Aviation News

The ACJ320neo is Redefining Corporate Jet Interiors

A full master bedroom suite. A marble sink. Original artwork. No, we’re not talking about an upscale apartment in Manhattan — we’re talking about the ACJ320neo: the new gold standard for luxury flying. Opulent, spacious, grandiose, and breathtaking are just a few of the words you might use to describe this recommissioned Airbus A320. To really do it justice, you might just have to stand there, mouth agape, taking it all in. Words simply don’t do it justice.

With great power comes great luxury

The world is getting smaller every day. High-powered executives and heads of state are expected to travel enormous distances in the blink of an eye. Of course, the world doesn’t stop turning because you’re in transit. These same people need to stay on the job or recharge their batteries while heading from point A to point B. That’s the problem Acropolis Aviation will address with the G-KELT, their first completed ACJ320neo, a line of opulent recommissioned commercial aircraft.

The ACJ320neo is designed to be all things to all travelers: fully equipped office, luxury suite, first-class restaurant, and home away from home. To make it happen, designers implemented some exciting technological updates to match an interior that’s fit for royalty.

If Buckingham palace could fly

When perusing the features onboard the ACJ320neo, it’s impossible not to think you’ve stepped into the future. Keeping your mouth from watering is also a bit difficult.

  • Flowing design: The cabin of the ACJ320neo is designed to emulate flowing sand dunes and rivers. The result is a relaxing space that’s perfect for catching up on your sleep.
  • The NEO effect: The “neo” tag on this beasts’ name is more than just slick marketing. It means the ACJ320neo sports 15% less fuel burn, 15% less cabin altitude, and the ability to fly more than 1,700 nautical miles farther than a traditional A320.
  • Flawless connection: To help you keep in touch, the ACJ320neo comes equipped with high-speed Internet access.
  • Stand tall: With the industry’s widest and tallest interior, the ACJ320neo boasts 15% more cabin volume than the closest competitor.
  • Go anywhere: The ACJ320neo is capable of a 6,000-mile flight in one jump. That’s the equivalent of flying from London to Beijing in a single trip.

With the ACJ320neo, you won’t miss a single creature comfort while you’re traveling. Indeed, you might miss some of the ACJ320neo’s amenities while you’re home!

Source: airbus.com

A grand tradition

The ACJ320neo is the latest Airbus to raise the bar on spacious private jets. It’s a competition that major commercial manufacturers have waged for years.

Sometimes it’s for a specific customer. Saudi Arabia’s Prince Al-Waleed bin Talal owns two luxury jets. The first is a refitted 747. The second is a Custom Airbus A380 that totaled $500 million by the time they finished the concert hall and Turkish bath.

Other times, aircraft are created for specific purposes. Take the world’s most expensive private jet: Air Force One, which cost approximately $660 million. Of course, Air Force One’s budget focuses less on solid-gold fixtures (like those found in the Sultan of Brunei’s plane) and more on being able to survive a nuclear blast.

Fly the Custom Skies

More than anything, the ACJ320neo proves there is more ground to be broken in the world of private flight. With bold new entries like Acropolis Aviation’s G-KELT, the ripple of innovation will be felt at every echelon of the personal aircraft industry.

The expert jet brokers at L & L International are here to help you acquire the perfect jet. Need to sell your jet? We can assist with that, too. Contact the private aviation professionals online, at sales@L-Lint.com, or at +1 (305) 754-3313.

Summer Vacations are Still on for Private Jetsetters

Demand for private aviation during times of unsafe travel is well-documented. Even as recently as the start of the coronavirus pandemic, people have had no trouble booking private charters simply to avoid getting on a commercial flight. Now, we might see another spike in demand — this time due to vacationers.

Although there are still heavy restrictions on travel and little confidence in commercial air travel, private aviation has emerged as a smart way to vacation safely. And while it might mean tacking an extra zero onto your vacation budget, for many, it’s well-worth the price for a much-needed getaway.

Travelling in the middle of a pandemic

Summer has brought a fresh wave of charter inquiries, and they’re all from a new type of customer. Charters like Flexjet and Magellan Jets have witnessed a spike in demand from vacationers due to health concerns amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. People who have the money are desperate to get out of their homes and are willing to pay a hefty price for the sake of avoiding crowded commercial airlines. Private charters took a hit from the pandemic, yet they’ve broken last year’s record for acquisition of new clients.

