Lufthansa Technik AG has unveiled full details of its latest VVIP cabin concept for the BBJ 777-9 at the Dubai Airshow. The new renderings of this spacious interior, which covers more than 340sqm, present a design specifically tailored to the requirements of a new generation of VVIP and head-of-state aircraft. The final designs combine traditional influences from the Middle East's cultural heritage with a modern twist, and reveal for the first time the name of this new concept.
With CelestialStar, Lufthansa Technik's design team aims to emphasise both the contemporary purity and the typical Middle Eastern geometric design patterns as well as the vastness and openness of the sky.
The flagship features are the cocoon-like private bedroom and bathroom which, together with the adjacent work and balance area, form a multifunctional private suite. The bathroom and sleeping quarters can merge into a self-contained retreat offering complete privacy; VVIP passengers can enjoy the largest rain and massage shower ever designed for a private jet or make themselves comfortable in the generous king-size bed.
Adapted from Lufthansa Technik's Explorer concept, sophisticated projection technology transforms the enclosed cocoon into an almost immersive wellness and entertainment world, displaying a wide variety of customised digital content ranging from a cinema screen to 180° impressions of the next travel destination, or virtual works of art.
Rotating and sliding lamellae can open the cocoon to the rest of the cabin to provide access to the exercise or dressing rooms on the side, or simply to allow more daylight into the VVIP area. In this way, the feeling of space is maximised by the enormous cabin width of the BBJ 777-9.
"The thoughtful design of the BBJ 777-9 interior illustrates the key features of our newest, largest and most capable BBJ on the market," says BBJ managing director Alexis Fecteau. "The elegant interior elements maximise personal comfort for passengers on board the BBJ 777-9, which is capable of flying for over 22 hours and connecting any two cities in the world, non-stop."
The work and balance area adjoining the cocoon also makes full use of the cabin width and is designed to be multifunctional. In the two flexibly rotating and sliding seats, guests here can not only gather around the large desk but can also turn and move their seats towards the side divans for conversations with other guests. A cleverly-integrated swivel mechanism also allows the surface area of the tables in front of the divans to be expanded as needed, and numerous trapezoidal wall niches, for exhibits for example, can be closed with an invisible mechanism and then disappear seamlessly into the linear wall structure.
Adjacent to the private suite is the Celestial lounge, a lobby through which passengers enter the aircraft. With an integrated bar for refreshments and stylish seating arrangements, it ensures the perfect first impression and provides a setting for welcoming high-ranking guests on board or preparing them for meetings in the work and balance area. Intermediate doors shield guests aesthetically and acoustically from the outer functional doors of the aircraft cabin.
When the corridors are open, the Celestial lounge merges into the adjoining conference and dining area. This not only meets functions as a majlis, the traditional Middle Eastern gathering and meeting room, but is also multifunctional. Eleven individual seats can be rotated from a dining or conference position at the large centre table toward the surrounding divans and moved outward for conversations on the side. Communication and conference technology, such as monitors that can be fully retracted into the table, connect this room and the aircraft with the world.
Particularly eye-catching are the large window shades with electrochromatic dimming, which are fully integrated into the oriental-inspired design. With their three-dimensional structure and the targeted use of indirect lighting, they continue the design principle of the side walls in a functional way, thus delivering a generous spatial impression all-around, even when closed and without daylight.
"The BBJ 777-9 is the largest aircraft type newly available on the market and pre-destined for its role as successor to the BBJ 747 as the most popular aircraft for heads of state, many of whom have been our loyal customers for decades," says Hassan Gasim, sales director Middle East VIP and special aircraft services at Lufthansa Technik. "Through our close cooperation with Boeing Business Jets and furthermore Lufthansa's role as launch customer for the new type, we were able to build up extensive technical expertise at an early stage."
Since the CelestialStar concept primarily targets customers from royal families in the Middle East, who usually fly around the world with large delegations, the second half of the cabin offers generous accommodation, for advisory staff and other personnel. High-ranking ministers or state guests can be accommodated in the six deluxe suites, modern first-class compartments that have been specially adapted to this VVIP design. For additional passengers, there are also 32 seats in the so-called executive area, which corresponds to business class seating. This is followed at the rear of the cabin by the entourage area, a premium economy cabin.
The CelestialStar cabin design is the first of its kind to be derived directly from the BBJ 777-9 design data provided by Boeing Business Jets. This ensures the technical feasibility of the design from the outset, because only 100 per cent correct dimensions were used as a basis.