In broad terms, if the complexity (and cost) of designing a superyacht is ten times that of a private residence, then a private jet can be ten times that again. Peder Eidsgaard and his team design for both sea and sky, and Peder explains the mastery required to achieve sightlines, space and soul in strictly defined areas.


Peder Eidsgaard is design director at both Harrison Eidsgaard and Pegasus Design, the London-based superyacht and private jet offices that are responsible for the delivery of around two yachts and two jets each year. The yachts are normally between 50 – 100m and the jets range from super-medium size (14 seaters) for Bombardier and Gulfstream, to the whole gamut of sizes from Boeing and Airbus (A319-A350). Almost every project from the ten-strong design team has garnered an award, so they have a habit of over-delivering on briefs that are often complicated.


Chris Cecil-Wright, Peder and his yacht-design partners Ben Harrison and Ewa Eidsgaard all worked together previously on the 77.7m TANGO, a strikingly contemporary exterior design for Feadship that won Motor Yacht of the Year Award in 2012. The design team had already been commissioned for the same client’s aircraft, and the Art Deco inspired aesthetic the client desired for the water required wildly different technical knowledge in the air. “At Harrison Eidsgaard we have no restrictions because we start from scratch and design everything on the boat above the waterline – I see it as filling a hole in the water,” says Peder, “But with jets we have huge confines; we are restricted with weight, height and width and we have to be extremely creative with these small areas.”


Under the umbrella of Pegasus Design, the team provides specialist interiors for V-VIP jets and helicopters. Similar to the finest shipyards of northern Europe, Pegasus Design will fashion interiors and cabinetry to the highest standards; all furniture is then hand-made and adorned with specially selected fabrics. Bombardier and Gulfstream will supply them with a fuselage that is fitted with a layout, but the larger engined Boeings and Airbuses will be empty except for the crew WC and cockpit. The skill is in manipulating the materials and space within strict regulation controls.


To achieve certification, the layout must be responsive to emergency escape routes and balance within the aircraft, and the combined materials must be within weight limits. Excessive weight negatively impacts range and performance on a jet, and in order to keep this reduced, aircraft outfitters use inventive techniques. “Clients often expect stone counter tops in a bathroom and solid wood doors, so we focus intently on tricking the eye with lightweight veneers,” Peder explains, “We have to warn clients when they lift our samples because they expect them to be heavy.” Materials are applied to aluminium honeycomb panels instead of a solid-core substrate like ply wood, which is typical of yacht interiors. In fact, individual aircraft furniture pieces can weigh up to ¾ less than their yacht counterparts. 

Furthermore, every item of furniture needs to withstand any forces exerted on it during a potential crash landing. Glass, for example, is generally substituted for ‘lexan’, which is a high-quality, clear resin material that has huge weight saving properties and is also shatter resistant. “Everything must be incredibly strong and yet look antique or modern (depending on taste), and be certified and numbered down to the last screw. It’s a great challenge,” adds Peder.


Though a client will experience their yacht over the course of consecutive days or weeks, they will likely only be onboard their aircraft for between two and ten hours. The aim is to convey a sense of home despite that transience, and aesthetically connect the client’s jet with their yacht, if they have one. The team at Pegasus Design focuses on flow within a fuselage as closely as they would when working on a large yacht, judging the way the light comes into the cabin and which features are highlighted. “Space is the ultimate luxury, and when you enter an aircraft you need long sightlines just as you would have on a yacht,” Peder explains, “It should feel generous when standing but intimate when seated – and always safe.”

“The yacht piece is made to look light but is in fact very heavy, while the jet desk is made to look heavy and sturdy, but in reality is actually extremely light.”

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