The coronavirus pandemic ushered in a financial crisis different from the rest. Normally, flyers would save thousands of dollars by going commercial. But in the midst of shattered economies, vacationers are willing to dish out a few extra bucks to stay safe on a private jet. Charters are well aware of this and have begun enticing vacationers with affordable membership programs — from discounted jet cards to pay-as-you-fly rates and even pay-now, fly-later discounts.

Winter destinations and private beaches

Vacationers want more than private flight accommodations — they’re looking for the whole package. Social distancing requirements are pushing clients to visit places normally considered winter destinations. Residents of Florida and Texas are travelling north to ski towns in Colorado to avoid crowds and enjoy the mountainous landscape. National parks like Yellowstone and Glacier are popular destinations for social distancing as well.

Flyers can truly get away from it all with countless vacation spots around the world. Musha Cay Resort is located in the Bahamas and boasts five separate villas, each with their own private beach. Private jets arrive directly on-site thanks to an airstrip at one of the many private islands in Copperfield Bay. Sweet Bocas in Panama offers a villa in the middle of gorgeous waters and connects to its own private island, also private jet accessible.

Private aviation remains strong

New clients search for remote destinations while the usual summer hotspots have yet to reopen. Even though some popular vacation spots are hosting a soft reopening, travelers are hesitant to visit cities and other places with heavy foot traffic due to ongoing social distance requirements. Villas and hotel buyouts are favored alternatives for people who want to visit extended relatives in privacy.

Cruises and commercial flights aren’t great options right now. But private vacations are still possible for those desperate to get out of the house. And with deals like jet sharing and cheap flight cards, now is the best time for vacationers to take a trip in their very own private jet. It all adds up to a revitalization of the private aviation industry, one flight at a time.

The expert jet brokers at L & L International are here to help you acquire the perfect jet. Need to sell your jet? We can assist with that, too. Contact the private aviation professionals online, at sales@L-Lint.com, or at +1 (305) 754-3313.

Honeywell Sets its Sights on Autonomous Flight

Honeywell is already a household name in avionics. Now, the company is hoping to become an even bigger player in a massive market with yet-untapped potential: autonomous flight. While companies like Google’s Waymo are working to build fully autonomous ground vehicles, Honeywell is throwing its proverbial hat into the ring and working to bring that same technology to the skies. Borrowing concepts from its four-wheeled counterparts, Honeywell is attempting to teach light aircraft how to take off and land without any pilot intervention.

The future is autonomous

Honeywell isn’t the only corporation with its eyes set on urban air mobility (UAM) aircraft. They’re partnering with Vertical Aerospace, Volocopter, and others to make the dream of autonomous flying a reality. Autonomous aircraft would give private aviation companies a shorter turnaround time and reduce (or eliminate) the workload for pilots, ensuring a safer flying experience. Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) also would revolutionize private jets and cargo drone operations in urban environments.

It’ll be a while before commercial airlines get their hands on autonomous technology. Honeywell favors eVTOL (electric vertical take-off and landing) vehicles for flight testing and sees a future rife with UAV potential — one where executives forego crowded terminals and fly straight to their destination in a UAV that lands on city rooftops.

Inside look at Honeywell’s operations

Honeywell has chosen the remote desert of Phoenix to set up camp. Their aircraft of choice is an Airbus AS350 equipped with cameras and sensors that detect QR codes on a landing pad. This technological strategy guides the helicopter toward a safe location without human interference.

Source: honeywell.com

The industrial conglomerate has experience with programming autopilot and intends to use this advantage to advance in the untapped UAV market. Honeywell and their partners are working exclusively with eVTOL aircraft for testing takeoff and landing features. The primary goal of the operation is to collect sensor data to further refine the capabilities of these sensors to act and react to their surroundings.

When will the future arrive?

The race has begun to see which manufacturer will announce the industry’s first autonomous aircraft. Once UAVs are approved for the market, private aviation companies can expect a surge of interest from new and recurring customers. Autonomous aircraft could turn out to be the financial boost charters need as they recover from the pandemic.

