Luxury Personal Aircraft Concept by Aston Martin

British sports car brand Aston Martin presents the Volante Vision Concept, a luxury aircraft with vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) capabilities. Produced in partnership with Cranfield University, Cranfield Aerospace Solutions, and Rolls-Royce, the project aims to bring chic personal transportation to the sky. The Volante Vision Concept will take full advantage of the latest advances in aerospace, electrification and autonomous technologies, coupled with Aston Martin’s signature design. This new concept unites the world’s best aerospace experts, propulsion specialists, and designers. The skills offered by each partner ensures that the aircraft promises to offer an exciting alternative transportation solution for customers across the globe. “With the population in urban areas continuing to grow, congestion in towns and cities will become increasingly demanding,’ says Aston Martin president and CEO dr. Andy Palmer. “We need to look at alternative solutions to reduce congestion, cut pollution and improve mobility. Air travel will be a crucial part in the future of transportation, the volante vision concept is the ultimate luxury mobility solution.”

Art Deco-Inspired Private Jet Interior

The Airbus Corporate Jet Centre, in Toulouse, France, has completed an art deco-inspired custom cabin in an ACJ319 jet for a company in Asia. Combining comfort, function, and innovative design, the interior (for up to 19 passengers) features five individual mini-suites – each with its own storage spaces – that evoke the privacy and coziness of a vintage-train cabin. A wide main lounge adjoins a separate parlor where two passengers can share a widescreen movie. The master bedroom offers an en suite bathroom with a square shower, a private office space, and a two-place sofa that can convert to a conversation nook, with two VIP seats separated by a low table. A brown-and-cream palette creates a sense of space and simplicity in the cabin, and gold-colored details enhance the classic retro aura. The dining area seats up to six in a snug booth-like setting. The retro styling is paired with state-of-the-art amenities and cabin controls. All 15 of the seats can recline to a fully flat position and are adjustable via Wi-Fi from a digital tablet. Two cocktail bars are hidden behind mirrors, emerging when needed with the push of a button. The cabin design was the most complex challenge ever completed by Airbus, the company said. The ACJ319 cabin is 78 feet long by 12 feet wide, and the jet can travel up to 6,900 miles nonstop, at speeds up to about 540 mph.

$120 Million Supersonic Business Jet Aerion AS2

Aerion Corporation, of Reno, Nev., is taking orders now for its supersonic private jet, the Aerion AS2. Last year Airbus Group agreed to lend engineering support to the company, and the aircraft is now in development. The company says its proprietary laminar-flow technology reduces aerodynamic drag over the wings by up to 80 percent, enabling the three-engine jet to achieve efficient long-range flight. Supersonic speeds can cut flight time by 3 hours between Paris and Washington, D.C., and by 6.5 hours between San Francisco and Singapore, the company says. Supersonic flight is currently prohibited above the land areas of the United States and many other countries, due to concerns about sonic booms; however, flight speed above oceans is unrestricted. Aerion is working to develop its Boomless Cruise technology that would ensure the shock waves created by supersonic flight would dissipate well above ground level. The AS2 will be built mainly from carbon fiber, with titanium alloy along the leading edge of each wing. The 30-foot-long cabin will seat up to 11. Maximum range is expected to be about 5,400 miles, and top speed is Mach 1.5. The company hopes the first $120 million AS2 will be flying by 2021.

IXION Windowless Private Jet Concept

International agency Technicon Design has created a concept for a private jet that replaces windows with screens that can display the external environment inside the cabin. “The ethos of the project is simple, to challenge current thinking, and propose something a little different, but not just a fantasy,” said Technicon design director Gareth Davies. “It has to be credible and relevant, yet provoke discussion. We quickly settled on the controversial yet interesting idea of removing the windows from the cabin and using existing or very near future technology to display the exterior environment to the inside surfaces of the cabin via external cameras.” Cameras on the plane’s fuselage – the main body – and wings would capture the surrounding views, which would be projected onto high-resolution screens on the sides and ceiling in the cabin. The low-voltage display would be powered by solar panels integrated into the roof. Removing the windows would reduce the weight of the plane, making it more fuel efficient, simplify construction and allow greater flexibility for interior layouts. Passengers would sit in armchairs and bench seats facing two directions, some with tables in between. Air conditioning and lighting would be provided by strips along the jet’s body, breaking up the screens into three panels. Any imagery could be projected onto the displays to create different moods in the cabin, including a traditional plane interior if desired. “The user experience is greatly enhanced by directly engaging the passengers with the environment outside, to the point of exhilaration by giving an unhindered panoramic view from the inside,” said Davies.