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The Executive Magazine

Business

First look: an exclusive tour of the world’s largest private jet

The Executive Magazine takes an exclusive first look at the world’s largest private jet: a bespoke twin-deck Boeing 747-8i.

It took design firm Cabinet Alberto Pinto over 4 years to design and build the interior space of the world’s largest private jet. An impressive feat considering the 4,000 sq ft of floor space was treated to a complete luxurious makeover.

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The jet liner, owned by an anonymous Middle Eastern businessman, is one of the few privately owned 747-8i aircraft. This size of plane is usually operated by airlines, cargo carriers, and national governments – namely the United States’ Air Force One. This dual-level jumbo jet takes private flying to a whole new level.

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From the outside, the subtle livery doesn’t give any clues about the nature of the VIP-configured aircraft. But upon entering through the main hatch, it becomes immediately apparent that you are about to behold the absolute pinnacle of luxury air travel. Stepping into the main foyer makes it easy to forget you’re on board a plane, with a sweeping bespoke staircase and doors leading to the cavernous layout, spanning 2 floors.

BOEING 747-8i BBJ

The famed French interior design firm was tasked with creating the interior, with a simple brief of creating a sense of understated luxury. It was clear to lead designer Yves Pickardt that a softer approach was required when it came to choosing the colours, materials and furnishings.

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The owner was not interested in gaudy, over the top statement decoration, and instead wanted a classic style. This has been achieved perfectly, with opulent fixtures and fittings, with a real sense of solid, hand crafted construction. The combinations of materials is a wonderment to behold, high gloss woods paired with marble and chrome touches shouldn’t work, but in this case it does. Shades of rich brown and cream leathers and fabrics adorn the furnishings, and perfectly complements the decor.

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As we explore the fuselage, an slight nautical theme is made apparent, and this is a nod to the owners second favourite mode of transport, his luxury superyacht. Relaxation and comfort is at the forefront of the customised 747, and has been designed as a home away from home. Palatial in its presentation, the suites feature full sized walk in showers (a rare addition to any of today’s aircraft), beds and wardrobe space, the owner and his family can arrive at any destination in the world refreshed and relaxed. To keep things quiet and peaceful, the master bedroom is situated beneath the fuselage, at the furthest point away from the massive Rolls-Royce turbine engines.

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The central main function room provides a communal seating area, dining areas and designated office space. Each one of the custom build leather reclining chairs has a multi-function control pad built into the arm rest, providing maximum comfort. There is also a smaller seating section for additional guest and crew, with its own entertainment system and tables.

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Nestled within the aircrafts iconic hump on the top deck is the main living room. It features all of the home comforts one would expect, including an entertainments system, plush furnishings and luxurious fixtures. There’s an adjoining children’s play area and the crew quarters, and the cockpit is directly ahead. This makes for the largest upper deck of any 747.

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In its usual airline configuration the 250 ft Boeing has a capacity of 400 passengers. With its myriad of suites, bedrooms, lounges, sofas, dining rooms, state rooms and seating dotted around, the 747 can comfortably house 30 guests,  with an extra 20 at a squeeze.

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With a range of 7,700 nautical miles, the aircraft can service long haul flights with ease, and can cover almost every major city in the world non-stop.

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It probably won’t be long until someone converts the even bigger Airbus A380 with its full length twin deck, but for now the Boeing Business Jet is the proud king of the skies.

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