Developers at Honeywell are working fast to create a takeoff and landing demonstration by the summer of 2021. With a fully autonomous eVTOL vehicle, Honeywell can achieve large strides toward a UAV model that may become available to the market in subsequent years. When that happens, private jets with autonomous capabilities will be the next hottest trend in aviation. After all, it’s a market projected to garner as much as $120 billion by 2030!

Contact the experts at L & L International if you need assistance acquiring or selling a private jet. You can reach our sales specialists today at sales@L-Lint.com, call us any time at +1 (305) 754-3313, or visit us online.

Gulfstream’s G550 is Officially Out of Production

Much like the original Game Boy or the 1950s Volkswagen Beetle, some of the most iconic products ever created eventually retire, paving the way for bigger and better versions. That time has come for one of the most iconic jets ever created: the Gulfstream G550. Production on this industry-leading jet will stop after a final order, set to be delivered in 2021. It’s the end of an era, and it’s worth looking back to see exactly why the Gulfstream G550 stayed at the top of its class for so long.

A bittersweet farewell to the G550

Gulfstream is looking toward a future that promises continuous innovation. In order to focus their attention on creating bigger and better aircraft, they’ve decided to officially end production of the G550 in 2021. But Gulfstream isn’t scrapping the model for good. Its most popular features are here to stay in the new lineup.

Since 2003, the Gulfstream G550 has broken records (55!) for top speeds and set the standard for subsequent generations. The plane’s developers received the 2003 Robert J. Collier Trophy for industry-leading innovations and the newest safety technology. The legacy of Gulfstream’s G550 lives on through newer models, which boast the best in range, safety, and innovation.

Best in the fleet

The G550 has become an industry leader for innovation and reliability. Gulfstream’s 2003 model is best known for introducing the PlaneView flight deck. It allows for greater visibility and reduces the overall workload for pilots. This streamlined control center is one of Gulfstream’s most renowned safety features to date. The G550 has an Enhanced Flight Vision System for additional safety while landing.

The award-winning aircraft also has the best specs in Gulfstream’s fleet. Its Rolls-Royce engines carry passengers at a maximum range of 6,750 NM with the lowest possible amount of fuel. A high payload allows for up to 19 passengers with panoramic views in four different living spaces.

Descendants of the G550

The G550 kick started Gulfstream’s prestigious seat in the private aviation industry. Now, it’s time to give newer models the spotlight. The G550 was a pioneer in its time, and its legacy continues to serve passengers through Gulfstream’s G650ER and new generations of the G500 and G600.

Gulfstream currently has more than 600 G550’s in service and will continue providing assistance to their owners. Even though production is set to end in 2021, more than 30 service centers around the world will remain open for maintenance and to distribute G550 parts. And don’t worry, there are still plenty of serviceable G550’s around for those who can’t get enough of its industry-leading ingenuity!

The expert jet brokers at L & L International are here to help you acquire the perfect jet. Need to sell your jet? We can assist with that, too. Contact the private aviation professionals online, at sales@L-Lint.com, or at +1 (305) 754-3313.

Charting BizAV’s Recovery: ARGUS Data Outlines the Impact of COVID-19

Private aviation has been a roller coaster over the past six months. The industry started the year strong, logging a 1.21% growth in flights in January 2020 vs. January 2019. February was even better — up 2.63%. These early months were a combination of general travel and an early rise in demand for evacuation charters, helping people get home before borders began to close. Then, COVID-19 struck in full force. Private aviation charters fell off a cliff, down 22.5% in March, 68.3% in April, and 63.8% in May. Now, flight totals are trending back up, signaling recovery.

This data and much more is available through a comprehensive new report compiled by ARGUS. The data not only shows how aviation fared during the pandemic, it also provides quantitative insight into the ensuing recovery.

ARGUS predicts a rebound for charters

Data from ARGUS confirms the private aviation industry is beginning a slow return to normalcy. Charters are reporting more flights with losses reduced from 63.8% in May to 53.37% in June. While these numbers sit far below what the industry saw in 2019, the upturn in flights promises a much brighter forecast than March.

Commercial airlines have started to recover as well. Similar to private charters, they managed to reduce their losses by almost 10% going into June. As countries reopen borders and their economies, passengers are resuming their summer vacation plans and pursuing postponed business trips. The rebound for international and domestic travel is slow but consistently on the rise.

