LD6 Cargo Containers Outfitted With Luxury Trappings
ANN APRIL 1st "SPECIAL" EDITION: Noting many
grounded corporate executives still have the need for safe,
reliable -- and discrete -- business aviation transport, cargo
giant UPS and Lincoln, NE-based aircraft outfitter Duncan
Aviation announced Wednesday a partnership to provide those
executives with a new travel option.
Dubbed the "Executive Travel Pod" -- ExecuPod or 'ETP' for short
-- the new travel offering allows a corporate tycoon to fly in
relative opulence and anonymity, compared with the typical
commercial airline flight. Under terms of a trial agreement, Duncan
has been contracted to outfit seven LD6 cargo containers with full
sound-deadening insulation, luxurious carpeting and a configurable
Options include a wet bar, wood trim and a 19' flat panel video
display programmable to receive satellite broadcasts, or to mimic
an exterior window... with a further option to display real-time
video from the offices of several worldwide financial institutions,
all through a comforting rose-colored filter.
"We think these Executive Travel Pods are just the thing for the
busy exec who may have previously opted to take the company G-V
from Newark to Tokyo... or from Memphis to Honolulu," said UPS
Corporate Travel Relations spokesman Chuck Noland. "Up to 15 ETPs
may be loaded onto an A300-600F, providing an economical single
mode of transport... as long as those executives don't mind being
loaded and unloaded via forklift."
Todd Grey, project manager at Duncan, admits there are other
hurdles to overcome before ExecuPods become commonplace. "For one,
there's no lav inside... which also makes the wet bar kinda
problematic on a 10-hour flight," he said.
"Also, there's the issue of a cargo-only airline transporting
passengers... but we're thinking there's a way to Part 135 our way
around that one."
Though the project is still only in the development stages, both
parties believe ExecuPods may enter limited charter service by
2014. Prices and handling charges were not announced.