Some people are old enough to remember when flying was elegant.

These days, rarified elegance in the air is reserved for the super-wealthy.

SottoStudios, a California-based high-end design studio whose creations include everything from houses to tequila-tasting vessels, has released photos of one of its newest forays into opulence: Skyacht One, an airplane with the luxurious feel of a yacht.

The over-the-top aircraft came about through the collaboration of designer Eddie Sotto, founder of SottoStudios in Los Angeles, and Embraer Executive Jets. According to its online description, Skyacht One answers the question, "What if a yacht could fly?"

The custom-designed private jet starts with a 118-foot Embraer Executive Jet Lineage 1000E, which has five distinct cabin zones and "hundreds" of layout possibilities, according to Embraer.

Depending upon the options selected, a finished Skyacht sells for about $83 million, Sotto said.

It can fly as high as 41,000 feet and has a range of 4,600 nautical miles.

Some other bragging points include:

 - the largest, in-flight accessible baggage compartment of any executive jet (323 square feet) with an additional 120-square-foot external baggage area

 - ability to operate in restrictive airports such as London City, allowing the traveler to avoid the busier London Heathrow or Gatwick airports, or Teterboro, N.J., bypassing JFK and LaGuardia

 -  walk-in shower and spa-like lavatory

 -  in-flight entertainment system

 - wireless iPad controls for audio, video, temperature, lights and window shades.

 -  Photo: ©SottoStudios,Visualization By LightBox

-By Carol Christian

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