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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.

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Virgin Galactic Unveils New Mach 3 Supersonic Jet & Collaboration With Rolls-Royce

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Virgin Galactic announces new Mach 3 supersonic jet and collaboration with Rolls-Royce to design and develop the engine propulsion technology.
Virgin Galactic Mach 3 Supersonic Jet
The new Virgin Galactic Mach 3 Supersonic Jet will be three times faster than the speed of sound. Credit: Virgin Galactic

Virgin Galactic has recently announced the new Mach 3 super jet and its intent to collaborate with Rolls-Royce on developing the engine propulsion technology needed to take the Mach 3 to new heights and travel three times faster than the speed of sound.

Self-described as a “vertically-integrated aerospace and space travel company pioneering human spaceflight for private individuals and researchers,” Virgin Galactic is continuing its mission to advance air and space vehicles, revealing for the first time their new delta-winged Mach 3 super jet to be developed in collaboration with Rolls-Royce.

Virgin Galactic Mach 3 Super Jet Rolls Royce FAA
One very fast flight for up to 19 passengers. Credit: Virgin Galactic

Designed to carry up to 19 passengers at an altitude of 60,000 feet and reach a top speed of 2,300mph/3700kmh, the new Mach 3 Super Jet could travel between London and New York in just under 1.5 hours. It would take off and land like a regular passenger aircraft at existing airports worldwide and ntegrate into existing airport infrastructure.

To build the technology needed to make this happen, Virgin Galactic has signed a memorandum of intent with high Mach propulsion specialists, Rolls-Royce (not to be confused with Rolls-Royce Motorcars), who already have experience in creating the only civil-certified commercial aircraft capable of supersonic flight – aka the Concorde.

Virgin Galactic Mach 3 Super Jet Rolls Royce
Passengers will fly at altitudes up to 60,000 feet. Credit: Virgin Galactic

George Whitesides, Chief Space Officer, Virgin Galactic, shared, “We are excited to complete the Mission Concept Review and unveil this initial design concept of a high speed aircraft, which we envision as blending safe and reliable commercial travel with an unrivalled customer experience. We are pleased to collaborate with the innovative team at Rolls-Royce as we strive to develop sustainable, cutting-edge propulsion systems for the aircraft, and we are pleased to be working with the FAA to ensure our designs can make a practical impact from the start. We have made great progress so far, and we look forward to opening up a new frontier in high speed travel.”

“We are excited to partner with Virgin Galactic and TSC to explore the future of sustainable high speed flight,” said Rolls-Royce North America Chairman & CEO Tom Bell. “Rolls-Royce brings a unique history in high speed propulsion, going back to the Concorde, and offers world-class technical capabilities to develop and field the advanced propulsion systems needed to power commercially available high-Mach travel.”

Virgin Galactic Mach 3 Super Jet Rolls Royce Left Side Profile
At a top speed of 2,300mph/3700kmh passengers could fly from NY to London in 1.5 hours. Credit: Virgin Galactic

The new Mach 3 super jet’s design philosophy is focused on making high-speed travel practical, sustainable, safe, and reliable while keeping customer experience a top priority. The super jet can be configured for a range of operational scenarios, including service for passengers on long-distance commercial aviation routes, and can offer business or first-class seating arrangements.

Virgin Galactic has been previously working closely with international regulatory communities to ensure compliance with safety and environmental standards and are now working with FAA’s Center for Emerging Concepts and Innovation to outline a certification framework during the pre-project guidance phase.

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Gulfstream Advances the G700 Flight Test Program

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The all-new Gulfstream G700 business jet surpasses speed and altitude limits during recent testing.
Gulfstream G700 experimental test plane
the Gulfstream G700 experimental test planes have flown over 100 flights. Credit: Gulfstream

Testing of the new Gulfstream G700 is well underway since the jet was revealed in October 2019. With Gulfstream boasting the industry’s most spacious cabin with the highest speeds at the longest range, they have now revealed the flight-test program is making significant progress with a number of accomplishments in testing and performance.

The G700 has chalked up over 100 test flights and recently completed Gulfstream’s flutter testing.  Aeroelastic flutter is basically when a dangerous vibration begins to occur during flight, usually in the wings or tail, which often results in structural failure. High-speed aircraft are most susceptible to flutter, and especially with the introduction of thinner wings, all-movable horizontal and vertical stabilizers, and T-tail configurations, the likelihood of flutter occurring within a desired flight envelope increases further.

Gulfstream G700 experimental test aircraft flying
The Gulfstream G700 surpassed its speed and altitude parameters. Credit: Gulfstream

G700 Flight Tests Exceeding Expectations

During the G700’s testing, Gulfstream were able to expand the flight envelope (the design capabilities of the jet) at both high and low speeds. The G700 business jet flew beyond its maximum operating speed and cruise altitude, reaching Mach 0.99 and an altitude of 54,000 feet/16,459 meters. In typical operations, the G700 has a maximum operating speed of Mach 0.925 and a maximum cruise altitude of 51,000 ft/15,545 m. The testing showing that the all-new G700 has not only met its specs but truly surpassed them as well.

