With the expansion of the business of sports, athletes have become wealthy tycoons accustomed to the greatest luxuries and comforts.
In fact, it has been demonstrated that inappropriate rest, poor blood circulation, poor diet and schedule changes caused by long hours of flight, decrease the chances of winning a game by 60 percent. Since there are no specially designed aircrafts to address the real needs of athletes, the jets we have are merely adapted versions of commercial planes with bigger seats and wider spaces to accommodate large individuals.
Given these facts, the Seattle-based company Teague, a leader in aircraft design, decided to partner with Nike to develop the perfect jet for athletes. Trainers, physiotherapists, doctors and nutritionists were consulted in the process, and the result is a concept plane that surprises not only for its comfort, but also for its technology.
In an area that would normally accommodate between 300 and 400 passengers, the prototype provides comfortable space for 13 athletes, plus the support staff and crew. The plane comes with a sitting zone featuring seats that fold into beds, large enough for individuals more than 7 feet tall. It also has massage and physiotherapy rooms, meeting room with individual screens for each athlete, a section devoted to nutrition and bathrooms of giant proportions.
Added to this, the luggage compartments above the seats have been removed to allow the athletes to walk upright inside the plane, and the ventilation system has an oxygen channel that can be used to stimulate blood circulation. On board, the athletes will wear clothes with biometric sensors that send signals of their vital signs to a team of specialists who can take appropriate action about nutrition, rest and exercise recovery.
The materials used for the jet’s interior were developed by specialists at Nike, and their textures and colors convey a feeling of calm, luxury, exclusivity and technology, the same concepts used by the brand to develop their sport garments.
“The jet of athletes” is an ambitious, but realistic project that could give the team that much needed advantage. But we cannot ignore the fact that there are other criteria that make a winning sports club. ■