With private jet ownership on the rise and limited supply on the market, many owners have been snapping up any aircraft they can and choosing to customise the interiors rather than waiting months for bespoke builds. No longer simply a practical means of transport, private aircraft are becoming second homes in the sky for their most frequent fliers, with all the mod cons of a residence and an office often built into the planes.
Under the steer of the world’s leading designers, increasingly innovative design options are leading owners to experiment with contemporary layouts, materials and furnishings like never before. Three such industry experts from design firms PINTO, Harrison Eidsgaard and Design Q reflect on the evolution of private jet interior design and reveal the key design elements that owners are asking for in 2022.
Yves Pickardt, aircraft interior designer at PINTO
“In recent years, we have noticed an increase in requests for interior design in aircrafts of a larger scale, especially for luxury charter and business jet companies which want to redefine corporate jet standards such as the request of Acropolis for an Airbus A320 which benefits from a full custom-made interior design on very important volumes.
From our experience in private aircraft interior design, we are more and more confronted with two main types of requests. The first is “soft modern” style as a sure value characterized by the use of wood and leather and more or less traditional shapes. We’re also seeing a trend towards ever more fluid shapes, as if aerodynamic constraints now also concerned the interior of the cabin and not just the exterior.
And, whatever the style, the fairly recent use of new materials such as carbon fiber, cold metallization and “vegan”, ecological and recyclable fabrics and leather are making their way into aircraft as well as on the ground.”
Richard Whitehouse, director at Harrison Eidsgaard
“Jet interiors have over the last 10 years become more contemporary and more simplistic, with a focus on high quality materials. Owners lead busy lives and appreciate a certain calm and tranquility. At the same time a jet is a significant investment, and it needs to feel special. This is the challenge in high-end interior design; to create something long-lasting and beautiful, that is also spectacular and very personal.
There have been huge leaps in technology in recent years, and this will continue. This does in particular influence connectivity and the quality of onboard entertainment. But because we can work 24/7 from anywhere, we are also seeing that our clients need places where they feel they can fully switch off. The yacht and the jet are typically designed to allow for both work and a break from work.”
Howard Guy, CEO of Design Q
“It was not that long ago that a typical business jet would not have an interior that could be judged as contemporary or indeed an interior that offered an experience or wonder as well as cater for the obvious storage spaces and places to put one’s handbag, laptop or bottle of champagne.
We have been successful in pushing boundaries by way of invention and design, giving customers something that they cannot get anywhere else. Our mission on our first production Jet, Learjet 85, became a great opportunity to put right the shortcomings of most private jets of the day. The way it was designed, the attention to detail and the overall contemporary ‘wow’ factor that any passenger would experience and it really paved the way for what has become a long and rewarding experience with Bombardier.
The biggest game changer came in the form of the Global 7500. The design brief was to abandon the customary grey military style cock pits and treat the interior as a luxury car in the league of Aston Martin or Bentley with a focus on detail and super high quality.
In 2022, we expect to see better sound and vision and bigger screens – ceiling screens, too (see Aerion above). We are continually trying and succeeding to provide new details – art sculptures on bulkheads, cloud and blue sky ceilings with special lighting to refract on 3D clouds, twinkling starlight ceiling with specific star and galaxies formations. Our invention on the Aerion SP2 supersonic (which has since stopped development) was the full vision curved high definition ceiling screen.”