Photo: Sukhoi Civil Aircraft, the producer of the Superjet 100 new-generation regional jet for the global market, introduced the concept of a new aircraft with the cabin designed to fly professional sports teams, at Farnborough International Airshow 2016.
The Guinness World Records world record for the first sustained jet airline service; it was provided by the Russian airline Aeroflot on an internal route system – Moscow – Omsk – Irkutsk, which began on 15 September 1956 cutting the journey time from 18 to 7 hours. The aircraft used was the Tupolev Tu-104 “Camel”. It was the second jet-powered airliner to enter service after the de Havilland Comet. It had a maximum take-off weight of 167,550lbs (76,000kg), a cruising speed of 513 knots (950km/hr) and a range of 1,430 nautical miles (2,650 km).
Guinness World Records also recognized the world record for the First transatlantic jet service, set on 4 October 1958, when the British Overseas Airways Corporation (BOAC) began operating the world’s first transatlantic jet service (between London and New York City), with the British De Havilland Comet.
The aircraft interior is enriched by most advanced gadgets in the science of sports to have athletes recover and rest. Technological features of SportJet include specially designed equipment and a variety of functionality for recovery, rest and preparation.
SportJet is due to be produced in 2018. It is based on Sukhoi Superset 100 (SSJ100) and it is specially designed and luxury version. SSJ100 will be onsite at FIA in CityJet livery. SSJ100 is a new-generation regional jet designed, developed and produced for the global market.
The key features include:
- A specially designed massage table where athletes can receive treatment for injuries.
- A “coach zone” with chairs, a table, a wardrobe and sofa for the team to discuss game tactics. This will have tablets and specialist software used to analyze a player’s performance.
- A “smart toilet” that has a seat which can measure the hydration levels of person Business class seats with sensors built in that can detect physiological changes in an athlete.
- A wearable that can detect an athlete’s condition and send updates to a mobile app which will inform them if they need to improve their hydration or change sleeping their sleeping pattern.
- A “diagnostics capsule” which can take several physiological readings from an athlete.
- Curved 4K resolution screen on the ceiling of the athletes’ cabin which can be used to view media content.
“We do believe a market niche does exist in terms of an aircraft designed to carry a professional sports team,” Evgeniy Andrachnikov, senior vice president of sales at Sukhoi told CNBC in an interview ahead of the launch.
“For the most part all the clubs around the globe never travel by regular flights, they charter private jets. They travel a lot over long distances. They are getting injured and most hate to fly,” he added, explaining the rationale behind launching the jet.
Sukhoi estimates the value of the sports transport market to be $600 million and admits that the SportJet is a niche product.
Andrachnikov said the owners of major sports teams are an obvious first market. Other customers could be leagues such as the NBA. Initially Sukhoi will focus on the Russian market where it will look to sign a deal with the KHL – an ice hockey league that has 29 clubs competing from countries across Europe and Asia. The cross-continental travel gives a dedicated sports jet an obvious use case.