In a region known for its luxuriously adorned aircraft, an elevator entryway on a Boeing 747 may be the perfect addition for the VIP who has everything.
Custom engineering outfitting company Greenpoint Technologies says it is "negotiating terms with several clients" on potentially purchasing its patent-pending Aerolift for the Boeing 747-8I in VIP configuration. Seven of the eight 747-8Is ordered to date are destined for the Middle East.
The lift, which runs from the main deck and drops through the cargo hold out of the bottom of the fuselage, lowers occupants down to ground level, providing a unique entry and exit to the jumbo jet.
Greenpoint, which declines to disclose the price tag on the Aerolift, say it is "designed as a highly integrated system unto itself - with its complex structure and mechanisms, drive units, control and indication devices and redundant safety features".
The installation of the custom lift, which is only meant for boarding and deplaning passengers on the ground, includes the addition of an external door on the fuselage keel, along with modifications to the primary airframe floor structure, main deck floor beams and lower deck cargo compartment.
Greenpoint says: "The lift mechanism and its attachment structure is designed to then fit into those new space provisions as an integrated assembly. Engineering also encompasses revisions to local installations of existing airframe systems and utilities where necessary."
If selected by one of the seven 747-8I VIP customers, six of which are based in the Middle East, Greenpoint says the Aerolift installation would take eight to nine months from induction to supplemental type certification and can be done concurrently with other aircraft interior completions.
Boeing aims to deliver the first 747-8I to completion from the fourth quarter of 2011, with five due for handover next year, and three planned for 2012.
Source: Flight Daily News