Small businesses are looking for private flights

Executives are resuming business trips and want private jets to help them get the job done. Although it’s unlikely that new jet sales will skyrocket, it is expected that private jet charters will see an uptick in bookings. A common misconception, however, is that massive conglomerates are scheduling long distance flights for twenty or more people. The truth is, only about 3% of business aviation accounts are for larger companies. Private charters regularly serve small and mid-sized businesses, along with universities and nonprofit organizations. They prefer aircraft with smaller cabins and typically travel less than a thousand nautical miles.

While business aviation is beginning to bounce back, the coronavirus pandemic continues to loom in the background. That’s why private charters are a popular choice among companies booking flights for employees. They can enjoy aircraft that seats just six passengers and avoid crowded terminals at commercial airlines.

The UK business aviation sector gets left behind

Business aviation began rising in the United Kingdom, but came to a screeching halt quickly. May was a great month with more than April’s total flights seen in a single weekend. But at the beginning of June, government concerns about a second wave of COVID-19 ushered in new quarantine restrictions. After entering the United Kingdom, passengers must remain in quarantine for 14 days. As a result, private charters are back in a rut because such restrictions are discouraging travel, and people are already cancelling scheduled flights.

United Kingdom charters hope the government will lift restrictions soon, which would let them catch up with other business aviation sectors across the world. And they might just get their wish. Safety measures like personal protective equipment and widespread COVID-19 testing at airports clear a path for private charters to resume business as usual.

For the rest of the world — the U.S. included — it looks like clear skies ahead for private aviation, regardless of the trajectory of COVID-19.

Contact the experts at L & L International if you need assistance acquiring or selling a private jet. You can reach our sales specialists today at sales@L-Lint.com, call us any time at +1 (305) 754-3313, or visit us online.

Will Personal VTOL Craft Pave the Way for Intrastate Air Commute?

Vertical Take-Off and Landing (VTOL) aircraft aren’t novel; yet there’s been more buzz than usual about these aircraft in recent years. Now, in 2020, several companies have trotted out prototypes for single- and multi-passenger VTOLs in the hopes to capitalize on what they think will be a brand-new market segment: Intrastate air travel.

Take a commute like Washington D.C. to Baltimore, MD. It’s an hour by car on the Washington Parkway — or as much as 90 minutes with traffic. Yet, it’s a distance too short for chartering a jet. Helicopter travel is an option, but not one that’s widely accessible. Through all these variables is where you’ll find the addressable market for VTOLs.

VTOLs offer lucrative benefits

Private aviation companies have their eye on VTOL prototypes as a segue into unlocking the lucrative possibilities for rapid intrastate travel. Because VTOL aircraft take off and land from a standstill, there’s no need for a runway — which means no need for airfield crews or terminal rentals. Unlike private jets and conventional airplanes, VTOL aircraft can go just about anywhere.

There’s also broader access to passengers to consider. With a private jet, passengers must be at a jet-friendly location to fly. Juxtapose this with a taxi, for example. Which generates more revenue in a day? Week? Monthly? With VTOL aircraft, travel distances may be shorter, but that only makes them more accessible and in-demand. All this, without flying from one airport to the next.

Finally, VTOL technology allows private aviation companies access to various aircraft designs, which may be more lucrative investments. When people hear about VTOL aircraft, they often visualize helicopters, powered with rotary wings. However, companies like Boeing have begun to push the envelope on what VTOL aircraft can look like. The Bell Boeing V-22 Osprey, for example, has VTOL capabilities but uses fixed wings during flight.

Source: bellflight.com

Here’s what the future of VTOL looks like

VTOL prototypes come and go, but the latest crop of contenders looks more promising than ever before.

Canadian aerospace producer WatFly announced plans to begin producing its Atlas VTOL next year. The craft runs on electricity, emitting zero pollution, which has piqued the attention of flyers with cognitive dissonance surrounding the current spotlight on jet emissions. The Atlas seats one person and WatFly claims it’s easier to operate than a car. The craft is currently only approved for recreational use.

