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EBACE: Boeing unveils a new berth for 747

Boeing has partnered with Greenpoint Technologies to offer sleeper berths and lounges for 747-8 VIP operators, announcing orders to outfit four aircraft.

The two companies announced orders on Monday for the feature for two head-of-state aircraft and two more kits for an additional Middle Eastern client.

The announcement of the partnership and subsequent contracts mark a new birth of life for the novel feature.

The Overhead Space Utilisation (OSU) kit provides up to 75m2(807ft2), with room for as many as 16 sleeper berths or two lounge modules, set above the main cabin in the crown of the aircraft between doors three and five.

The kit, which was originally marketed by Boeing as the SkyLoft, found little interest from airline customers for additional revenue opportunities such aspremium and economy sleeper berths.

Each of the private 747-8 VIP berths will offer a lie-flat 90 x 200cm (36x78in) mattress, equivalent to a standard twin bed, as well as a privacy curtain, removable decorative panels and a passenger service unit for calling a flight attendant.

Passengers will be able to access to the OSU area will enter by way of a forward entry staircase at door three, which also accommodates 67kg (150lb) worth of additional stowage on the main deck.

The OSU, which will be installed post-production, will be separated from the main deck by removing the main cabin centreline overhead bins. The lower surface of the OSU will be separated from the cabin using a closeout fairing, but provides an attachment point for the modified ceiling and a revised interface for the centreline passenger service units.

When installed, Greenpoint will obtain an addition US Federal Aviation Administration supplemental type certificate for zero passenger configuration for the aircraft, and later as an "in-flight" only feature once the OSU is provided a passenger occupancy certificate following final completion.

Each lounge unit and berth will be directly connected to the aircraft environmental control systems providing 0.56m3 (20ft3)per minute of conditioned air per module.

First deliveries are scheduled to begin in 2011 and run to2013.

Boeing holds a cumulative total of 10 747 VIP aircraft (3 -400, 7 -8I), the first of which will be delivered in the fourth quarter of 2011, following a two-aircraft flight-test programme to certificate the world's longest business jet.

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