Take a walk through an airport and you will easily notice the private jets parked in the hangars or taking off on the runway. While you might have jumbo jets that are many times the size of a private jet, the allure of the private jet still presents itself with surprising dominance. Swept wing designs and T-tails are all features that are present on the exterior of private jets. However, it could be said that the outside is much more pedestrian compared to the inside of a jet. Most jets have to follow a very strict design code in order to manipulate aerodynamics to stay in the air, there is not much room for creativity to flow. This has meant that the energy to innovate is diverted toward the interiors of private jets. After all, private aircraft are made to be flown in. Pioneering companies like Gulfstream under the principle of providing top-notch luxury better than anyone else. The arrival of the long-range jet in the ‘70s also created a problem for its manufacturers. Now that the jet can stay in the air for several hours with ease, the interior experience must also be held to an extremely high standard. Today, in 2021, we have jets that have walk-in showers built right into them, and conference rooms have become a necessity for the on-the-go businessman.
Today, we will look into several of the sub-classes inside the private jet classification and see the amenities and features that are available.
Light jets are actually quite a broad classification that generally includes all jets that are on the lighter side of the spectrum in terms of weight, capacity, and power. For example, the Phenom 100, and the bigger brother, the Phenom 300 are both considered to be light jets. They are the most budget-conscious options in the private jet world (as budget-conscious the private jet world can get). The Phenom 100, a truly great aircraft with incredible value for money will still cost you $2.6 to 2.4 million for a new example. For perspective, this kind of money will get you a top-of-the-line apartment in Central London.
The Phenom 100’s interior design can be described as harmonious. The leather seats are actually quite large and have extremely satisfying cushioning, meaning that any air turbulence won’t interrupt your nap in the cabin. Perhaps the biggest pitfall which is justified at this price range is the fact that the height of the cabin stands at 4 feet and 9 inches. This means that even the stockiest of us are going to have quite a hard time standing upright in this cabin. The performance figures of the Phenom 100 are truly what makes it a ‘phenomenon’. Everything from the top speed of the jet to the range is truly exceptional for its weight class. It can however fit only 4 people inside of it.
The Phenom 300 was released after the rousing success of the Phenom 100. Everything from the wood inlays to the leather has a touch of class to it. Nothing is in excess, and nothing feels lacking. There is a certain balance of the elements that you can feel quite noticeably when entering the jet. The windows are quite large for a jet of its size and space has been managed inside the jet in such a way that the jet has much more space compared to other jets in the class such as the Citation CJ3. Due to the large windows, a lot of light bleeds into the cabin, giving it a more natural feel. It is quite a sight to see the sunrise inundate the inside of the cabin with its rays. The quality that the Phenom 300 has been able to provide has also meant that it has become a favorite of charter companies and fractional ownership structures around the world.
Midsize jets are quite the upgrade over light jets. While the biggest light jets would be able to clump 7 people together at best, midsize jets take private jet capacity to the next level by offering 12-seat configurations. Minibars and small kitchens are the norm in this particular class. There are some jets in this class who are able to offer separate areas for the staff as well, making sure that the people who work so hard to make your experience as luxurious as possible are able to get the much-deserved rest that they need with a degree of privacy as well. The new generation of midsize jets that have come along in the past few years have incorporated the technological revolution into their workings as well. Wi-Fi, in-flight entertainment, and cabin management systems have become necessities more than just additional luxuries at this point. In 2022, the modern midsize jets is required to be completely controllable by a touch-screen and most companies are delivering on that promise.
A good example can be the Praetor 600. In addition to having perhaps the coolest name in the private jet industry, it has a seating capacity that goes up to 12 passengers depending on the arrangement being chosen. The cabin height stands at well over 6 feet, meaning that you can walk upright without much fuss. On top of that, the interior also features a full-fledged dining area as well with a roomy sofa that is able to double as a bed as well. This naturally also means that it is quite an expensive jet as well, with the 600 costing nearly $21 million. You could buy 8 Phenom 100s with that kind of money. The range alone stands at over 4000 nautical miles. It is also known for its ultra-quiet cabin as well, which allows for a soundless experience and great sound insulation. It can be observed that the Praetor 600 is designed from the ground up as a home in the skies. The high-speed Wi-Fi makes sure that you don’t miss out on any of your meetings even when on the go. The dining area has been equipped to perfection, meaning that you are not likely to miss your home even in the skies. It can cross the Atlantic and fly from London to New York, a test that is widely considered to be the golden standard for a midsize aircraft to achieve. The top speed that exceeds 1000 km per hour means that it flies quite close to the sound barrier. The days of the Concorde might be over but the Praetor is still reliving that memory.
