Flying high: NetJets collaborates with Timorous Beasties

Flying high: NetJets collaborates with Timorous Beasties
To celebrate its partnership of twelve years with Art Basel, NetJets has collaborated with British design firm Timorous Beasties to give its planes a new look
(Image credit: press)

Private aviation company NetJets (opens in new tab) is unveiling a collaboration with design studio Timorous Beasties (opens in new tab) for their Signature Series Challenger 350 jet. The plane was modeled by the company in close collaboration with aircraft manufacturer Bombardier, and this newly decorated, chevron-motifed version is making its inaugural flight today to celebrate the private flights company’s ongoing partnership with Art Basel.

The tail design takes cues from their sophisticated red, white and blue stripe which features on their jets, and at first looks like an abstract motif of blurred zig-zag stripes. On closer inspection, the stripes become a fleet of moths applied in a geometric arrangement over the tail.

‘Moths are a recurring insect in our work,’ explains Paul Simmons, who with Alistair McCauley founded Timorous Beasties in 1990. When asked by NetJets to create a design that complements the notion of air travel, they chose to focus on the ‘unsung heroes’ of the insects world. ‘A moth is a more difficult motif,’ continues Simmons, noting how a butterfly would have been a more obvious option. ‘Everybody does butterflies, from Damien Hirst to Laura Ashley,’ the designer half-jokes, ‘but moths are more on a mission: nocturnal, calm, silent – there is more depth to them.’

The motif was also inspired by cars and planes, and applied to the tail of the jets letting some of the metal underneath come through, for an added three-dimensional effect.

‘Art is a topic close to many of our customers’ hearts,’ says Marine Eugene, at the helm of sales for NetJets Europe. This collaboration gives a new dimension to the company's sophistication – and with 110 flights scheduled for Art Basel next week, the combination of air travel and art is going to be stronger than ever.

Flying high: NetJets collaborates with Timorous Beasties

The chevron motif of the tail design takes cues from NetJets' sophisticated red, white and blue stripe, but the geometric arrangement takes on a life of its own

(Image credit: press)

Flying high: NetJets collaborates with Timorous Beasties

When asked by NetJets to create a design that complements the notion of air travel, they chose to focus on the ‘unsung heroes’ of the insects world: moths

(Image credit: press)

Flying high: NetJets collaborates with Timorous Beasties

The interiors of the jets remain refined and sober in appearance, but also at the cutting edge of aviation quality and innovation their sleek and elegant compositions are also modulable, adapting to the client's needs

(Image credit: press)

Flying high: NetJets collaborates with Timorous Beasties

The aviation firm is expecting 110 flights operating into Basel for the event this year. The NetJets Europe lounge will feature Timorous Beasties designs displayed throughout

(Image credit: press)

Flying high: NetJets collaborates with Timorous Beasties

The brand's sober identity will be galvanised by an artful collaboration this year, effectively uniting technical prowess and witty designs

(Image credit: press)

Rosa Bertoli was born in Udine, Italy, and now lives in London. Since 2014, she has been the Design Editor of Wallpaper*, where she oversees design content for the print and online editions, as well as special editorial projects. Through her role at Wallpaper*, she has written extensively about all areas of design. Rosa has been speaker and moderator for various design talks and conferences including London Craft Week, Maison & Objet, The Italian Cultural Institute (London), Clippings, Zaha Hadid Design, Kartell and Frieze Art Fair. Rosa has been on judging panels for the Chart Architecture Award, the Dutch Design Awards and the DesignGuild Marks. She has written for numerous English and Italian language publications, and worked as a content and communication consultant for fashion and design brands.