Matthew Stibbe

Aviation: Floating Option

In the sky above the Kalahari Desert, near the Jwaneng diamond mine in south central Botswana, one occasionally may spot an airship the length of a football field. The South African company De Beers prospects for diamonds aboard the craft, an $11.5 million Zeppelin made by a subsidiary of the company that Count Ferdinand von […]

Aircraft: Embraer Light

The latest very light jet, Embraer’s Phenom 100, might be the most attractive for passengers concerned with the space limitations of this new, relatively inexpensive class of aircraft. The $2.75 million Phenom 100 costs more than the segment’s two most prominent members, Cessna’s Citation Mustang ($2.4 million) and the Eclipse 500 ($1.47 million); however, the […]

Wings & Water: Castles in the Sky

When Phil Condit resigned from his position as CEO of the Boeing Co. amid a defense-contracting scandal at the end of 2003, he not only relinquished his job, he also gave up the home away from home—built for him by the company—that transported him on his travels. His executive perk, a Boeing Business Jet with […]

Aircraft: Magic Bus

Climb the stairs to the owner’s deck of an Airbus A380 converted by German private-jet completion specialist Lufthansa Technik, and you might encounter first a spacious bar and then a full-size galley before entering a gently curving corridor that leads past two ensuite guest bedrooms to the master suite. Here you could find an office, […]

Aircraft: Getting off the Ground

When the first FAA-conforming Eclipse 500 very light jet took to the skies this past New Year’s Eve, the event marked the beginning of a seven-plane flight test program that should culminate with certification in March 2006 and customer deliveries soon after for those who already have secured a spot on the waiting list. Those […]

Wings & Water: Safely at Speed

Of all the personal aircraft available to private pilots, the $329,000 Cirrus SR22 might be the safest. In addition to an onboard tracking system that monitors the movement of other aircraft and an easy-to-read flat-panel screen that displays maps detailed with GPS navigation, the plane is equipped with a parachute that can be deployed in […]

Wings & Water: Club in the Clouds

Ian Valentine completed the deal of a lifetime four years ago, when he sold his company, a firm that delivered interactive services to satellite  television set-top boxes, to Sky, the British broadcasting giant. As part of the deal, Valentine was hired by Sky, requiring him to fly commercial regularly between his home in Scotland and […]

Aircraft: Building on a Legacy

G5 executive had a problem. The Swiss charter firm, which flies clients aboard long-range business jets from one continent to another, needed a plane for shorter trips. Too often, G5 Executive had to ferry the empty big jets back from the Far East or North America to shuttle clients who had come to expect the […]

Best of the Best: Personal Aircraft

Diamond DA42 Twin Star Twin engines double the fun of flying this four-seater.   When you are flying in an unheated preproduction aircraft, the midwinter skies 7,500 feet above Austria are hardly hospitable. Yet the thrill of gripping the floor-mounted stick and piloting Diamond Aircraft’s revolutionary DA42 Twin Star is enough to temper the cockpit’s […]

Best of the Best: Business Jets

Multiflight Boeing Business Jet 2 The megayacht of the skies takes flight.   When David Hood, chairman of Multiflight, a British company that sells, charters, and maintains aircraft, set out to create the ultimate private jet, the last thing he wanted was a conventional cabin. So he turned to an unconventional source: Andrew Winch, a […]

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