Aircraft

Majestic flying catamaran concept reimagines the blimp

Majestic flying catamaran conc...
The Air Yacht by Lazzarini Design would sail the skies on a honeycomb of helium
The Air Yacht by Lazzarini Design would sail the skies on a honeycomb of helium
View 12 Images
The Air Yacht by Lazzarini Design would sail the skies on a honeycomb of helium
1/12
The Air Yacht by Lazzarini Design would sail the skies on a honeycomb of helium
The Air Yacht is also designed to navigate (slowly) on water
2/12
The Air Yacht is also designed to navigate (slowly) on water
The Air Yachy could fly at 60 kn for up to 48 hours
3/12
The Air Yachy could fly at 60 kn for up to 48 hours
The Air Yacht coming in for a water landing
4/12
The Air Yacht coming in for a water landing
The Air Yacht from the rear
5/12
The Air Yacht from the rear
What's an airship without a helipad?
6/12
What's an airship without a helipad?
The Air Yacht provides good views all around
7/12
The Air Yacht provides good views all around
The twin airships each contain five en suite staterooms and great views
8/12
The twin airships each contain five en suite staterooms and great views
The central deck houses the master cabin
9/12
The central deck houses the master cabin
Proportions of the Air Yacht design
10/12
Proportions of the Air Yacht design
A look inside the luxurious cabin offering 360-degree views
11/12
A look inside the luxurious cabin offering 360-degree views
A look inside the luxurious cabin, featuring large dining and living areas
12/12
A look inside the luxurious cabin, featuring large dining and living areas
View gallery - 12 images

Pierpaolo Lazzarini is no stranger to pushing the envelope when it comes to design concepts – be it swan-inspired superyachts, crab-inspired catamarans, retro-futuristic flying cars or a city of floating pyramids. His latest effort, the Air Yacht, is designed to travel the sea or the skies in style, buoyed by twin helium-filled airships.

Eschewing the traditional one-big-balloon blimp design, the Air Yacht looks more like a giant catamaran, with two 492-ft-long (150-m) airships connected to a 262-ft-long (80-m) central deck via four carbon bridges on each side. The central deck measures 33 ft (10 m) wide and houses a master cabin with 360-degree views, a large dining area and a living area. There are also windows on the outer edges of the airships, each of which contain five en suite staterooms.

The twin airships each contain five en suite staterooms and great views
The twin airships each contain five en suite staterooms and great views

Those twin carbon-fiber airships also feature a honeycomb of cells, or “hives”, that hold 14.1 million ft3 (400,000 m3) of compressed helium allowing the craft to fly at 60 kn (69 mph, 111 km/h) for more than 48 hours, with eight contra-rotating electric rotors on the sides powered by ultra-light batteries and solar panels adorning the tops of the airships.

The Air Yacht from the rear
The Air Yacht from the rear

The engines would also rotate to push the airship down and land on the water, with depressurization of the helium and ballast anchoring system keeping it on the water, where an “inflatable basement” keeps it afloat and allows it to travel at a speed of 5 kn (6 mph, 9 km/h). There’s also room for an optional helipad (and why not!) on the top of the central deck to allow travel to locations that can’t accommodate a massive amphibious airship.

What's an airship without a helipad?
What's an airship without a helipad?

Lazzarini isn’t targeting tourism operators with the design, but rather private owners. Given the €550 million (US$629 million) asking price for such a vehicle if it were ever to materialize, that could be a pretty limited market – especially since most billionaires these days seem to be sinking their money into vehicles that go a little higher. Still, none of that stops it being a gorgeous design.

Source: Lazzarini Design Studio via Boat International

View gallery - 12 images
14 comments
14 comments
Gabor Pauler
That happens when somebody skips boring physics/math classes...
Unsold
The big sticking point for me is the obstruction of lateral view. Having the three bodies in plane would probably be a mite less stable versus having the center section pendant and ballasted. And that helicopter wants to be a multirotor VTOL.
EH
It has interesting ideas, but poor aerodynamics. To start with, I'd remove the fins and tilt the ducted fans for control, which wors even without power to the propellers. The multiple bridges to the center need to be reduced to two on either side, with no "cat whisker" cables. They should be lifting surfaces. The center should have forward and lateral viewing areas, so needs to be lower. The catamaran design doesn't make much sense for airships with conventional propulsion - more drag per lift, no stability advantage - but some years ago, while thinking of airships that swam like fish, propelled by strokes of their tails, I realized that a catamaran design would allow the central part to remain steady as the hulls to either side swished their tails in opposite directions. This fish-propulsion method is technically feasible and would be more efficient than propellers.
JeremyH
This is not a serious design.
Gizmag shouldn't be covering it as if it was. (You'll always be Gizmag to me).
It looks more like a 1970s paperback cover.
The helium (if available) would lift about 400 tonnes (reduced by any overpressure). Not enough.
The shed to keep it in would be a thing of beauty, but how would you keep it safe away from base?
paul314
More or less plausible than the comic-book movie versions?
WB
I'd wish these guys would get some basic education before they come up with these pipe dreams. That design make zero sense from any point of view. I don't even know where to start. It's just some fantasy show concept with zero practicality and reality. Just some drawn up fantasy okys add a bunch of hype words... honeycomb, carbonfiber, only thing missing is AI and blockchain... so whoever is financing this garbage and giving those guys money, don't just walk away.. RUN!!
ljaques
Hey, could these be cheaper than the $400M-$607M private jets or yachts they would normally buy? 10 huge staterooms + 69kn speed doesn't bode well for commercial air travel for the masses, though, does it? Someone might build one, but I doubt they'll be common in the skies any time this century. I thought helium was fairly rare, though. 14.1M ft3 each is quite a bit during a global helium shortage, even though the US is (was?) a major source.
clay
I don't care how impractical it is... I'll take one..er two. It's Just beautiful.
HoppyHopkins
There are ways to double and possibly triple the dimensions and make the design stronger and more resistant to damage. Indeed it could be the answer to DARPAs quest to duplicate the Helicarrier in the Avengers movies
foxpup
People develop and make the "Flying Bumm" work but unreasonable people who can't handle its esthetics feel compelled to propose another design that is less practical but doesn't look like a bumm any more. Machines often work best when they match forms found in nature including the form of the bumm. :-)
Load More