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Virgil Abloh Designs New Livery for the US$185 Million ‘Air Drake’ Private Jet

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Drake’s close friend Virgil Abloh creates a new design for the exterior of Cargojet’s Boeing B-767-24Q/ER nicknamed ‘Air Drake’.

Back in May 2019 Cargojet Inc announced a partnership with multi-award-winning artist Drake. The partnership sees Cargojet supply Drake with their Boeing B-767-24Q/ER complete with a VIP Boeing Business Jet Interior for Drake to use wherever and whenever he wants. In return Cargojet gets exposure and marketing as Drake travels the world, posting on Instagram, not to mention the photos also posted by media and aviation enthusiasts of the unique livery on websites.

Drake's private jet livery design by Virgil Abloh
Drake’s latest private jet livery design by Virgil Abloh. Credit: @champagnepapi Instagram a.k.a Drake

Commenting on the deal at the time, Cargojet’s CEO, Ajay Virmani stated “Cargojet and Drake are both great Canadian successes, we are thrilled to be partnering together”, while Drake tweeted “Supporting home grown businesses has always been a top priority of mine, so when an opportunity came up to get involved with a great Canadian company I was honored to do so”. Drake subsequently took to Instagram, saying “No rental, no timeshare, no co-owners.”

When Drake first took delivery of the aircraft (current registration N767CJ) the fuselage was white with just the praying hands motive on the tail in black and white. Shortly after it was given a makeover in a baby blue with the words ‘Air Drake’ added to the engine cowlings and the OVO Owl logo placed towards the front.

The former 2019 livery of Drake's private jet
The former livery of Drake’s private jet as seen in 2019. Credit: Ernest Gutschik Aviation Youtube.
Drake GIVES A tour inside his private jet LOANED OUT BY CARGOJET INC. MAY 10 2019

For reference, OVO is Drake’s clothing line and OVO Sound is his record label. OVO actually stands for October’s Very Own because Drake and his crew’s birthdays all are in October. The letters OVO looks like an owl’s face and therefore Drake chose an owl as the brand image.

OVO is also currently suing the company Bellroy who recently updated its owl logo by claiming Bellroy “changed the design of the owl by altering its posture, width, wings and feet in order to blatantly mimic the OVO owl.” It also claims that by placing the owl on footwear, Bellroy is competing with its “core business” of apparel.

Bellroy vs OVO logo comparison
OVO logo comparison with Bellroy new and old logo.

Back on track, enter Drake’s friend Virgil Abloh. Named by Time magazine as one of the 100 most influential people in the world in 2018, Abloh is a fashion designer, entrepreneur, artist, and DJ who has been the artistic director of Louis Vuitton’s men’s wear collection since March 2018.

A trained architect, Abloh, entered the world of international fashion with an internship at Fendi in 2009 alongside rapper Kanye West. The two then began an artistic collaboration that would launch Abloh’s career into founding the Milan-based label Off-White.

Abloh has worked with Drake previously to design a remodel of a Patek Philippe watch for Drake. In Future’s track “Life Is Good” Drake raps the following “Virgil got that Patek on my wrist goin’ nuts” and “Virgil got the Patek on my wrist doin’ front flips”. In the following days after the songs release both Abloh and Drake posted the same reptilian, all-green, set-with-emeralds Patek Philippe Nautilus 5726 to Instagram in January.

Drake's Virgil Abloh customized Patek Philippe
Original Patek Philippe Nautilus 5726 vs Drake’s Virgil Abloh customized version. Credit: @champagnepapi Instagram

Now, less than three months later, Abloh has now helped Drake create a new updated livery for ‘Air Drake’ with Abloh initially teasing on his Instagram @virgilabloh “the tail number is a problem and the FBO is a whole other story…”

Virgil Abloh posted a teaser of Drake's new private jet livery to his Instagram
Virgil Abloh posted a teaser of Drake’s new private jet livery. Credit: @virgilabloh Instagram
Virgil Abloh posted teaser's of Drake's new private jet livery to his Instagram
Virgil Ablo’s teaser post of the updated private jet livery. Credit: @virgilabloh Instagram

Drake followed up by posting a complete reveal of the new livery on March 29 2020 on his Instagram account @champagnepapi. The new design takes cues from Drake’s 2013 ‘Nothing Was The Same’ album cover art, with blue skies and clouds throughout. The previous praying hands in front of the globe on the tail have been removed in favour of the OVO owl standing with the world under its feet. Air drake remains on the engine cowling and the sponsor company Cargojet’s logo also remains.

