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The Design Process of a Custom-Made Private Jet

Realising the Design Process

The process of transforming a client’s vision into a fully realised, beautifully outfitted jet can be complex and demanding as there are many specific factors to consider – any of which can derail the entire project if approached incorrectly.

However, using a professional completion management service to oversee the process can transform what might feel like an arduous journey into something closer to a chauffeur-driven trip in complete comfort – enjoyable while it lasts, with a rewarding outcome at the end as you take ownership of your perfectly designed aircraft.

In this article, we’ll take a deeper dive into the process of realising a client’s vision and transforming abstract concepts into reality.

Concept Phase

A completion manager will have discussed the client’s functional requirements and helped them to select the correct aircraft for their needs.  From this, crafting a conceptual design is the next step on the journey, resulting in rough sketches being produced, then refined in order to meet a client’s requirements whilst taking into account the aircraft’s specifications and existing configuration.

To achieve this, the designer must begin the concept phase by listening to the client and ensuring they fully understand their functional requirements, alongside their lifestyle, taste and vision for the project. Discussions that focus on a client’s hopes and dreams may seem irrelevant to the casual viewer but are essential for understanding them on a fundamental level, allowing the designer to build the project around the identity of the client.

These early discussions are used to create visual representations of ideas and explore potential directions and concepts during the project’s initial stages. This enables the design process to advance, allowing the completion manager to begin estimating the scale of the project – including costs and projected time frame. 


The designer will begin creating basic concepts for the client to be able to visualise the layout and identify which aspects work well and which may need to be refined.

Developing the interior architecture includes defining the volumes and configuration of the cabin space. When planning the layout, the designer will take the needs of the space into account when defining boundaries between working, entertaining, private and personal areas.

The way people move through and use the available area is critical: walking about the interior should be enjoyable and not feel cluttered or complicated.  This means the designer needs to think about how each person will interact with the space created. The most important thing is to provide a space that can change and adapt to the personal concept of “living”


The interior design process will take client’s way of life, the space’s intended function, and the desired mood of the finished product into account, incorporating these elements into the space. From there, the designer may draw inspiration from the home, yacht, or car of the client, or they may choose a completely different and innovative route.


The designer will work with the client to capture the desired “feel” of the interior and explore ideas for wall and floor finishes, including panelling details and joinery in natural, artistic, and three-dimensional modelling. These preliminary ideas are developed in a variety of media, including hand-drawn perspectives, computer models, and sample boards outlining materials and appearances, allowing client to experience these aspects both visually and sensorily to choose the best possible finishes.

Once identified the preferred elements of the interior layout, styling, material, and finishes, the designer will create additional ideas and sketches to create a set of preliminary design concepts, complete with interior viewpoints and design details.

3D Modelling

Client will then discuss these concepts, sketches and samples with the design and completion management team, and the designer will identify the preferred elements.  From this, they’ll build a shortlisted set of preliminary design concepts, utilising the selected architecture, styling, material and finishes.

After a final design concept has been chosen, three-dimensional digital and scale models can be developed. 3D digital modelling enables you to evaluate the chosen designs in various environments and lighting conditions, allowing rapid modifications to be made to explore options using photorealistic illustrations.  A scale model helps the final design to be observed and comprehended so that surfaces, finishes, lines, and folds can be better appreciated in natural light.  In addition, they provide a physical form that cannot be duplicated in terms of scale, size, and shape appreciation whilst offering you the ability to physically interact with them in order to comprehend diverse angles and perspectives.

Selected Concept

Once the client and design team have together decided upon their favourite elements from the interior architecture, styling, material and finishes, further ideas and sketches are then created from this shortlist to develop interior viewpoints and design details to create a set of preliminary design concepts. 

Digital Modelling

When the final design concept has been selected, the development of three dimensional digital & scale models can begin.

Digital modelling using CAD (Computer Aided Design) offers the possibility to evaluate designs in different environments and to explore changes quickly together with photo-realistic visualizations. However, to really grasp proportion, size, and form, nothing beats the physicality of a scale model. One benefit of using scale models is that both designers and clients may get a hands-on experience with the product, expanding their understanding of the project from multiple perspectives.

This stage is critical before moving onto the Design phase to ensure that client expectations are met at all stages of the process.

As such, the Concept Phase includes the initial stages of the design process in which rough sketches are created in collaboration with project stakeholders, then shortlisted according to client wishes.
The designer will seek to achieve a design that meets all of the aircraft’s requirements, including performance, structural systems, control systems and more. In addition, the design and completion management team will consider elements such as the shape of the aircraft’s fuselage, wing location and engine size whilst taking into account any other legal or regulatory stipulations in order to craft an evolved concept around your requirements.

Design Phase

After completing the conceptual design, the design phase includes condensing the preferred ideas and concepts into a final, definitive plan.  During this phase, your completion manager and designer will review the chosen concepts and identify any potential issues to be corrected before creating a final definitive document.

Finding the sweet spot between originality in design, precision in engineering and reliability in manufacturing is essential and every aspect of the aircraft interior is considered to ensure these elements are seamlessly integrated into the completed aircraft.

Information that must be incorporated in a detailed design plan includes the “Scope of Work (SOW)”, a specification document describing the amount of detail and quality that must be maintained throughout the process of outfitting, defining the required performance of each of the systems, mechanisms, material finishes, fittings and products used in the build. These criteria are broken down into four categories that together form the final product: Technical, interior, performance and operation specifications. 

Detailed Diagrams

A complete set of exact scaled drawings including plans, sections, elevations, reflected ceiling plans and joinery details is generated. Once a completion centre has been selected to carry out the project, the completion manager will hand over the diagrams and oversee the conversion into production and installation diagrams, from which the interior cabin will be constructed.

Essentially, the design phase encompasses the transition from initial concepts to a finalised plan to be given to suppliers and completion centres to allow them to provide quotes and ask for any further information before proceeding to the negotiation and implementation phase.

Cost Analysis

Following the completion of the detailed design phase, the drawing package specification document and scope of works will be submitted to the main contractor for final cost analysis.

Any changes that are needed to suit budget constraints or special manufacturing requirements will be made at this stage prior to the final sign-off and approval from the client.

Whilst this might be the end of the design process, there’s still much more to be done before the bespoke private jet is completed and ready for her first flight.  Completion manager will advocate for the client while overseeing the project to completion.

The concept and design phase is often the most meaningful for many clients as it is specifically centred around individual prerequisites and gives the client the opportunity to design the perfect private jet.

A good completion manager and designer will work together as a team to understand client’s aesthetic and functional requirements and translate this into a design that is more than measurements or diagrams, or materials.  A good design takes the seed of an idea and creates something transcendent – an environment that offers everything a client needs in a beautiful and sumptuous space at 40,000ft.