This isn’t your typical flight. Sky yachting is set to give passengers a luxury experience much like their counterparts on the sea do.
Leisurely trips on the sea are a luxury that is getting more and more accessible for everyone. Whether it’s on a cruise or a private yacht, these experiences come with a price tag but are more readily available for a wider market now than ever before. The main purpose of these cruises is not to get to just one destination quickly. If that were the case, a plane would have been a better option. But on these cruises, you take time and enjoy the journey, and it seems that this concept is going to literally take to the skies.
[Hero image credit: Hybrid Air Vehicles]
Sky yachting and airships: environmentally friendly luxurious cruises in the sky
The growing concern over carbon emissions and the environmental impact of air travel has spurred some to revisit the concept of airships. In fact, Spanish carrier Air Nostrum is anticipating changes to come sooner rather than later. In response, they’ve commissioned airships called the Airlander 10 that will hopefully be flown commercially by 2026 according to Robb Report.
The Airlander 10 can reportedly carry around 130 people and will burn 90 per cent less fuel than aircraft of a similar size. The plan is to outfit the airsip with luxury amenities like suites to make it the aerial counterpart of luxury yachts on the sea. Also getting ready to fly by 2026 is the Atlant 30 by Atlas LTA Advanced Technology. This airship will only accommodate 20 people and house 10 suites; a truly exclusive experience.
Meanwhile, Google co-founder Sergei Brin is developing the Pathfinder airships over at LTA Research. Aside from seeing airships as a solution to lessening pollution, LTA (which stands for Lighter Than Air) Research also believes in “a future where zero-emission airships can support and even speed up disaster response and relief efforts.” They explain, “If runways, roads, and ports are damaged, LTA’s airships can still deliver what communities need. If cellphone towers are knocked out, airships can hover and provide service.”
While LTA is thinking of the environmental impact and humanitarian uses of the airship, a German businessman and Italian designer Pierpaolo Lazzarini have teamed up to quite literally bring the term “sky yachting” to life. The fully electric “Air Yacht” can travel on sea and air and will be built from carbon fibre. Flanked by two inflatable blimps, the sky yacht will house 10 suites in those blimps with a dining and living area in the middle compartment. The whole project will reportedly cost around USD$600 million according to Architectural Digest.
Airships clearly offer a more environmentally friendly way of travelling the skies. On top of that, it’s a very different experience from the usual planes. As Brin described his experience when he got to try the Skyship 600: “[It’s] a lot slower and more [peaceful] than a conventional aircraft.”
However, the main question is how safe airships are. The tragic event was almost 90 years ago, but the Hindenburg disaster still comes to mind when looking at airships. Undoubtedly, there have been advancements ever since then. Whether passengers think that enough years have passed and enough tech developed to trust airship travel again will have to be seen. However, it seems that airships are indeed coming no matter what.