Drake posted pictures of the new jet livery to his Instagram
Drake posted pictures of his new livery to his Instagram. Credit: @champagnepapi Instagram
Drake posted pictures of the new jet livery to his Instagram
More detail of the new livery on Drake’s private jet on loan from Cargojet. Credit: @champagnepapi Instagram

One new logo towards the rear of the fuselage states ‘Abloh Engineering’. This is a tongue in cheek boast of another of Abloh’s skills as he also has a civil engineering degree, which the designer completed in 2002 as an undergraduate student.

We would say keep your eyes peeled for the new Air Drake coming to a sky near you, however, with the new design creating the ultimate ‘chameleon amongst the clouds’ effect it’s basically going to be like looking for a needle in a haystack.

Drake's Nothing Was The Same album cover illustration
Drake’s Nothing Was The Same album cover illustration.

Aircraft

Customer Orders Ten Bombardier Challenger 350 Business Jets

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Bombardier has announced the sale of ten Challenger 350 Business Jets to an undisclosed customer in a sale valued at US$267 million.
Challenger 350 Business Jet
Bombardier has sold 10 x Challenger 350 Business Jets to a single customer. Credit: Bombardier

Canadian based business aircraft manufacturer Bombardier has announced the recent sale of ten Challenger 350 Business Jets to an undisclosed customer.

Valued at US$267 million based on the 2020 list prices, the sale of the ten business jets represents one of the largest business jet orders of 2020 and builds on the three hundred and fifty models the company has already delivered to date as of July 2020.

“This order highlights the tremendous value customers place on the unmatched capabilities of our aircraft,” said Éric Martel, President and Chief Executive Officer, Bombardier Inc. “Bombardier’s newly refreshed portfolio and growing service network position the company well to respond to growing interest in private aviation and the enhanced safety it provides.”

Bombardier Challenger 350 Business Jet Interior
Bombardier 350 Business Jet interior can be customized as per each clients requests. Credit: Bombardier

Holding the coveted title of best-selling super-midsize business jet since first entering service in 2014, the Bombardier Challenger 350 is designed for productivity and is a favorite amongst top corporate flight departments and charter operators worldwide.

Featuring a spacious interior with the ability to accommodate up to 10 passengers, the Challenger 350 has a 3,200-nautical-mile-range, allowing passengers to travel from New York to Los Angeles or London, and Paris to Dubai in comfort and without the need to refuel.

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$300M Site for the Aerion Supersonic AS2 Jet

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Aerion Supersonic starts the development of new Florida facilities to produce the AS2 supersonic business jet in 2023.
Aerion Park Melbourne Florida
Concept of the completed Aerion Park Facility, Melbourne, Florida. Credit: Aerion Supersonic

Formerly home in Nevada, aircraft company Aerion Supersonic has recently broken ground on Aerion Park, a new multipurpose 110.6-acre facility joined by taxiway to the Orlando Melbourne International Airport, and positioned near a growing cluster of aerospace and technology companies on Florida’s Space Coast.

This facility with its building’s comprising an area of 2,000,000 square feet, will now be the home of Aerion Supersonic’s global headquarters as well as an integrated campus for research, design and assembly of the AS2 supersonic business jet and future hypersonic aircraft.

Aerion site map AS2 assembly area and global headquaters
Site map showing the AS2 assembly area, flight test operations and admin. Credit: Aerion Supersonic
Aerion site map showing paint shop and customer experience centre
Site map showing the paint shop and customer experience center. Credit: Aerion Supersonic

To the side of the main site, a new Aerion Customer Experience Center will allow customers direct access to the runway of Orlando Melbourne International Airport. The new experience center will include a customer completions center and a full-size AS2 cabin mock-up, affording customers the opportunity to customize their chosen interior specifications such as configuration options, materials, colors and finishes.

“We are grateful and proud to be the home of Aerion’s new global headquarters where the AS2 business jet will come to life,” said Greg Donovan, A.A.E. executive director at Orlando Melbourne International Airport (MLB). “With more than $100m reinvested into our airfield over the last few years, our new runways and air traffic control tower are ready to support this revolution in supersonic flight. Aerion is a special part of our Space Coast community’s future and we are eager to see the path forward as we welcome the fine talent that will be joining our thriving aerospace campus at MLB.”

