. . . at that point, it's a completely different ball game.
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“Yeah, a very small number,” says Gough. “That would, in many cases, cause them to take a second airplane or limit the people on board. More sleeping positions is a significant differentiator for BBJ.”
“Also Rick,” adds Mr. Hill “Depending on zones selected, you could have up to five sleeping positions that are quite comfortable, meaning twin size or larger. That’s significant for the customers when compared to an ultra-long range business jet with four lay-flat sleeping positions total. With BBJ Select you can have two beds along with other sleeping configurations – accommodating more than 10…. you can eliminate that problem. Imagine that you could have four positions in a BBJ Select aircraft that are approaching a queen size sleeping position. At that point it’s a completely different ball game.”
“So, on the subject of seating positions, and Annika maybe you can speak to this a little bit, is there more than one seat platform option or is it all the same seat across the offering – then just modify the upholstery design in achieving a different look from one cabin to another?”
“We’re using the same seat design, look and feel throughout the interior so you get a continuous, united cabin. So, with all the options you'll have the same upholstery and seats, with different leather and material options of course. However Rick, depending on the location, the customer might have specific function needs which we can accommodate, but otherwise the idea is for a uniform seat throughout.”
Great so, you know our magazine is dedicated to interiors of course but I feel I should ask one non-interior related question here. So, when I think of Aloft, I still want to say PATS, right? My question is, will aux tanks be a part of the delivered price and if so, will Aloft be installing those? I would assume so but wanted to ask.
So, yes aux tanks are standard with BBJ Select, says Gough.
“And yes, they are included in the price of the airplane.” adds Hill. Gough continues, ““It's a seven aux tank configuration which is great because it enables the maximum range of the airplane - 15 hours nonstop. We want to keep BBJ Select at the top of the heap when it comes to business jetliner range and Select has in excess of a 1000 nautical mile range advantage relative to the newest business jetliner from our competition.
Well, I have to say, my initial thoughts were, why would customers step-up to a transport category jet with that huge leap in cabin volume and the clean sheet, bespoke opportunities that come with it, just to save a little time, money, and hassle by going back to a sort of constrained pick list. But when I listen to the well-thought-out aspects of BBJ Select and the remarkable range of option sets, predominately based on historical BBJ owner preferences in the first place, I really can see the customer buy-in within a large portion of the customer cross section. And when you add the fact that BBJ Select customers will now have the opportunity to move upward and enjoy the larger cabin of a BBJ without all the complexities and unpredictability of historical green completions, it really seems like a great model and I think probably one well overdue. So, congratulations. I wish you great success and as a magazine, we certainly want to continue updating our readers on the evolution of the program.
Before I let you go however, one final question just crossed my mind if you have an extra moment. It relates to cabin communications and Wi-Fi. We did an article about a year ago on a company called Spectrum Networks and they're fooling around with Li-Fi which is a light spectrum-based signal vs. traditional HF radio frequencies and if what they’re purporting is correct, it’s literally light years ahead of traditional Wi-Fi – measured in like gigabytes per second. At any rate, while it seems a little like Buck Rogers kinda stuff, it’s going to be a huge leap forward if it’s real. So, I wanted to ask if any of you know about this technology and if so, is it something that’s on your radar for BBJ Select?
“The BBJ Select has the additional benefit of integrated technology and systems solutions that are also strategically modular by design… so that the cabins can be updated over time with relative ease. Li-Fi is a good example of a technology that's emerging and with big promise. We think it could be an important factor, especially when you start talking about head of state operators and the data transmission security that Li-Fi offers. As consumer devices start adopting the tech it will quickly become more mainstream – and this is the type of evolution of technology that we're anticipating… And because we’ve proactively designed with forward compatibility in mind, we’ll be ready to adopt it into the BBJ Select cabin,” Says Hill.
Well, I'm glad I asked then. I wasn’t aware. As you say, it certainly has great promise in our industry and potentially huge benefits to VVIP operators.
Ok, so again I know all your times are very valuable so I'm gonna let you go. Matt thanks very much for organizing this and thanks to each of you for joining. We very much appreciate it and look forward to further updates as the program unfolds and formal orders are taken.
Our pleasure Rick. We indeed look forward to updating your readers.
JCF Magazine wishes to thank each of the following:
Matthew Hill (ALOFT AeroArchitects)
Drew Gough (Boeing Business Jets)
Bret Neely (Greenpoint Technologies)
Sarah Hiskey (Greenpoint Technologies)
Annika Wicklund (Greenpoint Technologies)
Interview conducted by: Rick W. Roseman – Publisher / JCF Magazine