Friday July 15th, 2016

Read about the latest sports tech news, innovations, ideas and products that impact players, fans and the sports industry at SportTechie.com.

Athletes will soon be able to travel in even more style. Russian aircraft company Sukhoi has created the SportJet that allows athletes to never stop training, even while in flight. The private jet, which can be viewed by the public at the Rio Olympics, contains equipment for data and analysis on players as well as physiotherapy equipment to keep players healthy and strong during travel.

There are four sections in the jet. There is a space for the players, a space for coaches, a medical area and another area for staff. The team section allows for player monitoring, as each seat has gadgets built in to track player’s biomedical data. The seats contain their own wearable device for tracking called an airband, which measures pulse, blood pressure and oxygen levels. The seats also have an ‘AeroScan’ diagnostics capsule that tracks health of the players during the flight. The data collected can be viewed by the player and the medical staff and lets them know what they may need to do to improve on hydration or sleeping pattern.

The coaching and staff areas allow for easy consultation between staff and the ability to run through game footage and talk to media. The coach zone also includes a seating area the makes it easy for the team to assemble and talk strategy while flying.

Lots of other features make this a luxury jet. There is a massage table for athletes to receive medical attention, a smart toilet that can detect a person’s hydration level and a 4K screen in the athlete cabin.

An added bonus is customization for teams. Each team member has an individualized seat with their number. And upon boarding the plane, there is a custom welcome message, and the lights in the cabin can be adjusted to the team’s colors.

The SportJet aircraft probably won’t go on sale until 2018, but Sukhoi hopes to start production in 2017. They face competition in the American and UK market as the NBA has a deal with Delta Airlines, and Premier League players transport by bus. Sukhoi hopes that their first customers will be Russian athletic teams, like the KHL (Russian hockey). They should also receive further endorsements when the 2018 soccer World Cup in Russia is held. No price has been released yet, but it will probably be affordable for sports teams and owners with deep pockets.

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