Lufthansa showed the concept of a “flying yacht”.
When designing the concept aircraft, Lufthansa Technik drew inspiration from modern sea vessels for round-the-world travel. 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 will take a ship to sail between distant points of the globe, the Lufthansa Explorer will do it in a matter of hours.
To create a flying yacht, Lufthansa took a well-known aviation platform – the wide-body Airbus A330. This is a 60-meter long-haul aircraft that carries 250 or more passengers in the form of a commercial airliner and up to 25 passengers in a VIP aircraft configuration.
Lufthansa Technik engineers have changed the cabin space for only 8-12 VIP passengers, creating a spacious, luxurious atmosphere of a luxury superyacht. In accordance with the principles of construction of sea vessels, there are large open spaces on board, recreation areas with long sofas, a “royal” dining table designed for all passengers, several cabins for owners and guests, office and conference rooms, as well as a gym.
Due to technical limitations, Lufthansa could not fully reproduce the large windows of yachts inside the fuselage of the aircraft, so technological tricks were used to create the illusion of an open space. The Explorer projection system was developed in collaboration with Diehl Aerospace and includes several passive-cooled projectors built into the walls and ceiling to create visual images that extend throughout the room: from the usual blue sky to underwater seascapes and the illumination of disco clubs.
Given the specifics of a real A330 flight, this aircraft is by definition more limited in research capabilities than a yacht. He will need all the necessary infrastructure for takeoff and landing, and he will not be able to fly to any place on the map. Explorer is more of a base camp and a starting point for extensive adventures.
To expand the Explorer’s capabilities, the Lufthansa team has added a retractable veranda to the front of the fuselage, which gives passengers the opportunity to admire the surroundings. A platform at a height of 4 m is not as attractive as a sliding beach deck on real yachts, located above the water, but it can still become a very picturesque place to relax. If, of course, the airfield turns out to be in the right place. Lufthansa clarifies that the Explorer will be able to transport a passenger car or an all-wheel drive SUV for enhanced passenger mobility.
Techcult believes that the idea of a research aircraft of this size is quite interesting, but it does not fit well for the huge A330 platform. Unfortunately, the more adventurous off-road aircraft that take off from a few meters, as well as seaplanes, are too small for the luxury of superyachts that Lufthansa is counting on.