Market adjacent is Jaunt Air Mobility, with its Journey VTOL. The craft takes off like a helicopter and flies like an airplane — similar to the hybrid performance of the V-22 Osprey. According to Jaunt, its prototype is 63 percent quieter than helicopters, with LevelFly technology for stable take-offs and landings. The company has its eyes set on the up-and-coming intrastate commuter industry.

VTOL is the new way to get places

In the coming years, companies like Uber will transform how urban dwellers travel in the city. Getting stuck in LA’s bumper-to-bumper traffic will be a thing of the past. VTOL craft have the potential to bring taxis to the sky.

VTOL aircraft will save passengers hours of commuting time on interstate roads. Uber air taxis and other future aircraft will skip over traffic jams and offer the fastest route between locations. The biggest selling point? Once VTOL craft hit the market, intrastate travelers will take to the sky simply for the novelty of it — then stay for the benefits.

The expert jet brokers at L & L International are here to help you acquire the perfect jet. Need to sell your jet? We can assist with that, too. Contact the private aviation professionals online, at sales@L-Lint.com, or at +1 (305) 754-3313.

Commercial Airlines Benefit From a Bailout; Will BIzAV Get the Same?

On March 27, 2020, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act was ratified. The bill is a major stimulus for areas of the economy hit hardest by the COVID-19 pandemic — commercial aviation included.

The bill offers airlines just north of $60 billion in support loans and grants, in the hope airlines will keep their staff tenured and their operations afloat for the next few months. The problem? The bill is only inclusive to Part 135 operators, which leaves a majority of the private aviation sector (Part 91) to fend for itself.

Commercial aviation’s bailout

The funds appropriated to commercial aviation via the CARES Act are akin to the bailouts given to the automotive industry in the Great Recession. The breakdown of the $61 billion is really split into two forms of aid. First, there’s $29 billion in loans and loan guarantees for air carriers, Part 145 aircraft repair stations, and ticket agents. Then, there’s $32 billion in payroll protection grants for air carriers and their contractors. The two funds will prop up commercial aviation over the next several months.

In addition to direct funding, commercial aviation will also benefit from a provision offering “relief to air carriers from federal excise taxes that apply to transporting passengers and cargo, and the purchase of aviation jet fuel.” Airports and commercial aviation facilities also receive aid above and beyond the $61 billion allocated to operators, to the tune of $10 billion for large airports and $100 million for service facilities.

What about private aviation?

Language in the CARES Act leaves private aviation almost entirely out. The stimulus focuses on Part 135 operators and the roughly 750,000 jobs within the commercial aviation industry. Part 91 operators are, ultimately, left high and dry.

But business aviation is pushing for its own stimulus. In a joint letter to the Senate, top executives from across the business and private aviation sector called attention to the lack of support for BizAV and respectfully asked legislators to consider the impact of COVID-19 on long-term business. The letter states:

“We applaud your decisive actions to provide rapid relief during this crisis. As you consider the third relief package, we respectfully request that all air carriers, including air charter and fractional operators, be included as was the case in Air Transportation Safety and System Stabilization Act passed after the September 11 terrorist attacks. These companies are a vital part of our transportation network and serve as a lifeline for communities large and small throughout the country.”

The optics of a bailout

It’s widely speculated that BizAV was omitted from the CARES Act due to bad optics. The general public associates private aviation with wealthy extravagance and often fails to see its practical utility. Extending financial aid to the aviation industry as a whole — including private air charters — may have been seen as freewheeling by those already critical of the bailout.

Is it likely private aviation will get its own bailout? In the present climate, no. That said, there are provisions baked into the CARES Act that charter companies may be able to take advantage of — namely, the $500 billion allocated for big business recovery, of which any enterprise can apply for government assistance.

Economic downturn at the hands of COVID-19 is far from over, and it’s likely that the economy will languish long after the pandemic has passed. Private aviation, like all businesses, is in for a rocky time. While there’s no promising prospects for another aviation bailout, there will likely be opportunity for general stimulus as government continues to support the economy.

Contact the experts at L & L International if you need assistance acquiring or selling a private jet. You can reach our sales specialists today at sales@L-Lint.com, call us any time at +1 (305) 754-3313, or visit us online.