Gulfstream G700 experimental test pilots flying
Gulfstream G700 experimental aircraft pilots flying during tests. Credit: Gulfstream
Gulfstream G700 experimental flight badge emblem

“These accomplishments at this stage in flight test point to the impressive maturity of the G700 program,” said Mark Burns, president of Gulfstream. “We designed and developed the G700 for our customers to fly safely, securely and efficiently while enjoying the same level of comfort as they do on the ground. With the largest galley in the industry, the utmost in technology, and the finest, freshest cabin environment, the G700 unlocks new opportunities in business jet travel.”

G700 Circadian Lighting System

The all-new G700 business jet features 100% fresh, never recirculated air, an industry-leading low cabin altitude, whisper-quiet noise levels, and the option for the industry’s only true circadian lighting system that attempts to counteract the onset of jetlag.

Gulfstream G700 bedroom sleeping quarters
Gulfstream G700 bedroom sleeping quarters. Credit: Gulfstream
Gulfstream G700 media zone
Gulfstream G700 media zone. Credit: Gulfstream
Gulfstream G700 interior floorplan options
Gulfstream G700 interior floorplan options. Credit: Gulfstream

The circadian lighting concept follows that of the human circadian rhythm which is a person’s internal 24-hour clock. The hypothalamus in the brain controls each person’s circadian rhythm by receiving signals from the eyes that report when it’s daytime and night time. The hypothalamus, in turn, controls the amount of melatonin released to correlate sleepiness with darkness and alertness with lightness.

How Circadian Lighting Works

As the eyes play a fundamental part to this process, light can be manipulated in the following three ways to hack the brain from experiencing time zone disruptions:

  • 1. Adjusting brightness and intensity with controlled dimming to correlate with a particular time of day.
  • 2. Adjusting the color temperature of lights. We experience cooler color temperatures (ranging from 4000K up to about 10,000K) when the sun is highest in the sky and people are typically most alert during the day. Therefore, cooler color temps are used in spaces when it’s appropriate to promote alertness and attention. Warmer color temperatures (ranging from < 2700K to 3500K) represent daylight hours when the sun is rising and setting and when people are falling asleep or waking up
  • 3. Stimulus tuning (replacing the “bad blue” light wavelengths with “good blue”).
Color temperature scale

Other features of the G700 cabin include 20 Gulfstream panoramic oval windows in up to five living areas, the Gulfstream exclusive Ultragalley floor plan option that provides more than 10 ft/3 m of counter space, as well as a master suite floor plan option with a stand-up shower.

The G700 is powered by Rolls-Royce Pearl 700 engines and can fly at its high-speed cruise of Mach 0.90 for 6,400 nautical miles/11,853 kilometers or at its long-range cruise of Mach 0.85 for 7,500 nm/13,890 km. The G700 also includes the Gulfstream Symmetry Flight Deck™ with the industry’s only electronically linked active control sidesticks; the most extensive use of touch-screen technology in business aviation; and Gulfstream’s award-winning Predictive Landing Performance System.

Gulfstream G700 business jet
Gulfstream G700 business jet. Credit: Gulfstream

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The First USA-Based Global 5500 Business Jet

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Bombardier delivers the first Global 5500 business jet to be based in the United States.
First US Based Bombardier Global 5500 jet
The first US-based Global 5500 jet delivered to Unicorp National Developments. Credit: Bombardier

Bombardier has announced the delivery of the first Global 5500 aircraft to be based in the United States. This business jet, which will be available for charter, was recently delivered to longtime Bombardier customer Unicorp National Developments, headquartered in Orlando, Florida.

“Our team at Unicorp is beyond excited to benefit from the first Global 5500 aircraft in the United States,” said Chuck Whittall, President, Unicorp National Developments. “This aircraft will allow us to travel with less fuss and more peace of mind.”

Unicorp’s Global 5500 jet will be available for charter out of Orlando International Airport via Elite Air, under a Part 135 charter certificate.

One of the many Bombardier Global 5500 cabin layout options
One of the many Bombardier Global 5500 cabin layout options. Credit: Bombardier

The Global 5500 business jet entered service last month, joining Bombardier’s new large-cabin family alongside the Global 6500 aircraft and the industry flagship Global 7500 aircraft. The Global 5500 aircraft’s best-in-class range can take passengers nonstop from Florida to Sao Paolo, Paris, London or Moscow. On short or long flights Global 5500 aircraft passengers will enjoy a comfortable environment, with three living areas featuring Bombardier’s patented Nuage seating collection. High-speed, worldwide (excluding North and South Poles) Ka-band connectivity ensures that productivity onboard is never compromised.

Bombardier Global 5500 Nuage seat design detail
The Global 5500 jet’s Nuage seat design. Credit: Bombardier

The aircraft delivery took place at Bombardier’s site in Wichita, Kansas, where Global 5500 aircraft are completed. This multifaceted site has a history of collaboration with Unicorp. 16 years ago the company took delivery of the first-ever Learjet 60 aircraft to be completed in Wichita.

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