Lufthansa showed the concept of a “flying yacht

Lufthansa showed the concept of a "flying yacht

When designing the concept plane, Lufthansa Technik drew inspiration from modern seagoing vessels for circumnavigation of the globe. The Explorer concept is a flying superyacht with a five-star hotel-style cabin built into a long-haul aircraft. Instead of the days, weeks or months it takes for a ship to sail between distant points of the globe, the Lufthansa Explorer will do so in a matter of hours.

To create the flying yacht, Lufthansa has taken a familiar aircraft platform – the wide-body Airbus A330. It is a 60-meter-long, long-haul aircraft that carries 250 or more passengers as a commercial airliner and up to 25 passengers in a VIP aircraft configuration.

The engineers at Lufthansa Technik have transformed the cabin space for just 8 to 12 VIP passengers, creating the spacious, luxurious atmosphere of a luxury superyacht. In accordance with the principles of nautical construction, there are large open spaces, lounge areas with long sofas, a “king” dining table for all passengers, several cabins for owners and guests, office and conference rooms, and a gymnasium on board.

Due to technical limitations, Lufthansa could not fully replicate the large yacht windows inside the fuselage of the aircraft, so technological tricks were used to create the illusion of open space. The Explorer projection system was developed in collaboration with Diehl Aerospace and includes several passively cooled projectors built into the walls and ceiling to create visual images stretching across the room, from the usual blue sky to underwater seascapes and disco club illumination.

Given the peculiarities of real A330 flight, this aircraft is by definition more limited in its research capabilities than a yacht. It will need all the necessary infrastructure for takeoff and landing, and it will not be able to fly to any place on the map. The Explorer is more of a base camp and starting point for extensive adventures.

To enhance the Explorer’s capabilities, the Lufthansa team added a retractable veranda to the front of the fuselage, which gives passengers a view of their surroundings. The 4m high platform is not as inviting as a sliding beach deck above the water on real yachts, but it can still be a very picturesque place to relax. If, of course, the airfield is in the right place.

Lufthansa specifies that the Explorer will be able to carry a passenger car or a four-wheel drive SUV for extended passenger mobility.

Techkult thinks the idea of an exploratory aircraft of this size is quite interesting, but it is a poor fit for the huge A330 platform. Unfortunately, the more adventurous off-road planes, taking off from a few meters away, and seaplanes are too small for the luxury of superyachts, which Lufthansa is counting on.

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