For those poking around the private jet market but not seeing anything that truly embodies conspicuous luxury, aircraft manufacturer Embraer has the answer: a plane with a wraparound sunroof.
The sunroof wraps around the sides and top of the aircraft, offering amazing views to the surrounding skies. The windows are the size of a typical door on a commercial plane.
Embraer has given the Lineage 1000 aircraft with this feature the “Kyoto Airship,” and the price starts at $53 million.
Jay Beever, Embraer’s vice president of interior design, told Wired that a potential customer of the Kyoto Airship would be a Japanese businessman who prefers to sit on the floor, bathed in sunlight.
Although installing the super-sized windows is a fairly easy procedure — just punch some holes in the plane’s fuselage and then stick some windows in there — the placement can work against the plane’s structural integrity. Beever said this problem is alleviated by the windows’ placement in front of the wings.
However, the large windows will add weight to the plane and hurt fuel economy. But then, if you’re buying a $53 million private jet, is fuel economy your biggest concern? Probably not.
Embraer is experimenting with electrochromic glass to allow tinting and shading of the windows, which could make it possible to completely block out light (for nap time).
If a wraparound sunroof isn’t motivation enough to consider Kyoto Airship, the plane’s 800-square-foot living space comes with a queen-sized bed and two-person shower.
“We’ve proven to ourselves that we can make this,” Beever told Wired. “And when a Lineage customer is ready to order this airplane, we will make it.”
While commercial fliers can seethe and cite world poverty statistics, it’s impossible to deny that it would be pretty cool to fly through the through the skies with a near-panoramic view of the world outside.