While planes are technological marvels in their own right, we guess technology can always be improved on which is what the folks at Nike and design firm Teague have done. Both companies have teamed up together to develop a plane which has been designed specifically for professional athletes in mind. Of course there is no telling when their concept will be realized, if at all, but in the meantime we guess it could be worth checking out. To start, the plane will be designed to accommodate players who might be very tall, like basketball players, or who might be very wide, like football players. There will also be dedicated sections for sleeping, recovery, nutrition, and socializing.
Home field advantage gives professional athletes an undeniable edge, but this intangible benefit might not just have to do with raucous home fans. A bad night’s sleep is probably just as much of burden. Studies show that athletes who cross more than three timezones end up with a 60 percent chance of losing their games. While team owners pay hundreds of millions of dollars building customized training facilities to eke out tiny improvements in player conditioning, they still subject their star centers to the crooked necks that come from flying in chartered, but nonetheless commercial, jets. Seattle-based design firm Teague has been developing airline interiors for almost as long as there have been airplanes and recently joined forces with Nike to create a concept cabin that is meant to swaddle athletes in supreme comfort—and, in doing so, unlock their peak performance. The most notable aspect of their design is the sheer amount of space that’s available. A standard jet holds anywhere from 100-400 passengers, but focusing on the 13-man roster of a basketball team and eliminating hundreds of seats is a game changer that creates possibilities for entirely new kinds of high-altitude interactions. “Most airplane design projects are about packaging individuals as efficiently as possible,” says Teague creative director Philipp Steiner. “We’re usually really concerned with the average traveler, but these athletes are far beyond average, and designing for extreme users provides a really interesting perspective.”