A stunning ‘superyacht for the skies’ has been unveiled – but like a superyacht on the water, it doesn’t come cheap. Too much even for a millionaire.
The cost? A cool £325million or thereabouts, which buys a wide-bodied Airbus A330 dramatically refurbished by German design studio Lufthansa Technik into a plane it says serves as a ‘multifunctional exploration vessel’… that flies.
The concept plane – named the ‘Explorer’ – boasts luxurious features such as a ‘flying discotheque’, a glass floor and a balcony, which offers passengers ‘a unique view of the airport and its surroundings’ at an elevation of 13ft (4m) over the tarmac.
A stunning ‘superyacht for the skies’ has been unveiled by German design studio Lufthansa Technik (pictured)
The concept – named the ‘Explorer’ – boasts luxurious features like a ‘flying discotheque’ (pictured)
The plane’s balcony, pictured, offers passengers ‘a unique view’ at an elevation of 13ft (4m)
The concept is a dramatically refurbished wide-bodied Airbus A330 – costing £325million
Lufthansa Technik says the plane serves as a ‘multifunctional exploration vessel’ for ‘VIP passengers’
The multifunctional lounge area at the centre of the aircraft has a projection system built into the walls and ceilings, which displays virtual day and night skies, architectural forms or an ‘animated underwater world’.
Renderings show that the plane can be transformed into a club – the aforementioned ‘flying discotheque’ – by night, with passengers pictured dancing under projections of colourful disco balls.
From the lounge, guests can wander to the bedrooms and guest rooms, which, according to the plane’s floor plan, are located at the rear end of the aircraft.
Lufthansa Technik says that the sleeping arrangements will provide passengers ‘with all comforts and amenities that they can expect from a five-star hotel on the ground’.
The multifunctional lounge area at the centre of the aircraft, pictured, has a projection system built into the walls and ceilings
The projection system can show virtual day and night skies or an ‘animated underwater world’ (pictured above)
Architectural forms projected onto the ceiling in the central lounge. The plane was designed for a ‘fast-growing target group of VIP world explorers’
Other amenities in the concept, which was officially unveiled at the recent Dubai Airshow, include offices, a bar, a dining area and a conference space, as well as several bathrooms.
‘Fitness and wellness’ spa facilities are available in the multifunctional room at the rear of the aircraft, which can be converted into a ‘flying hospital room’ depending on the needs of the passengers.
They can even bring their cars and ‘off-road vehicles’ onto the plane.
The plane can carry up to 12 passengers, but the studio can vary the design to accommodate up to 47 people
The fleet of vehicles will be ‘attractively presented’ in the mobility lounge on the lower deck. As the plane takes to the skies, passengers can see the fleet of cars through the glass floor on the main deck.
The plane can carry up to 12 ‘VIP passengers’, but the studio can vary the design to accommodate up to 47 people. Such a redesign could feature an ‘individual owner’s module with a master bedroom and bathroom as well as an office’ or ‘larger areas for the crew’.
The plane’s superyacht credentials were cemented by the fact that its preliminary unveiling took place at the Monaco Yacht Show in September.
A rendering of the bar on the refurbished Airbus. Other amenities include offices, a dining area and a conference space
Lufthansa Technik officially unveiled the concept for the ‘Explorer’ at the recent Dubai Airshow
Lufthansa Technik is ready to take orders for the concept, and estimates that it could take more than one year to complete the refurbishment
The Explorer aircraft allows passengers ‘to travel to the other side of the globe within hours and set up their own individual base camp for further activities’
Wieland Timm, Head of Sales VIP & Special Mission Aircraft Services at Lufthansa Technik, says: ‘In yacht building, multifunctional exploration vessels have now become a class in their own right. And many owners of such vessels also call an aircraft their own.
‘For this fast-growing target group of VIP world explorers, we have therefore now created a flying platform for the first time.
‘Unlike a yacht, however, our Explorer aircraft allows passengers to travel to the other side of the globe within hours and set up their own individual base camp for further activities. This opens up completely new possibilities for explorers.’
Lufthansa Technik is ready to take orders for the concept and estimates that it could take more than one year to complete the refurbishment to the ‘high-class’ standard required.