Private jets provide a luxurious view from above, yachts the feeling of luxury on the water, but what if you could have both? We aren’t talking about seaplanes either, but a proper luxury yacht that is attached to an airship. It’s the kind of thing that inspired designs such as the flying boat of Francesco Lana de Terzi in 1670, but is it really plausible?
The appropriately named AirYacht company is hoping that could all change with the reveal of a fascinating concept that features a 52m yacht that hangs beneath a 200m-long airship. It’s not like the lounge beneath the usual airship either, this is a proper yacht that can accommodate up to 12 guests in complete luxury.
Designed by Franck Darnet Design in France, the yacht itself is three decks high and has 750m2 of indoor space with all the luxury you expect in a yacht. There are five guest suites plus an owner’s master suite, a dining area, bar, lounge and of course decks to enjoy sundowners. It even has a sauna, gym, helipad and a swimming pool. Not only that but it has garaging, not just for water toys but for cars too.
Why does it need space for cars? Well, because it is attached to the underside of a helium-filled airship, the whole thing can land on both water and land. The yacht itself is completely detachable so it can be lowered into the remotest lagoon where guests can enjoy the serenity of a discreet ocean location. Alternatively, the yacht can be picked up and moved inland where guests can go exploring.
The creators of the AirYacht say it opens up a third dimension, that of being able to enjoy a luxury yacht while floating in the air, something that most yachts cannot do. Actually, none of them can. Just imagine, you will actually be able to moor in Hartbeespoort and then float away to the Kruger, or why be restricted to the marinas of the Seychelles when you can find a quiet spot on Praslin itself or one of the surrounding islands.
Not surprisingly, sustainability is also key to the whole concept. The Swiss engineers behind the AirYacht say it is kinder to the environment because it requires no infrastructure for landing and as well as the helium airship, the yacht itself can use a hybrid powertrain or even hydrogen fuel cells. Energy optimisation will also be key and there will be onboard water recycling systems.
No numbers have been revealed in terms of what it will cost to buy an AirYacht, The company is currently in a funding stage and says it is accepting orders with the first delivery planned for the end of 2026.
There’s something very romantic about floating around beneath an airship, the quiet whir of the propellers as you pass over majestic mountains or blue oceans. Being able to do so in something as luxurious as the AirYacht seems like the best of all worlds really, hence it being the vision of artists and designers over the centuries.
Whether you want to fly around in a yacht that weighs around 750 tonnes and which is attached to a massive balloon full of helium is another matter though. We get why many parts of the world are preparing for more air transport solutions such as flying taxis and the like, but a flying yacht?
There’s no doubt we are in a time of new innovations and there’s always someone willing to spend money on something no-one else has, especially in the world of the wealthy, so who knows, perhaps the team behind the AirYacht are actually on to something?