From inspiration to innovation: the LongTail concept

The world of luxury transportation is a fascinating one, filled with stunning designs and sleek lines that capture the essence of speed, elegance, and style. From cars to boats and jets, there are countless iconic designs that have inspired generations of enthusiasts. The LongTail design concept is poised to take its place within the ranks of the exceptional, surfing the latest wave of innovation with new technologies and materials pushing the boundaries of design even further.

Vote for us in the 2023 nternational Yacht and Aviation Awards – ‘Private Aviation: Private Jet Design – Concept’ category here.

Tom Chatfield, the CEO of Camber Aviation Management and Alexander Craker, renowned private jet designer, both experts in their respective fields – were enjoying their lunch on the Riva Lounge deck in Venice. Overlooking the water, and watching the boats pass by, they struck up a conversation about iconic designs. An unnamed fellow aviation enthusiast was dining with them and joined in with the lively discussion by sharing his favourite designs, which were the Riva Aquarama and the recently released Rolls Royce Boat Tail.

The Aquarama Riva is a wooden runabout, built in the 60s and renowned for its classic design, with sleek curves and luxurious finishes that evoke the elegance of a bygone era. The boat was designed for speed, with powerful engines that allow it to glide effortlessly over the water.

The Rolls Royce Boat Tail, on the other hand, is a one-of-a-kind car that takes inspiration from yachts and boats. It features a silhouette unique within the Rolls-Royce line-up, featuring a Caleidolegno veneer “deck” to evoke the sensuous shape of a wooden hull form. Both these vehicles are known for their sleek lines, high-speed capabilities, and luxurious finishes; in essence, the epitome of luxury transportation.

The conversation quickly turned to the topic of creating an iconic design for a pre-owned Boeing Business Jet – a Max 7. The fellow diner asked Tom and Alexander how they would go about creating such a design, and they realised that they could combine the best aspects of both the Riva Aquarama and the Rolls Royce Boat Tail to create a unique design for the jet. This was the birth of the LongTail design concept.

private jet desing plan

Many private jet cabin designs mimic aspects of apartments or traditional living spaces. Furnishings and busy interiors are often utilised to disguise the nature of the aircraft in an effort to allow passengers to feel like they’re not flying. The LongTail design concept takes a different approach. It celebrates the best aspects of luxury travel, evoking the feelings of freedom and beckoning adventure that one experiences while cruising on a high-end motorboat or in a one-of-a-kind cabriolet.

Using luxurious materials and finishes in a clean, minimalist design that feels “ship-shape”, the LongTail evokes light and space in a way that reminds one of sailing. The design incorporates aspects from the Riva and Rolls Royce – such as the sleek curves and lines of the cabin, which are not hidden but instead are emphasised to evoke the shape of a hull. The juxtaposition of dark and light woods is a testament to the design philosophy that blends aviation, marine, and automotive influences. As Tom said: “That’s what we saw on the Rolls-Royce and in the flooring of the Riva bar.”

The LongTail buffet

The light colours and space are reminiscent of sunshine, sea, and fresh air. It celebrates the best aspects of travelling: the feeling of tranquillity and freedom. As Alexander describes it “I like to create simple spaces where you can be at peace, clean lines with simple materials that make your eyes wander and find the wonderful little details.”

The purpose of the LongTail concept is to make a deliberate departure from more typical aircraft interior design concepts. Instead of trying to hide the fact that one is flying, it embraces the rarefied experience of flying privately, making it an integral part of the design. The layout is about creating a luxurious, spacious, and comfortable environment that is designed to make the journey as enjoyable as the destination.

To achieve this effect, the LongTail design relies heavily on the use of natural materials. Clean and bright colours, such as whites, creams and light blues, are used throughout the cabin to create an open and airy feel. The materials used are also reminiscent of the marine environment, with high-quality leather, hardwoods, and polished metals being incorporated throughout the design. However, Alexander points out that the pristine nature of the design brings one unavoidable challenge – the need for impeccable execution, where even the slightest imperfection is more noticeable. He describes it as “very monolithic, so it does force your eyes to wander around, and if there’s any imperfections, your eye will be drawn to them immediately. That means attention to detail is absolutely critical.”

One of the stand-out features of the design concept is the cabin layout. Unlike more conventional aircraft interior designs, which can sometimes cram in as many features and amenities as possible, the LongTail design concept emphasizes open space and simplicity. The cabin is arranged in a way that maximizes natural light and provides a sense of fluidity and movement, much like the open sea.

Another key feature of the design is its use of modern technology, allowing entertainment and comfort without creating visual conflict with the purposely minimalist environment. While the design aesthetic is heavily inspired by classic boats and yachts, the technology used throughout the cabin is state-of-the-art. Large touchscreen displays are used to control everything from the lighting and temperature to the entertainment system, and the cabin is equipped with the latest in Wi-Fi and connectivity technology to keep passengers connected to the world below.

The centrepiece of the cabin is an innovative bar, finished beautifully in silver and gold, a space that can be converted from a bar into a flat surface or even incorporate a display screen. This central gathering space is designed to be the hub of social activity on board the aircraft, providing an area for people to connect and relax.

Tom says: “Alexander has done a really interesting job by burrowing an ice/bottle holder in the bar, with a very interesting cover that allows glasses to be stowed in it. I’ve never seen anything like that before, only something static.” Alexander added “It’s a reveal; when you have guests on board, you can open it up and have a glass of champagne, and it then disappears, and you can bring a screen up or just leave it as a flat top.”

However, the concept is not just about aesthetics. Safety and comfort are also top priorities in the design, with features such as ergonomic seating, soundproofing, and advanced climate control systems being incorporated throughout the cabin. An added benefit of the minimalist layout and clean lines is that it’s much lighter than a more traditional layout. “We project that it’s well beneath Boeing’s suggested cabin weight allocation,” says Tom, “which will increase the range of the aircraft.

Overall, the LongTail design concept is a unique and innovative take on aircraft interior design. By drawing inspiration from classic boats and yachts, it offers a refreshing alternative to the more typical layouts found in many private aircrafts. Its emphasis on natural materials, open space, and modern technology makes it a standout concept in private jet interiors and is a testament to the power of design to create something truly unique and unforgettable.

The 2023 International Yacht and Aviation Awards (IYAA) shortlist

We’re thrilled to announce that the LongTail design concept has been shortlisted for the ‘Private Aviation: Private Jet Design – Concept’ award in the 2023 International Yacht & Aviation Awards (IYAA) – a category for which we won the top spot in 2021! One of the unique features of IYAA is that it offers an opportunity for anyone with an interest in design, aviation, or yachting to participate in the voting process. Voing begins May 10th and will close on Wednesday 7th June 2023 You can cast your vote for the nominated designs in each category.

Click here to vote, and remember to choose us in the “Private Aviation: Private Jet Design – Concept category! Every vote counts, your support is truly appreciated!

The Winners will be announced on Friday the 9th of June at the Belmond Hotel Cipriani, Venice. We invite everyone to mark their calendars and take part in this thrilling event. Don’t miss out on the chance to vote for your favorite designs – and help us grab that top spot again this year!