Coronavirus is Driving Huge Demand for Private Jet Charters

It’s been a little more than 90 days since coronavirus first appeared in the headlines. Since then, it’s become a full-blown pandemic, affecting more than 25 countries and tens of thousands of people.

Beyond the obvious health ramifications, virtually every sector of the economy has been crippled by the virus. Manufacturing facilities have shut down. Supply chains have ground to a halt. World economies have plunged. But amidst all this, private aviation is … up? It sounds too good to be true, but private aviation has seen a boom by almost every metric over the last quarter, fueled largely by fears of coronavirus.

Why is the private aviation industry booming?

Private aviation largely has the media to thank for its upswing in demand. As media frenzy mobilizes people to fly home, thousands request private charters to distance themselves from the latest coronavirus outbreak. Flights are the most expensive when they’re requested to arrive within 24 hours. But many businesses and individuals are paying whatever it takes to evacuate coronavirus-infected locations.

People choose private jets because it reduces their risk of contracting coronavirus. Commercial airlines have a much larger volume of people passing through their terminals. There’s no telling where the passengers have been or if they’re sick. With a private jet, people fly with their colleagues or family, without the presence of strangers. Often, that peace of mind is worth the price of the flight.

Demand increases as coronavirus spreads

Unlike commercial airlines, travel bans don’t always restrict private aviation. Passengers board jets from a separate terminal and bypass health screenings. While airlines are cancelling commercial flights, private jets are swooping in to evacuate those who can afford it.

More people than usual are turning to private aviation companies. Wealthy families who’d normally book a commercial flight are dropping thousands on private charters, whether to get home or to preserve the vacation they’ve already pre-planned. In fact, the industry experienced a 214% increase in business this past January!

As long as coronavirus remains at large, the private aviation boom won’t slow down anytime soon.

Travel restrictions and their loopholes

Many countries affected by coronavirus have strict traveling policies. China has prohibited inbound flights, and those arriving face quarantine for the next 14 days. Italy, Iran, and more countries by the day have begun following suit. It’s getting harder and harder to ignore the relative ease of private aviation as airports become frenzied.

The U.S. also is prohibiting entrance from anyone who’s visited Iran within the last 14 days. Although the U.S. will permit entrance from China, all flights route to one of the few approved airports. But that’s for U.S. citizens only. They’re not accepting non-U.S. citizens from China at all.

Private aviation bypasses these and many other travel restrictions. Passengers on private jets also don’t have to go through added checkpoints and temperature checks. They’ll be able to travel much faster than passengers on commercial flights.

While economies across the world are suffering, the private aviation industry is thriving. If coronavirus sticks around, private aviation will see more than enough interest to stay afloat during the economic stress.

The expert jet brokers at L & L International are here to help you acquire the perfect jet. Need to sell your jet? We can assist with that, too. Contact the private aviation professionals online, at sales@L-Lint.com, or at +1 (305) 754-3313.

A Look at Dirigibles and their Role in the Future of Aviation

Airships don’t have the best history. Many ventures have tried and failed to get off the ground, and there’s always the black mark of the Hindenburg disaster of 1937 to contend with as well. But that hasn’t stopped innovators from exploring the potential of rigid airships. Thanks to new technologies and demand for certain forms of air travel, we’re likely to see dirigibles again soon. New designs, including the mammoth Airlander 10 airship prototype, could herald the next wave of airships in a fanfare of new-age air travel.

Airships throughout history

Airships have been a source of fascination since 1785, when two innovators managed to cross the English Channel in a hydrogen balloon. By 1852, Henri Giffard flew a steerable, steam-powered airship for 17 miles, going at a speed of about 6 mph. By the 1960s, the Goodyear blimp was a household name.

Airships may not be entirely practical for long-distance travel, but by harnessing mid-latitude jet streams, Fedor Konyukhov was able to cross the world in just 11 days back in 2016. While the slow speed would be a drawback for travelers, a Swedish company called OceanSky Cruises thinks that’s part of the charm. Instead of hydrogen, these airships are diesel and electric powered.

A new old way to travel

The carbon footprint that comes with private aviation travel has been at the forefront of environmental discussions in the last few years, with the term “flight shame” coined in 2019. OceanSky Cruises points out that rigid airships are kinder to the environment and produce 75% fewer emissions than comparable aircraft. This is due to the helium-filled hull, which makes it “lighter than air.”

