The maintenance, repair and overhaul arm of German airline Lufthansa has quite possibly the most ridiculous news you’re going to read all day. Its Explorer concept turns an Airbus A330 into a private jet modeled after a superyacht, complete with a balcony, disco and glass floor. Oh, and it costs over a quarter of a billion dollars.
Rich travelers are shying away from commercial travel to skip lines and avoid potentially getting sick. The demand for private jets is so blazing hot that buyers have eaten up the market of young used ones. It’s no surprise that companies are peddling private jet concepts at the first commercial air show since the pandemic started.
Dubai’s air show calls itself the world’s most exciting air show, but I’m pretty sure that honor belongs to EAA AirVenture. Anyway, while the Lufthansa Technik Explorer shown is merely virtual, the company is targeting real customers with it, reports Aviation International News.
These customers apparently love multifunctional exploration yachts. Technik figures these people will also want a flying yacht in their fleet.
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A prominent feature is a sun deck on the aircraft hanging 13 feet off of the ground.
I never thought I’d ever write “sun deck” and “aircraft” in the same sentence.
Lufthansa Technik’s idea is for you to park your huge, widebody private jet somewhere scenic, and use it as a hotel and basecamp for “discoveries and excursions.” It’s a cool thought until you remember it’s a big plane so your scenic views will largely be an airport.
And your eyes aren’t fooling you, that’s just the door from a cargo plane. Lufthansa Technik says that the door is from a freighter A330 and it’s available as a retrofit to a passenger A330. So if you’re a supervillain hellbent on taking over the world, you can stew over your plans as you watch people fly commercial from under your cargo door.
Other highlights about the concept include a lower deck where you’re supposed to showcase some cars.
That connects to a lounge designed in part by German car tuner Brabus. The cars can be viewed on the main deck through a glass floor just behind a lounge with displays all over the ceiling that can simulate environments from an aquarium to a disco.
I can get behind that.
It’s unclear how much aside from the screens and cargo door will make it onto customer planes.
The concept is so comical I feel like it could only be the ride of some outrageously evil movie character. And it requires about the same amount of money as a movie villain, too. Lufthansa Technik says that the 12-passenger version seen here would cost $100 million on top of the initial cost of the plane, which already costs a quarter of a billion dollars. You could buy a bunch of hotels for this price, but I guess none of them fly.