The jump from midsize to long-range is certainly not nearly as jarring as the jump from light jet to midsize. The total passenger capacity might not even increase by much, but the biggest jump is generally in the prices themselves and the range. These jets generally tend to include all the amenities that would be expected from a midsize jet and sprinkle a bit more on top for good measure. Stone flooring is quite common in jets of this class. The sound systems are completely top-notch and generally calibrated by the best in the audio business. In recent years, lighting effects have also become quite popular with touch-controlled mood lighting being a fan favorite. A great example is the Gulfstream G650, probably one of the most famous long-haul jets. 435 G650s have been built since the introduction of the 600 series in 2005. The biggest number, however, is the price. At $65 million, it is one of the most expensive aircraft in the Gulfstream lineup as well.
A walk into the interior of the G650 reveals an entire world in and of itself. The clean air system of the jet is able to completely refresh the air inside the jet within 3 minutes. If you are a person who needs clean air to feel free, this is certainly the jet to buy. Moreover, the technology inside the system also allows it to kill viruses and allergens. Levels of noise control in the cabin are the best in the entire business, with the comfortable sofas making for a good lounging experience. The one feature that can be considered as the Gulfstream signature is the oval windows. In this jet, there are 16 oval windows that are the largest in its class, making sure that the natural light lights up your surroundings like nothing else. It seems like you won’t really be needing the Gulfstream lighting system as that natural light itself will be doing the trick. There’s also a large amount of customization that comes with buying a jet that costs $65 million. The seats have been crafted completely from hand. On top of that, the comfortable divan that you will be spending most of your flying hours can double as a bed when you want to call it a day. The jet also possesses a sleeping capacity equivalent to 10 people. In fact, the entire jet has been divided into 3 living areas as well.
Talking about the customization that was previously mentioned, the G650 “AP” designed by Aurora Saboir Design has been attracting a lot of attention. Everything from the decorative patterns to the aesthetic is completely custom and made to the specifications of the customer. The surface is of the color emerald green, adding a touch of opulence to the entire experience. The interior reminds the viewer of a mansion in California more than a cabin inside a jet. The large windows which allow a lot of sunshine combine well with the extensive use of wood inside the cabin, with the sunshine reflecting off the wood and giving you an illusion of an evening spent in New England. The client’s initials have been placed everywhere inside the jet. Even an innocuous-looking pillow possesses the client’s initials on it. The staggering level of customization inside the jet can be best summarized by the fact that most components such as cabinets and tables are bespoke. They have been designed with the client’s requirements and the dimensions of the space in mind. A more cursory look at the interior leaves a certain impression that is hard to forget. All the design elements seem to connect with each other at the hip.
Lastly, the luxuries included are sourced from the most expensive brands in the world. Hermes, Baccarat, and Loro Piana can be found in the cabin of this jet. Once you have sufficiently awed by the interior, the exterior does not fail to impress either. The jet has been completely washed in emerald green with the steely color providing a contrast that communicates sheer quality. The quality of the paint is unsurprisingly high-quality as well. This jet is able to seat 13 passengers with its particular arrangement.
Private jet interiors are a truly staggering world to explore. Considering that the price tags stretch far into the millions, it should not be a surprise that the owners of these jets expect a level of attention to detail that justifies the amount of money that they are investing. There is everything from the humble Phenom 100 with its excellent quality seating to the behemoth that is the G650 with more customization features that one can keep count of. In fact, there are design companies that exclusively fit cars and jets with customized features according to the whims of the owner. They have been gaining quite a lot of momentum in the past years, which makes it seem like the era of coachbuilding will be back one day. The best example of this is the modified G650 that was discussed earlier, with the company doing everything to make sure that the jet is completely according to the requirements of the owner, including embossing their initials on pillows.