Aircraft

AirYacht would let passengers cruise both in the air and on the water

AirYacht would let passengers ...
Plans call for the AirYacht to carry passengers in a detachable gondola, which will double as a seagoing yacht
Plans call for the AirYacht to carry passengers in a detachable gondola, which will double as a seagoing yacht
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The AirYacht features 750 square meters (8,073 sq ft) of indoor living space
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The AirYacht features 750 square meters (8,073 sq ft) of indoor living space
The view from the AirYacht's owner's suite
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The view from the AirYacht's owner's suite
The AirYacht's yacht component, on the water
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The AirYacht's yacht component, on the water
The AirYacht should be able to remain self-sufficient for up to one week
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The AirYacht should be able to remain self-sufficient for up to one week
Plans call for the AirYacht to carry passengers in a detachable gondola, which will double as a seagoing yacht
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Plans call for the AirYacht to carry passengers in a detachable gondola, which will double as a seagoing yacht
As far as basic specs go, the AirYacht airship will be 200 meters long (656 ft) and will utilize a hybrid fuel/electric drive system to travel at speeds of up to 50 knots (93 km/h or 58 mph)
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As far as basic specs go, the AirYacht airship will be 200 meters long (656 ft) and will utilize a hybrid fuel/electric drive system to travel at speeds of up to 50 knots (93 km/h or 58 mph)
The AirYacht's yacht component, after being detached, lowered down and parked on the ground
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The AirYacht's yacht component, after being detached, lowered down and parked on the ground
The yacht component of the AirYacht system, on the water
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The yacht component of the AirYacht system, on the water
The AirYacht yacht gets lowered to the ground
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The AirYacht yacht gets lowered to the ground
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Sailing the world's oceans in a yacht is all very well and good, but what if you want to cruise over the land as well as on the water? Well, that's where the AirYacht is designed to come in, as it combines an airship with a yacht.

The luxury aircraft/watercraft is being developed by Switzerland's AirYacht company, which was founded by engineers Guillaume Hoddé and Matthieu Ozanne. French yacht designer Franck Darnet is responsible for its looks and layout.

Putting it simply, the AirYacht consists of two parts: a helium-filled airship, and a streamlined yacht which is coupled to its underside.

When in flight, the yacht serves as the airship's gondola, housing the crew along with up to 12 passengers. If the owner wants to cruise on the sea, however, 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 process is reversed when it comes time to winch the yacht back up to the airship.

The yacht component of the AirYacht system, on the water
The yacht component of the AirYacht system, on the water

Needless to say, the aircraft needs to be hovering reasonably close to the water while all of this is happening. It will reportedly utilize an "air buoyancy" control system to keep from suddenly shooting up into the air when it releases all that weight from its underside. There's currently no word on how the airship will maintain its position while everyone takes off in the yacht.

Alternatively, if the owner wants to be land-based for a while, the yacht can once again be lowered and released, this time sitting on the ground via a set of struts that are deployed from its hull. On the other hand, for shorter trips to the ground, an elevator-like 12-passenger lift can be lowered on cables from the underside of the yacht, while the latter remains attached to the airship.

The AirYacht yacht gets lowered to the ground
The AirYacht yacht gets lowered to the ground

Depending on factors such as cruising speed and the number of passengers/crew, the AirYacht is intended to remain self-sufficient for periods of up to one week.

As far as basic specs go, the airship will be 200 meters (656 ft) long and will utilize a hybrid fuel/electric drive system to travel at speeds of up to 50 knots (93 km/h or 58 mph). Ozanne tells us that due to a confidentiality agreement with the partnering company which is developing the aircraft, few other details can be shared at this time.

The three-story yacht component will be 52 m long by 13 m wide by 11 m high (171 by 43 by 36 ft), and will incorporate five to six cabins. Along with the 12 passengers and three flight crew members, it will also be capable of accommodating a 12-person "hospitality crew." Some of its other planned features include fore and aft sundecks; a Jacuzzi, sauna and swimming pool(!); a helipad; plus a garage in which vehicles such as a car, tender boat or Jet Skis could be stored.