Experts suggest that airships might be a good way to handle last mile delivery, thanks to the ability of airships to take off and land in places that other aircraft, like cargo jets, cannot. But the founder of OceanSky Cruises is hoping to use dirigibles for another purpose: luxury travel.

Like a modern cruise ship or luxury train ride, the “low and slow” flights could be the newest way to travel recreationally. Current models may be able to stay in the air as long as three days, carry 16 passengers, and cover as much as 2,000 nautical miles. OceanSky Cruises compares them to a “floating 5-star hotel.”

With safety measures constantly upgraded and tested, OceanSky predicts this quiet and slow method of travel could take off by the year 2024. Will they replace jets? Probably not — but the idea is intriguing to airship aficionados. OceanSky is just one of several companies pouring money into dirigible development, with many applications in mind. In the broadening realm of air travel, dirigibles may yet still find a niche to occupy.

Contact the experts at L & L International if you need assistance acquiring or selling a private jet. You can reach our sales specialists today at sales@L-Lint.com, call us any time at +1 (305) 754-3313, or visit us online.

Push-Button Landing: The Newest, Biggest Step Toward BizAv Automation

You’ve heard of parking assist for luxury SUVs. What about landing assist for private jets? It’s the first step toward truly autonomous flying, and it’s a feature Vision Jet buyers will soon experience. With this new feature, any passenger can take limited control of the jet, route to the nearest airport, and land the plane! It sounds like a feat of impossibility, but far from it. It’s manufacturer Cirrus’ way of improving safety and airworthiness in its most-delivered plane.

Dubbed SafeReturn™, the safety feature is a product of collaboration between Cirrus and Garmin. And while its premise is jaw-dropping as a safety feature, its untapped potential in the realm of autonomous flying has many aviation teams excited about what’s next.

So easy a child could do it

SafeReturn™ is designed to be as simple as possible to use and as technologically robust as modern technology allows.

The premise is simple. A pilot becomes incapacitated, unable to fly the plane, putting passengers in danger. A passenger activates SafeReturn™ by pushing a button, which, when activated, will announce autonomous flight mode to the cabin. Internally, the plane uses its positioning system to find the nearest airport, charts a course to that airport, relays proper air traffic signals, and eventually lands itself. No passenger intervention needed. Amazing.

From manned to unmanned aircraft

The execution of SafeReturn™ goes far beyond charting a course back to safety. The entire Vision Jet engages in a transition from manned aircraft to unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV). Flight screens meant for the pilot are replaced with resources for passengers. Terrain avoidance systems allow the plane to automatically adapt en route to its landing. It even avoids hazardous weather.

Cirrus put passenger peace of mind at the forefront of its SafeReturn™ system. Audio alerts calm passengers by telling them where the UAV is headed and how long until landing. The system even signals the emergency broadcast channel, notifying first responders to meet the plane at touchdown in the event of a medical emergency.

On approach, the system controls absolutely every aspect of landing, from throttling back to extending slats, to deploying landing gear, and even braking. The only human intervention throughout the entire process is when the passengers open the door and step out onto the tarmac safely.

The future of autonomous flight

The impact of SafeReturn™ as a safety feature cannot be understated. It’s contribution to an inevitable future of autonomous flight may be even greater, however. Cirrus and Garmin have proven that in the most dire of situations, a pilot isn’t required to get a plane to where it needs to go. It’s only a matter of time before this feature is extrapolated into others and the features of autonomous planes become more robust.

Right now, SafeReturn™ is only available on the Cirrus Vision Jet. Garmin plans to license this technology to other small-cabin manufacturers, as well as midsized jet manufacturers. With broader exposure and further innovation, it’s likely we’re soon to see features like autonomous taxiing, adaptive weather controls, and smarter course adjustment features in the future. We’re not at the point where pilots are obsolete yet, but SafeReturn™ certainly makes it feel like we’re not a long way off!

The expert jet brokers at L & L International are here to help you acquire the perfect jet. Need to sell your jet? We can assist with that, too. Contact the private aviation professionals online, at sales@L-Lint.com, or at +1 (305) 754-3313.