US engineering and VIP completions company Greenpoint Technologies has secured a patent for a ground-to-main deck elevator for the first Boeing BBJ 747-8.
The Aerolift provides a unique entry and exit to the widebody airliner, says Greenpoint, by transporting up to four passengers from the tarmac to the main deck via the cargo hold. Greenpoint provides the Aerolift as a complete installation for the BBJ 747-8, which comprises a lift carriage, an automatic door on the fuselage, a power unit and lift structure, as well as significant structural modifications to the main, lower and upper deck.
“The Aerolift eliminates reliance on traditional ground-based boarding and deplaning methods,” says Greenpoint chief executive Scott Goodey. The elevator will be particularly beneficial for customers travelling to remote locations “where access to airstairs can be challenging”, while its enclosed carriage design will appeal to those passengers seeking privacy and security.
Boeing says it has sold nine BBJ 747-8s to date, eight of which have been delivered to completion centres. The first BBJ 747-8 is earmarked for delivery in the second quarter. All the aircraft are destined for heads of state – eight in the Middle East and one in Asia, says Boeing.