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Aviation: Space Travel

Mary Grady

The problem with some business-jet interiors is that they feel like mailing tubes for humans: cramped, limiting spaces designed for nothing beyond the efficient transport of travelers from one location to another. With its new Lineage 1000, Embraer takes a different approach to interior design. The company’s engineers have transformed the interior of an Embraer 190, a regional commercial jet that accommodates up to 114 passengers, into a series of five comfortable and spacious rooms designed for just 19. In terms of comfort, functionality, and style, the resulting space is light-years beyond the standard mailing-tube interior. Aboard the Lineage 1000, one could easily fall asleep in a luxurious recliner or private bedroom suite with the expectation of waking up at a jetport on Mars.

Until such a jetport exists, Aspen, Colo., will have to do. The Lineage 1000 is the largest aircraft that can operate out of Aspen and Teterboro, N.J., says Paulo Stolf, senior program manager for the Lineage 1000 program. He expects that the jet will be approved soon to use London City Airport—a preferred destination for business travelers due to its proximity to central London, but one that cannot accommodate many larger long-range aircraft. The Lineage 1000, however, combines the impressive range of bigger planes with the practical size of a business jet. Auxiliary fuel tanks in this model nearly double the range of the E-190, so passengers can fly nonstop from Chicago to London, New York to Moscow, and Singapore to Sydney.

Practical thinking about what Lineage 1000 owners need drove many of the design decisions, says Stolf. For example, on long flights, passengers may want access to their baggage, so all of the Lineage’s 323 cubic feet of walk-in baggage space is accessible from the cabin. Passengers may want to shower and change before landing, so the plane includes comfortable bathing facilities. If they want a good night’s sleep, one of the five modules can be a bedroom—though few of the airplane’s some 20 buyers have chosen that option. "You give up some payload for that, and you can carry fewer passengers," Stolf says.

The modules are highly customizable, with numerous leather and upholstery options for creating a unique interior. Stolf says that with the Lineage 1000, Embraer is targeting high-net-worth individuals who will use the airplane for both business and personal travel. With this in mind, designers tried to anticipate the in-flight needs of professionals, families, and casual vacationers. Meeting spaces, Wi-Fi Internet access, and desk areas accommodate business travelers. Other modules promote relaxation, with entertainment systems, divans, and a dining room. A spacious galley ensures that everyone will be well fed, and the entry vestibule doubles as a crew area, providing a comfortable divan where a third pilot can rest.

The $46 million Lineage 1000 is the largest executive jet in Embraer’s product lineup. According to Stolf, the first model was delivered to its new owner in Abu Dhabi in May; orders placed today will be filled in late 2012.

Embraer, 954.359.3700, www.embraerexecutivejets.com

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