No performance specs are available for the yacht at this point.

The view from the AirYacht's owner's suite
The view from the AirYacht's owner's suite

The AirYacht has reportedly been in development since 2017, with plans calling for the first one to be ready for action in 2026 – one to four units will then be produced each year. Not surprisingly, Ozanne says that pricing will only be discussed with potential buyers during a confidential interview. Interested parties can contact the company via its website.

Source: AirYacht

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15 comments
15 comments
Chase
Seems like it would be much simpler to use hydrogen instead of helium. The yacht could use onboard electrolyzers to produce the hydrogen and inflate the airship, then just collapse and stow the airship when it is ready to set sail.
MarkGovers
This is a dream project, I want one, however I am concerned about Helium availability: https://www.npr.org/2019/11/01/775554343/the-world-is-constantly-running-out-of-helium-heres-why-it-matters Let's hope that other countries begin production, and who knows maybe we will find more stores in our solar system through SpaceX and Nasa explorer missions.
paul314
@Chase In addition to the obvious combustion issues, current tech apparently requires about 4 kwH per cubic meter of hydrogen liberated. Even at a mere (!) 100,000 cubic meters of gas fill for a 200M long airship, that would be 400,000 kwh per inflation. If you could operate at 100% efficiency, that would require about 40,000 liters of fuel, so carrying enough fuel for even one inflation would take up pretty much all your payload capacity.

As it is in this design, the yacht would have to be remarkably light to be liftable by the airship, and the weather around rendezvous time would have to involve minimal winds. I wish billionaires would consider toys that were actively good for the planet. Maybe a lair/supermansion made out of stone with captured carbon?
EJ222
I know waste usually comes up when discussing yachts, but this seems like a *particularly* extravagant use of precious helium and other resources.


But this would be cool as a more generic boat lifting system.
Trylon
@Chase, have you so quickly forgotten the Hindenburg? And in point of fact, FAA regulations specifically prohibit the use of hydrogen as a lifting gas in manned lighter-than-air vehicles – including dirigibles and balloons – for that very reason.
riczero-b
It would need about a third of a million litres of helium to lift 40 tonnes weight. You'd have to tether it firmly while you went sailing.
Chase
@paul314 fair point on the power requirements. I didn't think it would require that much power. That volume of gas would only require 117m3 of liquid hydrogen, and that could be stored on board, used to inflate the bladder, and re-compressed back into liquid at the end of the flight. There would be seepage but I'm pretty sure a small electrolyzer could keep up with that or capacity could be increased to account for it.

@Trylon yeah, I do remember the Hindenburg. The airship that used a highly flammable paint coating to seal in the hydrogen... 85 years ago. Material science and safety systems have advanced a lot in 85 years if you've been paying any attention to New Atlas, or Gizmag as I still prefer to think of it. Hydrogen is dangerous when handled improperly. So is gasoline and high voltage electricity but we are comfortable with the safety systems that have been designed to deal with them. Companies are finally working on overcoming that gaseous hydrogen phobia and are working to get the FAA to finally reverse that decision.
DavidB
More than twice the length of a football field?!

That’s not a yacht; it’s a cruise ship.
noteugene
To Chase, I agree with you. I liked the name Gizmag. Don't care at all for New Atlas & wonder why somebody would tinker with a great name? The Yacht is James Bond stuff, truly impressive but can we continue to keep wasting our natural resources like this? I think we should start budgeting our rare commodities. For example: this yatch owner can only burn so much X per annum. Don't you agree? We are going to have to start doing something like this before long.
WB
nice pipe dream and ideas... but unless they have a billion of funding lined up that wont be happening anytime soon. So many heavy lift similar concepts never made it anywhere and ran out of money.
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