Wings of luxury - visiting Jet Expo Moscow

Bombardier was well represented at Jet Expo with some members of its Global family 

Bombardier was well represented at Jet Expo with some members of its Global family 

The private aviation industry has a few annual gathering events, and one of them is Jet Expo in Moscow. 

Although the Russian market has been affected by economic and geopolitical turmoil, Moscow is still home to scores of ultra-high-net-worth individuals, including a notable number of billionaires. Not a surprise, then, that the Russian capital, and Jet Expo in particular, features quite prominently in the calendar private jet industry.

Private aviation is also becoming an (even more) interesting industry, with new distribution channels opening it up to new publics and an attractive and diverse range of offerings across all aircraft categories.

In this regard, Jet Expo seems to be oriented towards the upper end of the market, with aircraft like the Bombardier Global 6000, the Gulfstream G650 and Airbus, Boeing and UAC (Sukhoi) presenting their own airliner versions for the executive market.

Airbus ACJ close up

The Airbus ACJ, an A319 converted into an executive jet, complete with its bedroom and bathroom with shower, stands out in the large aircraft segment.

Next are some pictures of the ACJ that Airbus brought to the show.

The Airbus ACJ

The Airbus ACJ

As you may have guessed already, it is as spectacular in the inside as you would expect from a private aircraft on this scale.

Airbus ACJ bedroom

Airbus ACJ bedroom

The tail of a Sukhoi Superjet as seen from the window of the Airbus ACJ

The tail of a Sukhoi Superjet as seen from the window of the Airbus ACJ

Standing next to the Airbus ACJ and slightly smaller was the Sukhoi Superjet VIP - in the colour scheme of Russian government jets (a livery shared also, until very recently, by Aeroflot's subsidiary Rossiya). 

I did not get any good pictures from the interior, but here are some from the outside - I keep thinking the Superjet is, actually, a beautiful plane!

Superjet VIP and Airbus ACJ
The executive jets in the background are not part of Jet Expo, but just the usual guests of Vnukovo airport, where the show took place. By the way, this nose belongs to the Superjet!

The executive jets in the background are not part of Jet Expo, but just the usual guests of Vnukovo airport, where the show took place. By the way, this nose belongs to the Superjet!

The Superjet from another angle...and the Sun that started to shine after a rainy morning!

The Superjet from another angle...and the Sun that started to shine after a rainy morning!

Face to face with the Falcons

The three engine configuration is an iconic feature of the Falcon family - a representative from Dassault told me that, rather than having issue with fuel consumption, by optimizing the use of the three engines, the Falcon can run more efficiently than other two-engined models. 

The three engine configuration is an iconic feature of the Falcon family - a representative from Dassault told me that, rather than having issue with fuel consumption, by optimizing the use of the three engines, the Falcon can run more efficiently than other two-engined models. 

An aircraft that surprised me in a very positive way was the Dassault Falcon 7X (until the launch of the Falcon 8X, the youngest and top-of-the-range member of the legendary Falcon family). This was really a first for me, I had seen the Bombardier and Gulfstream models, even the Airbus ACJs and Boeing BBJs, at other events such as EBACE, in Geneva, but I did not really know what to expect of the Dassault Falcon family.

Where would you like to fly to today? The Falcon 7X can reach most of the World in one go...

Where would you like to fly to today? The Falcon 7X can reach most of the World in one go...

Getting on board of the Falcon was really a revelation: in addition of its advertised technical performance, I found the design of this aircraft, both in the inside and from the outside, extremely inspiring.

Nice cockpit. Not an expert in avionics, but looks pretty advanced!

Nice cockpit. Not an expert in avionics, but looks pretty advanced!

I liked the interior of the Falcon, not the largest aircraft out there, but looked and felt rather spacious and comfortable throughout, plus I liked the modern, elegant lines of the cabin decor

I liked the interior of the Falcon, not the largest aircraft out there, but looked and felt rather spacious and comfortable throughout, plus I liked the modern, elegant lines of the cabin decor

Falcon 7X wing detail

Falcon 7X wing detail

Helicopters were also present at the show, with Airbus Helicopters presenting is offering in a market that has a strong local competitor, Russian Helicopters. Although Airbus has a solid position here at the top end of the market.

There were also helicopters at Jet Expo - with Airbus Helicopters showcasing their upmarket models (this one comes with golden seat-belt buckles!) with some local support

There were also helicopters at Jet Expo - with Airbus Helicopters showcasing their upmarket models (this one comes with golden seat-belt buckles!) with some local support

Other usual suspects at the show: Embraer brought its Phenom 300 and Phenom 100.

Other usual suspects at the show: Embraer brought its Phenom 300 and Phenom 100.

A cute little plane from Japan

Another aircraft that caught my eye was the Honda Jet.

Already in the small privatet jet segment (it fits 4-5 people and sells from around $4.5M) this small Japanese jet has some very interesting features.

It has a baggage compartment in the nose! 

It has a baggage compartment in the nose! 

Sleek, minimalist lines

Sleek, minimalist lines

And a rather original engine configuration, with both engines mounted on pods on top (!) of the wing, rather than below. A representative from the company assured me this way the Honda Jet can lower noise cabin for its passengers.

And a rather original engine configuration, with both engines mounted on pods on top (!) of the wing, rather than below. A representative from the company assured me this way the Honda Jet can lower noise cabin for its passengers.

For those interested, here's the Honda Jet cockpit 

For those interested, here's the Honda Jet cockpit 

Despite being in the market for a very short period of time, Honda Jet's Russian distributor told me they had already sold some of them

Despite being in the market for a very short period of time, Honda Jet's Russian distributor told me they had already sold some of them