The origin of VIP bizjet interiors is easily explained and has been truly evolutionary; There were many conversions of (originally) commercial aircraft in the USA, from as early as the 1930’s-1940’s, when former military pilots transferred from the cockpit of a fighter ‘plane to the cockpit of a corporate-owned, (former military) venerable Douglas DC-3 and convinced their new and proud owners to install the latest and greatest in window curtains, plush seats and cigarette ashtrays…personal cabin hostesses and cabin stewards were “de rigueur” and obligatory fuel stops while traversing the US were an adventure, not an inconvenience…(no challenging of intercity speed records).

If there was such a thing as a ‘traditional’ VIP bizjet interior, it usually comprised variations on a tried and tested theme; first, remove the cargo compartments and replace with fuel tanks. In the interior, install a corridor linking various cabin zones and cordon-off bedrooms with veneer paneling and warped fake mirrors. Replace antiquated galley (also known as the “kitchen”) equipment with a couple of microwave and convective ovens and re-route bathroom plumbing to fewer “lavs”, (bizjet parlance for toilets). Throw in a feeble apology for a shower and there you have it…A VIP interior!

The VIP bizjet customization world has come a long way and fast-forwarding into the twenty-first century, this rarified industry has embraced the latest lightweight materials, construction techniques and entertainment and communication systems…perhaps we should also mention the installation of the most sophisticated safety and navigation systems?

…Now, with great fanfare, “enter the dragon !”… the ultimate concept interior design…a concept destined to radicalize the VIP bizjet interior experience. Pininfarina has recently joined in cooperation with  AMAC Aerospace to develop and deliver an inspirational and innovative cabin interior for the recently announced Airbus variant, the A350-900.

The conference table view of the dragon’s world, way above the clouds.

The illustrious Italian design house, Pininfarina, traces its heritage back to 1930 and the founder’s iconic car designs laid the groundwork for extensive forays into parallel design opportunities. In fact, Battista Pinin-Farina boasts the first and only car to be on permanent display at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, his memorable Cisitalia 202.

AMAC, the world’s largest, independently owned VIP aircraft completion company, was founded by Kadri Muhiddin in 2007 and also lays claim to a talent-strewn company roster. It’s chairman’s prestigioustrack-record harks back to his B.Sc in Aeronautical Engineering from Kingston University in the United Kingdom, a time  when “boutique” aircraft interiors were nothing more than canvass bucket seats and painted rivets.

In aviation parlance, the term “pushing the envelope” is usually reserved for extreme speed or other extraordinary aeronautical feats (think of the celebrated aerobatic pilot, Kermit Weeks and his Pitts Special manouvresl). In the case of the Pininfarina / AMAC collaboration, this “pushing of the envelope” takes on an entirely new dimension.

Looking into the forest during a board meeting break
A well-deserved pre-dinner drink

AMAC’s facilities will breathe life into this concept for those with the means and the vision to commit to this futuristic airborne environment. AMAC’s army of artisans will ensure that any project is delivered with the celebrated and unmatched Swiss precision and unwavering commitment to service excellence.

The A350 interior will be transformed into a forest…into a wide-screen cinema…into a fine dining experience…into the ultimate conference room…into a calming relaxation cocoon…into the most luxurious and exhilarating travel experience imaginable.

Thus, the fertile creativity of these two combined industry titans will guarantee an unforgettable journey, each and every flight.

This coverage of Pininfarina would not be complete without a nod to the expansive and exquisite Pininfarina  portfolio of ‘alternate’ design achievements;

“Italian style means sense of proportions, simplicity and harmony of line, such that after a considerable time there is still something which is more alive than just a memory of beauty.”

Battista Pinin-Farina


A peek at the expansive and exquisite Pininfarina design portfolio…

Istanbul Air Traffic Control Tower

A project conceived to become a landmark for Istanbul. The AECOM and Pininfarina design evokes the aerodynamic forms used in automotive and aviation design, and includes an elliptical tower that will be visible to all passengers flying in and out of the new airport. The tower shape is inspired by the tulip, which has been the symbol of Istanbul for many centuries and is an important cultural reference in Turkish history.


Rossinavi Aurea

Taking inspiration from the lines of the sea and integrating tell-tale fluidity of Pininfarina’s iconic style, Aurea, the first collaboration between the Italian houses and Rossinavi will focus on the lifestyle of the owner and guests with a record size beach club for a ship of its dimensions. Facilitated by diesel-electric propulsion system housed at the centre of the boat, rather than the rear, Aureas stern features two swimming pools, three large outdoor decks and additional water-level access on both sides of the hull.


H2 Speed

The H2 Speed, which was awarded the 2016 Concept Car of the Year Award and named Best Concept at the 2016 Geneva Motor Show. Only 12 units will be produced for speed and performance loving gentleman drivers who also respect the environment and are attracted at the same time by the exclusivity typical of a Pininfarina designed vehicle. The production version, will be the first high performance hydrogen racing car born out of the revolutionary technology experimented significantly on the track by Pininfarina’s partner, GreenGT, a Franco-Swiss company that has been designing, developing and manufacturing clean and sustainable propulsion systems since 2008. 

 

Philip Rushton
Philip Rushton

Philip Rushton is our publisher, he has spent over forty years in various capacities in the world of aviation. In addition to his publisher duties for BJA, Philip oversees a successful US-based consultancy company, Aviatrade Inc., with offices in the USA, Europe, and China.

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