Visiting shows like NBAA and EBACE (the latter just finished for the year in Geneva) is a surreal experience for ordinary mortals. It always has been, but is getting more so.
The aeroplanes themselves are particularly beautiful, and just as when one sees women with extraordinary physical beauty, they feel unattainable and all the more desirable for that.
The lower end of the bizav market is still struggling (below: a new Hawker 400 series aircraft)
..but the high end is seemingly unstoppable.
We are accustomed to the idea of big, lavishly finished aeroplanes being provided for heads of state like the King of Saudi Arabia or the Sultan of Brunei, and the very big but rather more utilitarian Air Force One that the President of the United States uses.
But now we're entering a different league for people who are not heads of state...
I think the best way of explaining this phenomenon, which aviation has not seen before, is that these lavishly customised airliners, especially the Airbus ACJ (above: the A319 version) and Boeing BBJ ranges (although you can go up to A380 or 747-8 if you want to), are becoming the new yachts for very high net worth individuals.
Yes, they'll use them for business as well, but they are manifestly much more than airborne offices or utilitarian travel devices.
I suspect that, if you are a Russian oligarch or Middle Eastern oiligarch, acquiring a mere Falcon, Gulfstream or Global Express may soon become terminally uncool.
Francois Chazelle sells ACJ series aeroplanes for Airbus. No wonder he looks pleased with himself. So do his Boeing and Embraer counterparts.
Personally I'd be quite happy with this Legacy. Clear to line up?
Incidentally, if you'd like to be taken on a walking tour of Geveva EBACE, including the aeroplanes, by my colleagues who were there this week, just visit our iFlight interactive dailies..