper end of the scheduled airliner premier fare scale. Which for yours truly, is also not going to happen. And then get to land at a small hassle free private airport not far from but infinitely more pleasant than LAX, as if!
But back to semi-reality. If you commanded the necessary zillions, how would you configure your ACJ318, to escape the banality of the image that was supplied with the press release?
What do you need? I need a place to work, a comfortable chair at a comfortable desk. And a place to confer or dine with say three other people at most, in as much comfort as at a table at a good restaurant. This space can be a meeting place for a ‘war’ cabinet, or for serious business related planning.
Assuming the jet isn’t going to be flown non-stop much further than Sydney-Honolulu for a tech stop, or Beijing, the place to sleep could be used more often for snoozing on shorter flights, and needs to be a comfortable berth, rather than a king sized bed, since full sized beds really compromise the efficient use of space in something the size of a typical ACJ or the Boeing equivalent, a single aisle BBJ.
I have flown in BBJs with a double bedroom at the back, and a huge conference table at the front, which meant the cabin, size identically to that of a 737-700, had no room for anything else.
The seat for ‘thinking’ or chilling out can be the same one that turns into the full length and generously wide sleeping berth.
A shower would be good. But real showers use ridiculous amounts of water, so something like the Emirates A380 shower would be the go, where the key is to lather up, and then rinse off in the water available, and have a good drying system, and an adjacent wardrobe locker with your ‘business’ clobber ready for whatever appointment awaits at the other end.
Chill, work, eat, sleep, freshen up. Have a good amount of generous personal space, but not wasted space, to live in. And have the furnishings styled to the same level of comfort and appearance that you find agreeable in your own home.
Dream over. The A318s or A319s the writer flies in are packed with small seats, there is no room to open a full sized laptop, my face is full of my Blackberry or iPad, and if nourishment isn’t capable of being consumed using a straw, I’m going thirsty or hungry.