Aerion Park Launch Event December 2020
Tom Vice (left) and Greg Donovan (right) at the Aerion Park Launch Event December 2020. Credit: Aerion Supersonic

The Aerion Park facility represents a capital investment of more than $300m in construction, machinery and equipment, and is forecasted to bring at least 675 new jobs in Florida by 2026 as the company ramps-up operations.

Between now, and the 2023 production start date of the supersonic AS2, Aerion will be recruiting aircraft builders, designers, engineers, programmers and scientists with an average annual wage of $105,000, marking a 220% increase on the 2019 average salary in Brevard County. Further jobs will go on to be created through the AS2 program lifecycle in design, certification, aircraft production and aftermarket support.

“A future where humanity can travel between any two points on our planet in three hours or less”

Tom Vice, Aerion Chairman, President & CEO

“This is a truly exciting day for Aerion as we launch our new home and the future of sustainable supersonic flight here in Melbourne, Florida,” says Tom Vice, Aerion’s Chairman, President & CEO. “We are building the future of mobility – a future where humanity can travel between any two points on our planet in three hours or less. We will change the world and bring a new sustainable means of supersonic and hypersonic flight to reality and it will happen here, at Aerion Park.”

The Aerion AS2 supersonic business jet
The Aerion Supersonic AS2 business jet can cruise at Mach 1.4. Credit: Aerion Supersonic

Just as the AS2 seeks to deliver carbon neutral flight, the home in which it will be created aims to be the most environmentally sustainable of its kind in the aerospace sector. Aerion Park is planned to be powered by clean energy – using the very latest in photovoltaic solar technology to generate energy for manufacturing. On-site electric vehicle charging stations will also be installed and rainwater that lands on the campus will be reused. Recycled materials will be incorporated in the construction of Aerion Park wherever possible, sourced locally to minimize emissions and the Park will be dedicated to creating zero waste.

An interior cabin concept for the Aerion AS2 private jet
An interior cabin concept for the supersonic Aerion AS2 private jet. Credit: Aerion Supersonic

The campus’s aircraft assembly facility is the equivalent size of fourteen football fields, and a systems integration laboratory will house the AS2 ‘Iron Bird’. The Iron Bird is a raw framework test rig in which major working components are installed in the relative locations found on an aircraft’s actual airframe. This rig is then usually surrounded by scaffolding arranged in the skeletal shape of the aircraft being tested to allow personnel to gain access to the components to be analyzed.

Also included at the Aerion site will be the engineering flight test headquarters. This facility will enable flight crews, mechanics and support personnel to fly AS2 aircraft in the certification flight test program as well as conduct serial production testing prior to customer delivery. Aerion intends to flight test the AS2 from the site, in the surrounding airspace, in supersonic testing corridors as well as at additional offsite locations.

Key Aerion AS2 Milestone Accomplished

Aerion AS2 model undergoing wind tunnel testing
Aerion AS2 model undergoing wind tunnel testing. Credit: Aerion Supersonic

Recently, in November this year, Aerion announced that the AS2 had completed a major milestone, after concluding high and low speed wind tunnel testing, amassing hundreds of simulated flight hours which represented the equivalent of 78,000 nautical miles flown.

Testing, in combination with the200,000+ data points amassed from Aerion’s AS2 digital modelling, allowed engineers to validate the precise aerodynamic shape of the jet to a high level of fidelity and detail which was concluded in some of the most renowned testing facilities in Europe and North America.

During testing the full operational envelope of the AS2 was assessed – from take-off and landing, subsonic cruise, Boomless CruiseTM, supersonic cruise through to dive speed. The wind tunnel testing also allows Aerion’s engineering team to assess aerodynamic impact in key operational conditions, such as deployment of landing gear and wing icing while also assessing handling qualities.

More About The Aerion Supersonic AS2

Aerion AS2 supersonic private jet flying
designed to be environmentally responsible and powered by 100 percent synthetic fuel. Credit: Aerion Supersonic

The Aerion AS2 is a supersonic private jet and the starting point in Aerion’s pursuit of faster and sustainable point-to-point travel. Introduced as having the first new civil supersonic engine in 50 years, the AS2 will also have technology called Boomless Cruise™ that ensures a sonic boom never reaches the ground. The business jet is set to achieve supersonic cruising at Mach 1.4 and subsonic cruising at Mach 0.95.

