Pictures: Boeing unveils 787 BBJ variant, says Middle East 'home' to 747-8 VIP

Dubai
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Boeing Business Jets (BBJ) unveiled interior concepts for the 787 VIP widebody airliner family yesterday at the Middle East Business Aviation Conference and Exhibition in Dubai.

“A Boeing 787 VIP affords its owner complete accommodation,” said Boeing Business Jets president Steven Hill at the show. “Aboard this aircraft owners can fly anywhere in the world nonstop, and on those long-distance flights, it is critical to have amenities and a cabin environment that allow passengers to be completely comfortable and productive.”

The Boeing / General Electric joint venture has commissioned several design firms to develop preliminary concepts for 787 VIP interiors including Seattle-based industrial design consultancy Teague (pictured below). The Seattle-based airframer does not design or install interiors but delivers all VIP aircraft “green”.  

The 787-8 VIP offers 225m (2,400ft2) of cabin space and a range of 17,760km (9,590nm). The 787-9 VIP offers 255m2  of cabin space and a range of 18,425km.

Boeing has clinched seven 787 VIP orders to date from undisclosed customers - four 787-8s and three 787-9s. The first commercial 787 is scheduled to make its first flight later this year. However, the overwhelming order book for the new aircraft means that any new orders now won’t be delivered until 2014. It’s a challenge, Hill admist, but his sales team is offering potential customers a range of “creative solutions” to meet their needs until a 787 is available.


© Teague 

 The renderings include a stateroom (above) and a private office (below).
 

Meanwhile, in the week that Airbus revealed its VIP A380 variant is to be called the Flying Palace in a bid to secure the Arab petrodollar, Boeing also says the Middle East will play a key part in the fortunes of the VIP 747-8.

The private aviation variant of the latest version of the 747 will be allocated an average of two production slots a year for the first ten years of production, he said. “There are exactly two dozen 747s in private aviation today and most of them are in the Middle East,” said Hill. “There is a very good replacement market for existing customers but there is also a good market for new customers.”

Last year Boeing announced orders for four 747-8 VIP aircraft in the Middle East, two of them to an operator not currently operating older versions of the type. “My guess is that about two thirds of the (existing 747 VIP) aircraft are here in the Middle East and will eventually be replaced by the 747-8,” said Hill. “We fully intend to do two a year for the next ten years.”