Boeing (NYSE: BA) Business Jets set a new world record for “Speed Over a Recognized Course” when a BBJ flew non-stop from Los Angeles to Auckland, New Zealand for installation of its VIP interiors.
The BBJ, a 737-700 modified for VIP use, made the 5,658 nautical mile (10,479 km) trip in 13 hours, 7 minutes and 54 seconds.
According to Boeing, the record-setting trip was monitored by the National Aeronautic Association based in Washington, D.C. BBJ president captain Steve Taylor said the trip demonstrates the incredible range capability of the BBJ.
Meanwhile, Airbus has revealed its vision of “Concept Planes” that will flock along ‘express skyways’ to cut time and emissions. (Read: Airbus Reveals the Future of Flight in Smarter Skies)
“When we left Los Angeles with full fuel, we were 21,000 pounds below our Maximum Takeoff Weight. This means that the customer can add a full VIP interior, fill all the seats and still carry full fuel and have remarkable range,” said Taylor.
The airplane had 7,800 pounds of fuel remaining when it landed in Auckland Sunday, Sept. 16, evening.[ Also Read: Boeing’s Video Series on Aerospace Innovation ]
The BBJ, owned by Samsung Electronics, is equipped with seven auxiliary fuel tanks, giving it the extended range capability. It also features lower cabin altitude. The option provides a 6,500-foot cabin altitude instead of the standard 8,000-foot cabin, allowing passengers to travel in greater comfort.
The airplane was flown to New Zealand for the first interior completion of a new BBJ by Altitude Aerospace Interiors, an Auckland-based company which was launched in 2008.
Boeing delivers the BBJ to the customer “green” (no interior or paint) so it can be customized to suit the specific needs and taste of the customer. The completion center of the customer’s choosing installs the VIP interiors, which typically takes nine months to a year.
According to Boeing, the BBJ is the best selling model of Boeing’s business jet line with 157 sold to date.
Photo courtesy: Boeing