Private Air Travel


Safer, faster, smarter; your complete guide to personal flight. Plus, Security: a new breed of bodyguard protects your peace of mind. Also exotic aircraft interiors, Maserati's amazing Spyder and the age of the plasma television arrives.

From This Issue

FrontRunners: Nobel Choice

Just as Aston Martin is forever associated with secret agents because of James Bond, now maybe Kawasaki will be connected with intelligence, thanks to Paul Nurse, winner of the 2001 Nobel Prize for medicine. Nurse, the director general of Britain’s Imperial Cancer Research Fund, shared the award with cancer researchers Tim Hunt and Leland Hartwell. […]

Robb Design Portfolio: The Finest Frames

Connoisseurs know that selecting a frame from the place and period of an artwork’s origin is rather like pairing the right wine with your favorite species of meat. it will either embellish or detract from the overall experience. Imagine the painful embarrassment of matching an early 17th-century Dutch frame with an 18th-century English portrait. Or […]

Robb Design Portfolio: Beautiful Birdcage: 1959 Maserati Tipo 61

Resembling the intricate fossilized remains of an ancient flying reptile, the frame of the fabled Maserati “Birdcage” is an assemblage of over 200 steel segments wrapped in a svelte aluminum skin. This fabulous sports racer was designed by Giulio Alfieri, Maserati’s chief design en-gineer, and a total of 21 examples were produced between 1959 and […]

FrontRunners: Rubber Soul

Carlo Crocco created a sensation 20 years ago when he introduced Hublot watches, solid gold timepieces with natural black rubber straps that are delicately scented with vanilla. Clearly ahead of his time, Crocco pioneered a concept that has become one of the most prevalent trends in the watch market, despite the fact that rubber straps […]

FrontRunners: Counterfeit – and Proud of It

Considering that more than half of the so-called Havana cigars purchased in the United States are counterfeit, it was only a matter of time before some enterprising company came up with the real deal. Genuine counterfeit Cuban cigars, that is. The cigars’ cedar box is boldly stamped “Genuine Pre-Embargo Cuban Cigars,” but the bright red […]

FrontRunners: Defensible Fashion

Most concealable holsters and shoulder rigs are utilitarian products made for law enforcement, accessories that will definitely clash with your handmade superfine wool suit. However, Galco International (800.USGALCO or, a gun holster maker in Phoenix, Ariz., has a line of concealable holsters that offer security without offending your fashion sensibility. Galco has long made […]

FrontRunners: No Sweat

At the national health club chain The Sports Club/LA (, you can arrive with sneakers and briefcase at 5 am, stay until the gym closes at 11 pm, and get in a full day’s work and a workout—even if you are traveling on business. The clubs can serve as remote home bases for business travelers, […]

FrontRunners: Fit to Be Tied

Neckties made with two-piece, seven-fold construction or silk sewn with 24-karat gold thread are often regarded as the ultimate, but Italian tie maker Tino Cosma has introduced something even more refined. The company’s new Luxury Edition ties, priced at around $180 each, are made from eight-ply silk, which means eight strands of luscious silk thread […]

FrontRunners: Public House

The private jewelry salon Martin Katz has been one of the best-kept secrets among celebrities and socialites—until now. The elite antique jeweler recently opened its first storefront on Brighton Way in Beverly Hills, but it maintains a private upstairs room for those clients who require complete privacy. For more than a decade, Katz and his […]

FrontRunners: On the Cuff

Cuff links are one of the few accessories that allow you to express some individual style and provide a glimpse of your taste, passions, and hobbies. “They often function as a gentleman’s calling card, like the cut of a man’s suit or the color of his necktie,” says Clifford Grodd, chief executive at Paul Stuart, […]

FrontRunners: Hold the Pickles

If the usual burger and fries have become too boring to bear, consider the most imaginative dish on the menu at Le Méridien at Beverly Hills hotel: the caviar burger. A layered concoction of be-luga and blinis, the burger is served with a basket of pommes frites and a glass of vodka at the hotel’s […]

Spirits: Madeira, My Dear?

If the amber Portuguese dessert wine, Madeira, is remembered now at all, it is for having been so long forgotten. It is an oddly obscure fate for a beverage that served in the 18th and 19th centuries as the standard of gentlemanly refinement—and that fueled a cottage industry: The buying and selling of stocks of […]

Dining: Finding Your Mantra

Like Alice stepping through the looking glass, walking into Mantra, a new Indian-nuanced French restaurant in downtown Boston, provides entry to a hip, stylish Wonderland. The experience begins with trying to locate the easily missed tall, narrow restaurant door. When you do finally enter, you are still not in the restaurant, but in an all-glass […]

Art: A Brazen Act

Visit the Smith College art exhibition Corot to Picasso, now on a two-year tour of American museums, and you will see a work by Edgar Degas that the artist never wanted displayed. In fact, some critics contend that the bronze sculpture attributed to him, Dancer Moving Forward, Arms Raised, Right Leg Forward, is not even […]

Autos: Super Solution

Cadillac, the best-selling luxury brand in the United States for nearly three-quarters of a century, is now barely treading water as it tries to compete against Lexus, BMW, and Mercedes-Benz. To shake up its image, General Motors’ flagship division has invested $4 billion in product development and a new plant in Lansing, Mich. Over the […]

