Monday, December 11, 2023

This AirYacht concept would let passengers cruise both sea and sky

When it comes to creating futuristic concepts, the world of aviation and air navigation has taken great strides into the future with rendered designs that leave nothing to the imagination. While they are all amazing, AirYacht stands out for bringing together the power of an airship with the comforts of a superyacht to sail through the sky and sea.

Developed by Switzerland’s AirYacht company, which was founded by engineers Guillaume Hoddé and Matthieu Ozanne, the AirYacht concept comprises a 200-meter-long helium-filled airship attached to a 60-meter ultralight carbon superyacht. The two vessels can also be separated and used independently for even more versatility.

When in flight, the yacht serves as the airship's gondola
When in flight, the yacht serves as the airship’s gondola. Credit: AirYacht

When in flight, the yacht serves as the airship’s gondola and can accommodate the crew along with up to 12 passengers. In case the owner wants to navigate the water, the yacht can be detached from the airship, lowered down on a set of cables, then released from those cables once it reaches the water’s surface. The innovative launch system, or ‘lift,’ allows the superyacht to be lowered and raised smoothly without the aircraft having to touch the ground.

Starting with the blimp, the airship is powered by a hybrid propulsion system, although it is expected to operate exclusively on hydrogen in the future. With room for three crew members, the detachable balloon can reach 50 knots (92 km/h) and fly up to approximately 3,000 meters above the ground; its autonomous cruise time is around a week.

The yacht can be lowered down on a set of cables.
The yacht can be lowered down on a set of cables. Credit: AirYacht

This hybrid also features large sections of glass in the hull that allow passengers to look down because the most spectacular things that exist when you’re flying are on the ground.

The superyacht sports an aerodynamic hull crafted entirely from ultra-lightweight carbon. It offers the living quarters span roughly 745 square meters spread across three levels and can accommodate up to 12 guests in a five or six-cabin layout. The concept also includes all expected glamorous amenities, such as a Jacuzzi, pool, spa, gym, helipad, and a garage for cars, toys, and tenders.

The yacht can be lowered and released if the owner wants to be land-based for a while.
The yacht can be lowered and released if the owner wants to be land-based for a while. Credit: AirYacht

Interestingly, the superyacht itself does not sport any engines as they add extra weight to the vessel; instead, it relies on the airship to get around. It can be tugged by the airship when in water.

The AirYacht aims to give passengers the freedom to move anywhere in the world, passing from lakes and seas to above deserts and mountains, enjoying the beauty of the water and the sky. The AirYacht also opens up the possibilities for exploration of inland destinations.

The concept is not exactly new; Lazzarini has a very similar design that, like this one, also works with helium airships and can cross the sky or the sea.

AirYacht mentioned that orders are now open, and the first delivery is planned for the end of 2026, but no price has been disclosed yet.