Flying first class? Executive class?

How about S-Class? Yes that’s right, S-Class, as in Mercedes Benz S-Class, synonymous with luxury and refinement on the road. At least it used to be restricted to the road. Now it has been ungrounded, through a collaboration with German airline Lufthansa Technik to design and develop VIP aircraft cabins geared towards high end lifestyle that continues beyond the airport valet service.

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Luxury giants Mercedes Benz and Lufthansa Technik partner for a VIP aircraft concept.

The most notable and immediately recognizable difference in the layout is a complete removal of sharp corners and rigid lines replaced with a smoothness and fluidity where nothing ends and everything meets. The design elements pay homage to the principles of feng shui by replacing the typical square model with a spiraling concept to maximize not only space and functionality but also the effect on the subconscious achieved by such an artistically sensitive execution. “Magic Sky” technology powers touchscreen displays that either entertain or inform and windows that can be dimmed from black to transparent. Gone is the rectangular, obtuse and generally uninspired airplane seat design, typical of commercial and private fleets, from first-class to coach. Instead, Mercedes has reimagined the seating and interior design aesthetic entirely, opting for rounded sofas, elevated coffee tables that stem from the floor, creative storage spaces, and ergonomically tucked away sleeping compartments.

Speaking on the luxurious partnership, Walter Heerdt, Senior Vice President VIP and Executive Jet Solutions for Lufthansa said, “Our goal is to offer a highly discerning global clientele a standard of interior design that leaves nothing to be desired, whether for private or business use, our modular completion concept perfectly fits every purpose.”

These are the sort of features available that were once products of the imagination or science-fiction feature length films. The contrast in the colour scheme resonates a high-tech to nature interplay with the tones of white and silver combined with a wooden finish and clever spaces for green placements.

 “It was an inspiring challenge to transfer our design philosophy of sensual purity into the area of aeronautical engineering. The spectacular architecture of the interior shows creativity and modernity. Sensual surfaces and clear forms, combined with intelligent high-tech features and perfectly shaped modern luxury are the characteristic features of Mercedes-Benz design” says Gorden Wagener, Vice President Design Daimler AG.

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Such upscale elegance and overall modern decadence combined with futuristic sleekness is a subtle tip of the hat to the expectations of a generation more familiar with the interior of the Starship Enterprise than a Concord or Lear. Not that it excludes the traditional target market of the private global clientele of movers and shakers.

On the contrary, it is in keeping up with the demands of the influential and powerful, as it validates and rewards the longstanding and successful members of the business community as it is a physical reflection of what originates in the mindsets those pioneers and innovators. After all, Star Trek was created over 50 years ago. With such features sure to appeal the young millionaires club and the old boy’s network alike, we’ll soon be hearing about it in Jay-Z’s next song alongside rave reviews of their quarterly earnings in The Wall Street Journal.

To gauge market reception, Mercedes and Lufthansa unveiled the VIP Aircraft Cabins in Geneva, Switzerland at the European Business Aviation Convention and Exhibition (EBACE 2015).

Jace DAHER