Russian plane maker Sukhoi to unveil a luxury private jet fit for an Olympic champion in Rio. Matthew Stock reports.
Sports stars clock up some serious air miles. Athletes are often on the plane home soon after they finish competing. Putting the body through extreme physical exertion requires a proper warm down to help muscle recovery -- something not always possible in flight, even on private jets. Russian aircraft manufacturer Sukhoi hopes to change this with their SportJet. The concept is based on the Sukhoi Superjet 100, already in operation - but with a luxury interior designed for the world's finest athletes. (SOUNDBITE) (English) SUKHOI CIVIL AIRCRAFT, SENIOR VICE PRESIDENT, EVGENY ANDRACHNIKOV, SAYING: "Owners of sports teams do invest millions of dollars in their players and they require the best performance out of them. So with 50 percent of their time spent travelling and being tired they must recover, relax, sleep and check and analyses their biometrics." On board, 'smart chairs' with integrated biomedical sensors that will help physicians monitor athletes' condition. A 'recovery zone' will have specialist equipment for physical therapy. They'll also be an area to transport injured athletes. Sukhoi says the sports air transport market exceeds $600 million per year. (SOUNDBITE) (English) SUKHOI CIVIL AIRCRAFT, SENIOR VICE PRESIDENT, EVGENY ANDRACHNIKOV, SAYING: "More than 20 years ago the NBA has signed a contract with Delta to carry most of the NBA clubs during the season across the Unite States of America. United [Airlines] does the same, so it's still alive - the only thing they miss is the right sport jet for it." Sukhoi plan to unveil a version of the SportJet cabin at the Rio Olympics, which runs from August 5 to 21. With production starting next year, they hope the SportJet will be the airliner of choice for soccer stars competing in the 2018 World Cup in Russia and athletes at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.