Boeing’s first BBJ 747-8 VIP jet, now outfitted with a special cabin with eight sleeping suites, left Wichita, Kan., today on its way to Germany for further outfitting.The pure white jet was the subject of some speculation when Boeing delivered it on Feb. 28. While Boeing would never confirm it, code numbers showed the plane had been bought by Qatar Amiri Flight, an airline for heads of state owned by the oil-rich state.
The cabin, called an Aeroloft, was designed by Greenpoint Technologies in Kirkland.
Greenpoint designs and has built custom yacht-like interiors for high-end VIP jets for wealthy individuals or heads of state. Greenpoint collaborates with Boeing on developing installations for these aircraft.The Aeroloft adds 393 square feet to the aircraft, by utilizing space over the main cabin, aft of the wing, that normally isn’t used. Each suite includes a bed, shelves and a curtain, but no window.The suites will be used by support staff for the traveling VIPs, said Dina Weiss, spokeswoman for Boeing Business Jets, a Boeing unit that markets the planes.
“It’s not going to be for the principals, they’ll have a master suite or two,” she said, adding that the Aeroloft provides enough ceiling height for standing room for most people.Boeing currently has nine orders for VIP 747-8s, the largest Boeing builds, out of the 36 passenger versions of the plane so far orders.Two more VIP planes with Aerolofts are to be delivered in 2012.After a ceremony in Wichita, the 787-8 was flown to Lufthansa Tecknik in Hamburg, Germany, for completion of the interior. The aircraft is to enter service in 2012.These aircraft don't come cheap. The list price for a green BBJ 747-8 is $330.31 million, and the interior will cost another $140-250 million, said Weiss in an email.Source: Puget Sound Business Journal, Steve Wilhelm
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