Seamless flow: the ACJ350XWB cabin concept 

At last year’s EBACE2019, AMAC Aerospace and Pininfarina presented an innovative cabin concept for the Airbus Corporate Jets 350XWB aimed to innovate the on-board experience, leading some to forget they are flying on an aircraft.

By Sylvie Peron

The arrival on the market of a new generation of wide body aircraft allows for all sorts of innovative concepts from designers to suit the needs of their demanding customers. Among the ‘one per cent’ of the world’s population able to afford travelling in such rarefied atmosphere, some will be thrilled to hear about AMAC Aerospace & Pininfarina innovative cabin concept for the Airbus Corporate Jets 350XWB. Leveraging on Pininfarina design expertise and AMAC Aerospace’s unique completion capabilities, the concept aims to offer a different on-board experience.

Setting the bar for the future

The inspiration came from the eclectic Italian Pininfarina’s design expertise ranging for the nautical to the architectural interior design, in partnership with AMAC Aerospace. Based in Basel, Switzerland, the organisation has developed competencies in bespoke conceiving, production and installation of the most discerning cabins in the world. The synergy between both companies is obvious.

“Aviation Completions are becoming dynamic, artistic, welcoming yet remain complicated. We have dealt and installed contemporary, culturally assertive, intelligently designed cabins in the past but what we see today from Pininfarina is a whole new kind of cabin, harnessed with clever human input that manifests itself into areas that anyone can afford, work in, relax and utilize. The work that has gone into this concept sets the bar for the future,” said Waleed K. Muhiddin, AMAC Aerospace Director Business Development & Marketing.

Few and far-between wide-body aircraft

On average each year, the completion market sees about a dozen aircraft of great diversity coming in to be fitted. Few of them are wide-bodies. Completion Centres assign slots to each project they have been awarded. Once these have been allotted, there is a delay of close to a year, depending on the nature of the work and the size of the aircraft.

AMAC Aerospace is in constant dialogue with interested parties with regard to future projects coming along. Anyone interested in pursuing their services is firmly encouraged to get rapidly in touch with them to secure a slot in time.

This winter 2020, AMAC is returning to service ‘Acropolis II’, the first ACJ320neo in the world. A second B747-8i has been inducted for ‘a nose to tail’ completion.

Bespoke solutions

Pininfarina has been growing at an impressive pace in both nautical and architecture sectors. Its expertise in designing interiors and exteriors for the most exclusive motor and sailing yachts harks back to the 1980’s, developing important partnerships over the years with clients such as Beneteau, Primatist, Fincantieri, Rossinavi, Wally, Princess and Persico Marine. In the last few years, the studio has expanded its field of action in architecture. Today, it ranks fifth among the top ten hundred architecture and design companies operating in Italy. The studio’s current projects span across different geographical locations – such as China, Cyprus, Turkey, the United States, Brazil, and Italy – many of which have won several prestigious awards.

Over the years, the Torino-based design studio has collaborated with the world’s most important aviation companies, designing cabin interiors of private jets and commercial aircraft for companies like AMAC, Agusta Westland, Airbus, Bell Helicopters, Boeing, Leonardo, Iacobucci and Piaggio Aero Industries. 

Since its foundations bespoke solutions have become part of the design studio’s DNA. A Learjet 60 designed for Aero Toy Store is one of its many creations for private aviation. 

Pininfarina also possesses a more industrial soul, developed over years of automotive manufacturing. The Cambiano Iacobucci Business Seat, winner of the International Yacht and Aviation design Awards 2018, is a good illustration.

Balanced design

The concept of life flowing seamlessly is expressed in the 308sqm of cabin space of this ACJ 350XWB by a unique open space sculptured by a flowing band that gives life to different environments. The welcoming area is furnished with a wet bar to receive guests. Following the band, the traveller finds the relaxing area imagined as a cocoon characterized by an intimate atmosphere: embracing sofas facing a transparent giant screen allowing either to project or to enjoy the view. Completing the lounge, the dining area is conceived both to share meals, and to hold meetings. A chaiselongue green space is dedicated for relaxing moments.

 “Private Jets have strong limitations in terms of space and weight. Leveraging on a multidisciplinary team of designers allowed us to come up with innovative solutions while being aware of the technical constraints of the project in a perfect balance among aesthetics and feasibility,” says Francesco Lovo, Business Unit Industrial Design & Architecture Senior Vice President. 

“For different reasons, some people do not like to fly: fear of highness, claustrophobia, limited field of action, etc. The goal of the project was to create a comfortable and enjoyable experience that makes you forget being onboard,” he adds. “Particularly challenging was the necessity to encase multiple ambiences, dedicated to different activities, into a single area. Inside the ACJ 350XWB you can enjoy a drink, relax on comfortable couches surrounded by greenery, have dinner gazing at the sunset on the ocean or watch a movie on a giant screen. Everything has been designed around the traveler’s needs: relaxing, working, dining, entertaining conversations and holding meetings.” 

The giant virtual glass wall has been conceived to respond to several different needs: Relaxing while enjoying the external view thanks to the use of particular cameras, watching movies or choosing among different entertainment options, and work, projecting presentations or other important documents. The idea was to empower guests giving them a broad range of choices according to their specific needs and moods.

Specific other new technologies are integrated into the concept. “The cabin features peculiar components such as the Natural Green elements allowing to recreate an ‘at-home’ atmosphere that, thanks to a process of stabilization, could be used on the aircraft. Along with a careful choice of leathers and materials, the lighting system specifically evocates the home experience,” explains Lovo. “Another one is AMAC’s patented certified induction-cooking top, that enables to have chef-live cooking experiences on board.”  

Customer centric

From its foundation, in 1930, Pininfarina has been dedicated to the creation of bespoke cars for special clients. Its natural vocation to realize client’s dreams continues today in different sectors, from automotive, to aviation, to nautical, to architecture. AMAC Aerospace shares the very same DNA, providing bespoke interiors to the most demanding individuals.

Both are committed to keeping the client at the center of all their projects.