March 30, 2009 The double deck Airbus A380 has set new high standards for luxury accommodation in the air but, unless you can afford to deck out your own A380 as a private jet, the Hotelicopter concept aims to top this airborne opulence by equipping a four story converted heavy lift aircraft with 18 luxuriously-appointed room hotels.
Modeled on the Soviet Mil V-12, the largest helicopter ever built, of which only two prototypes were built in the 1960s, the Hotelicopter company would like us to believe they purchased one of these prototypes in 2004 with the Hotelicopter now ready for its maiden flight in June 26th. We're not sure that we do, but we like the concept.
While the computer generated images of the Hotelicopter show a lot of imagination, the specified Maximum Takeoff Weight of 105850 kg (232,870 lb) is actually exactly same as that of the original Mil V-12 which is highly unlikely given the Hotelicopter has at entire 3 story luxury hotel added onto it. No need to remind readers that it is April 1st this week.
The design outlined at the Hotelicopter site includes soundproofed rooms, each boasting a queen-sized bed, fine linens, a mini-bar, coffee machine, wireless internet access, and all the luxurious appointments you’d expect from a flying five star hotel - there's even the promise of room service.
The original Mil V-12 was an amazingly large helicopter which absolutely dwarfs any heavy lift Helicopter in use today. Each rotor had a diameter of nearly 115 ft (35m), mounted at the end of a large wing, making the distance from the tips of each rotor blade wider than the wingspan of a Boeing 747. The two Soviet built V-12s did fly and still hold the helicopter heavy lift world record of 44,205 kg (88,636 lb) at a height of 2,255m (7,398 feet) set on August 6th 1969 but were simply too big and difficult to maneuver to be practical so never reached production.
Hotelicopter has announced a travel schedule for the flying hotel starting with the inaugural flight from John F. Kennedy International Airport June 26th 2009. Tickets will be on sale at an undisclosed price once their reservation system is open. We'd like to believe it will happen, but...