Associated Air Center delivers first head-of-state BBJ 787-8

US VIP completions and engineering company Associated Air Center (AAC) has delivered the first Boeing BBJ 787-8 to be configured for head-of-state operations.

The handover of aircraft registration TP-01 marks the eighth widebody airliner completion for the StandardAero subsidiary, and its second to this undisclosed VVIP customer – believed to be the President of Mexico, who in 1989 took delivery of the first head-of-state-configured Boeing 757-200. That aircraft – registered as TP-01 and re-registered as TP-02 – remains in presidential service.

AAC says the BBJ 787's 223m² (2,400ft²) cabin area accommodates 82 passengers across three zones. The fourth, “presidential" zone comprises an office, bedroom and en suite bathroom.

At the handover ceremony on 2 February, AAC president James Colleary described the project as “new territory for VIP completions for composite, widebody aircraft”, during which the team in Dallas, Texas “overcame significant new engineering challenges”.

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Associated Air Center

AAC says every VIP passenger seat is equipped with a portable electronic device outlet and a high definition, in-arm, 11in LCD touchscreen monitor to supplement seven 42in LCD bulkhead-mounted monitors. Each of these is connected to a variety of in-flight entertainment sources, including six global and local Blu-ray players, audio video on-demand servers and passenger flight information systems. The presidential bedroom boasts an “unprecedented” 44dB sound intensity level, for added comfort, it continues.

The interior is also 20% lighter than initially projected, allowing the aircraft to carry extra fuel and fly longer nonstop missions.

To expedite the completion process, AAC designed, engineered and manufactured the bulkheads, monuments, furnishings and headliner grid system for the interior before the green aircraft's arrival, in October 2014.

The company is poised to deliver its first BBJ 747-8, and says it is also outfitting an Airbus ACJ320 in Dallas. "We are also partnering on other completion projects, and actively bidding on new wide- and narrowbody contracts," says AAC.

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