The 787 is a carbon-fibre, all-electrical aircraft. Given that Kestrel Aviation were the first to manage the installation of a high-end bespoke cabin in such an aircraft, Kestrel had to become innovative disruptors on this project. The challenge was not only getting the cabin concept right but also ensuring that these concepts were compatible with the unique structural characteristics of the carbon-fibre 787. Much of their experience with installing VVIP cabins on legacy, metal aircraft was of limited relevance to the BBJ 787. An entire new data set would need to be sourced from Boeing to facilitate the design and installation of a high-end cabin on the BBJ 787.
Some designers offered cabin concepts for the BBJ 787 but many of these were out of touch with the technical realities of this aircraft type. Kestrel Aviation are the first to convert a luxury BBJ 787 cabin concept to an actual luxury aircraft, certificated and ready for service. The BBJ can fly non-stop for 18 hours so passenger comfort was a high priority. The design concept needed to convey a feeling of zen, an oasis of peace, soft earth tones, uncluttered flowing lines with the absence of sharp edges, good control of natural and artificial mood lighting. To the touch, Kestrel & Pierrejean Design Studios wanted a design that felt organic with surfaces that invited emotional as well as physical connection. Noise and vibration were addressed with extensive soundproofing. The design started with their perception of multi-cultural customer expectations; challenging as the end user was not defined! Then they had to reconcile this perspective with the constraints presented by the carbon-composite structure. The aircraft’s complex electrical design and unique software architecture also presented a steep learning curve in the integration of the cabin design and associated systems onto the basic 787 BBJ.
Kestrel has had total turnkey responsibility for this first true BBJ 787 from original aircraft purchase through cabin design concept and cabin modification to delivery to the end user. This was essential for managing this very complex project which was way more challenging than other wide bodies like the BBJ 747-8. The design concept flows cohesively throughout the cabin with no discontinuity. Although deceptively simple at first sight, the design gradually stimulates the observer with subtle detail and textures that are well integrated with adjacent pieces to offer an appealing continuum. The passenger is carried effortlessly through the cabin without visual or physical obstruction. This project proves that a cabin can be designed to appeal to Western, Asian and Middle Eastern customers alike. It has subtle cues from each culture that transcend regional stereotypes. The eye of the beholder can interpret those design cues from his individual cultural perspective. This is the unique nature of this design.