Aimed to be inherently environmentally responsible from the first flight, the AS2 is the first supersonic jet designed to be powered by 100 percent synthetic fuel and reach supersonic speeds without the need for an afterburner. Inside, the cabin of the AS2 is designed to seat 8-12 passengers.

Aerion Supersonic plans to deliver 300 aircraft over ten years of production, supported by a growing domestic and international order backlog which now tops $6.5 billion.

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Aircraft

Porsche x Embraer’s Special Edition “Duet” Phenom 300E Business Jet and 911 Turbo S

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Porsche and Embraer have created the limited edition “Duet” that consists of a specially designed 911 Turbo S and Phenom 300E Business Jet matching set.
Matching "Duet" Porsche 911 Turbo S and Embraer Phenom 300E. Credit: Porsche & Embraer
Matching “Duet” Porsche 911 Turbo S and Embraer Phenom 300E. Credit: Porsche & Embraer

Porsche’s Exclusive Manufaktur department has partnered with Embraer Business Jets to create a special edition 911 Turbo S that you only get if you’ve ordered the matching Embraer Phenom 300E Business Jet which start from $10.9 million each.

The matching pair concept known as “Duet” began four years ago with the intent to bring two very different vehicles together with a common design DNA.

Matching metallic Platinum and Jet Gray Metallic paint with aviation inspired twin stripes. Credit: Porsche & Embraer
Matching metallic Platinum and Jet Gray Metallic paint with aviation inspired twin stripes. Credit: Porsche & Embraer

“We worked together to benchmark processes,” said Michael Amalfitano, president and CEO of Embraer Executive Jets. “The design was all about exclusivity, but always focusing on the customers.”

Announced as the world’s first matching business jet and sports car, the machines take inspiration from each other with the special edition “Duet” Porsche 911 Turbo S and Phenom 300E, both featuring matching two-tone exterior paintwork in Platinum Silver Metallic and Jet Gray Metallic, along with an aviation-inspired twin strip in Brilliant Chrome and Speed Blue.

Porsche 911 Turbo S Limited Edition Duet Embraer Phenom 300E Rims
Blue trim detailing on the rims of the “Duet” Porsche 911 Turbo S. Credit: Porsche

The interior of the Porsche 911 Turbo S has also taken influences from the jet cockpit and has a special color scheme in black and chalk-colored leather with Speed Blue stitching. Door sill trims on both sides of the vehicle are illuminated in red with “No Step” referencing the corresponding warning found on aircraft wings.

"No Step" detailing on the door sill. Credit: Porsche
“No Step” detailing on the door sill. Credit: Porsche

A unique logo has also been created that takes inspiration from both models’ aerodynamics and includes a stylized airplane wing of the Phenom 300E and the rear wing of the 911 with the Sport Design package. This logo is used in the design across both the Porsche 911 Turbo S and Phenom 300E and can be found embossed on the headrests and the exterior badging.

Porsche 911 Turbo S Limited Edition Duet Embraer Phenom 300E Rear Wing
Each Porsche features the jet registration number on the underside of the rear wing. Credit: Porsche & Embraer

Limited to only 10 “Duet” sets worldwide, each of the Porsche 911 Turbo S models will also have the individual registration of its matching jet applied to the underside of the Porsche’s rear wing on the sides of the car key.

Porsche 911 Turbo S Limited Edition Duet Embraer Phenom 300E Car Keys
Jet registration number also found on the side of the car key. Credit: Porsche and Embraer

The “Duet” Porsche 911 Turbo S model is powered by a 3.8-liter twin-turbocharged flat-6 that produces 640 horsepower and 590 pound-feet of torque and is capable of reaching 0-60 mph time of 2.6 seconds and a top speed of 205 mph.

Interior cabin of the Embraer Phenom 300E business jet. Credit: Porsche and Embraer
Interior cabin of the Embraer Phenom 300E business jet. Credit: Porsche and Embraer

Of course, when an owner needs to go further faster, the Embraer Phenom 300E, the fastest and longest-ranged single-pilot jet currently available, has a range of 2,000 nautical miles and can fly at an altitude of 45,000 feet to get you there slightly quicker than the 911.

The Embraer Phenom 300E is the fastest and longest-ranged single-pilot jet currently available. Credit: Embraer
The Embraer Phenom 300E is the fastest and longest-ranged single-pilot jet currently available. Credit: Embraer

Also included in the Embraer Duet package is a customized pilot bag and two weekender bags, along with a special edition Porsche Design 1919 Globe timer UTC titanium watch inspired by the Phenom 300E.

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