One of the most important details to consider when buying a jet is cabin configuration, notes Rene Banglesdorf. It’s crucial that your intended aircraft’s configuration fits your mission. Here’s how…
The bigger the aircraft, the more there is for a buyer to factor. Heavy jets, for example, come equipped with full galleys, multiple lavatories, crew rest areas and other important amenities.
Depending on your typical mission, you may want to 86 the divan and replace it with more business-appropriate club seating. Or you might find what you thought to be the perfect aircraft, only to realize in flight that its only lavatory is in the rear of the aircraft.
Know what kind of configuration you want before you go hunting for your next private aircraft.
Forward vs. Aft Lavatory
When you start dealing with ‘heavy iron’, the front vs. rear lavatory debate becomes an important one. If you have a bed set up in the rear of the aircraft, and the only lavatory on the airplane is in that area, what happens when other passengers and crewmembers need to use the restroom?
Are you ok with people walking in and out while you’re trying to sleep? Ideally, you’d want both a forward and aft lavatory, so the crew has their own up front, and you’ll have your own in the back.
Forward vs. Aft Galley
The same concerns about the lavatory can be had regarding the galley. In larger aircraft, you’ll find some with galleys in the front of the airplane and some with galleys in the rear. Although some crewmembers prefer an aft galley to open up more space for the crew rest, there aren’t many advantages for a passenger in an aft galley.
On older Gulfstreams, however, a forward galley blocks some natural lighting by covering the windows behind it. Newer Gulfstream galleys, however, are built around those windows, resolving that issue.
A further consideration: Do you really want to have to deal with the clanking of silverware, the beeping of microwaves and other miscellaneous noises while you’re trying to sleep or conduct a business meeting in the back of the aircraft? If not, you’ll probably want to stick with the forward galley.
Divans vs. Traditional Seats
If you typically use your aircraft for relaxation and entertaining guests, a divan can be a welcome addition to your aircraft’s cabin. However, if you typically fly for business purposes with clients or coworkers, it may be more appropriate to have a club configuration or conference seating instead.
Is a Shower Necessary?
Dassault seems to think so. On the newer, larger Falcons, buyers have the option of including an on-board shower. If you’ll be taking intercontinental flights lasting up to 12 hours, and hopping right off the jet to go straight to a business meeting, you may well find a shower worth having…
If you’re ‘pushing some heavy iron’ that requires crewmembers, law requires that you give them the opportunity to rest during long flights, including a place to sleep. If the galley and crew rest are in the rear of the aircraft, again, you’ll have to deal with noise and foot traffic through the cabin.
At night, large jets have the ability to transform from their typical daytime configuration to a night configuration, turning seats into beds. Fully berth-able divans turn into full-width beds. Club seats fold back into narrow, single beds, and conference-style seating arrangements turn into full-width beds.
Keep in mind that you may want to invest in aftermarket products that make the sleeping situation more comfortable.
Buying a jet straight from the factory will typically give you the luxury of being able to choose from a variety of configurations. Buying from the used jet market offers just as many configurations across nearly as many different candidate aircraft. And a great Business Aviation Dealer will help you find the right solution. Knowing which will fit your typical mission best is crucial to a positive in-flight experience for everybody on board, and long-lasting buyer satisfaction!