Motorcycles: Gold Standard

Long-distance rides wear you out, mentally and physically. To stay alert, some of us who log 500 miles a day play mind games. We hold the proverbial carrot out by promising ourselves, if we tough out another 175 miles, a posh hotel room, or if we make it home that night, drinks at our favorite […]

Boating: Drop-Top Dream

Marcel Shears, director of Australian boat maker Cabriolet Royale, recently received a phone call from a customer in St. Petersburg, Fla., who was thrilled that he had hit 74 mph in his new Cabriolet Royale 34 fiberglass speedboat. “Why don’t you push it a little harder and do your age?” Shears asked. “I just might,” […]

Travel: Site for Sore Eyes

If you have ever tried to pack too many sights into a 12-day trip, you know how vital it is to build “vacation time” into your vacations. In South America, there is a place that provides nothing but a respite from your travels. The Four Seasons Car-melo in Uruguay (formerly known as the Madison Resort, […]

Wardrobe: Norris Code

American designers have been infiltrating the European fashion capitals and their premier houses for years. But Maggie Norris stands alone as one of the few Americans to step into the realm of haute couture without the backing of a major fashion house. “I always wanted to work in haute couture,” says Norris, who spent 14 […]

Health & Grooming: Herbal Renewal

In 1221, an order of Dominican monks cultivated herbs in a monastery garden in Florence, Italy, to produce medicinal balms and creams for the sick. Such acts of charity were not uncommon in the 13th century. Many convents and monasteries set aside space for infirmaries and pharmacies that mixed early elixirs such as rose water, […]

Jewelry: Golden Girl

At a recent auction, Hoda Esphahani, Sotheby’s newly appointed chairman of international jewelry, was conferring with her client on the phone while bidding for a rare Piaget watch when the line suddenly went dead. “I had to make an instant decision to go well beyond the price that we had agreed would be her top […]

Watches: Time-Savers

Investing in a complicated watch requires more than a commitment of money. Like their automotive counterparts, these finely engineered mechanical marvels require regular maintenance to maximize performance as well as preserve value. Many watch owners neglect routine servicing, however, because quality watches—even vintage models—are so reliable. But just because they are ticking does not mean […]

Appliances: Lifting the Hood

Range hoods perform the unglamorous but necessary task of sucking smoke, odors, and grease out of the kitchen. That does not mean they have to look ugly, however. A few designers have raised the creation of this functional feature to a work of art. “The range hood is the first thing you encounter at eye […]

Feature: Go for Brokerage

In July 2001, two Tennessee doctors approached Tony Moseley, owner of Tennessee Jet Aircraft, a company that buys and sells brokerage aircraft. The year before, the doctors had purchased two Learjets from a charter company. The owner of the charter company said he would rent the planes back from the doctors to help offset financing […]

Feature: Securing the Skies

A dozen years ago, security consultant Israel “Issy” Boim was hired to evaluate a Fortune 500 CEO’s personal security as he traveled abroad. The CEO had bodyguards and privately arranged transportation, including a corporate jet—the things he would need to keep him safe from anyone who would want to harm him. As they waited to […]

Securing the Skies: Private Flight Who’s Who

Fractional Programs Of the many fractional ownership programs currently available, the main players in terms of size and national scope are NetJets, Flexjet, Travelair, Citation Shares, and Flight Options. While pricing in each category of jets (light, medium, and heavy) is fairly consistent across the programs, this may change as the 15-year-old industry matures and […]

Feature: The Fifth Profession

The notion of a bodyguard conjures up images of burly bouncers in ill-fitting suits and dark glasses who flank their client like a pair of enormous granite bookends. More often than not, we associate them with movie stars, professional athletes, and, at the opposite extreme, organized crime. It’s an impression belied by true professionals, who […]

Symposium: A Lament for Leisure

There is a scene in The Magnificent Ambersons, Booth Tarkington’s tale of the Gilded Age, in which George, the young scion of what used to be called an American dynasty, is asked what profession he intends to take up. “None,” he replies. “Lawyers, bankers, politicians—what do they ever get out of life?” “But what do […]

Wheels: A Spin in the Spyder

First impressions certainly contain elements of reliability, but wiser judges know that last impressions are typically lasting impressions. And so for years, America’s last recollections of one Italian car company and its products have been chafing executives at Officine Alfieri Maserati SpA of Modena. They anxiously await the spring, however, when the yeas and nays […]

Leisure: The Guggenheim Gamble

Sheldon Adelson throws his arms up, waves them with a flourish, and declares, “Not even Bugsy Siegel would have thought of this!” Adelson is presiding over the October opening of the Guggenheim Las Vegas and Guggenheim Hermitage museums of modern art at The Venetian, his Las Vegas resort. This is the art museum event of […]

Home Tour: House of the Rising Son

The Umanskys are lucky. They seem to suffer neither generation gaps nor family feuds. As proof, one need go no further than the contemporary Beverly Hills residence Alfredo and Betty Umansky have called home for the past two and a half years. Their art-filled house, replete with stone, glass, and wood accents, blends traditional and […]