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The Insane Explorer Flying Superyacht Previews the Future of Private Air Travel

Good marketing will identify unmet demand and eventually lead to it being met. Good marketing can also create interest, which will then create demand, which will then be met by the same company doing the marketing.
The Explorer concept is a private jet inspired by superyacht explorers, insane but totally doable - for $100 million 10 photos
The Explorer concept is a private jet inspired by superyacht explorers, insane but totally doable - for $100 millionThe Explorer concept is a private jet inspired by superyacht explorers, insane but totally doable - for $100 millionThe Explorer concept is a private jet inspired by superyacht explorers, insane but totally doable - for $100 millionThe Explorer concept is a private jet inspired by superyacht explorers, insane but totally doable - for $100 millionThe Explorer concept is a private jet inspired by superyacht explorers, insane but totally doable - for $100 millionThe Explorer concept is a private jet inspired by superyacht explorers, insane but totally doable - for $100 millionThe Explorer concept is a private jet inspired by superyacht explorers, insane but totally doable - for $100 millionThe Explorer concept is a private jet inspired by superyacht explorers, insane but totally doable - for $100 millionThe Explorer concept is a private jet inspired by superyacht explorers, insane but totally doable - for $100 million
This is what Lufthansa Technik is doing right now. At this year’s edition of Dubai Airshow, the first major event of the kind to take place after an almost two years hiatus, the company introduced one of the most daring – and most expensive – jet concepts: the Explorer. It’s a private jet or charter with exploring capabilities or, put in simpler words, a flying superyacht explorer.

The comparison is not random, as Lufthansa Technik took direct inspiration for the plane in today’s increased demand for superyacht explorers in the maritime industry. They too appeared as virtual concepts a few years ago, were brought into reality by multi-millionaire customers, and are now becoming the hottest must-have toy for the ultra-rich. The Explorer will follow the same path, as Lufthansa Technik sees it.

First things first. The Explorer is a private jet concept based on the Airbus A330, chosen for its generous size and ample range. It comes with a fully customizable layout and the kind of amenities that one would see on one of those superyacht explorers, with the difference that, as the company points out, the Explorer can make it across the world in a matter of hours.

The Explorer concept is a private jet inspired by superyacht explorers, insane but totally doable \- for $100 million
That last part was key in identifying the potential target customer for such an aircraft, Wieland Timm, Head of Sales VIP & Special Mission Aircraft Services at Lufthansa Technik, explains. Timm is convinced there are buyers for flying superyachts like the Explorer, so they’re only getting ahead of the curve with this concept. He does make a valid point: still-standing restrictions regarding shared public spaces and travel have led to an increase in demand for private flying. For a very select niche of customers, current offers for private air travel are, simply put, not exclusive enough.

The Explorer is designed for the multi-millionaires who want to see the world in two weeks, and who have very a clear idea of how this adventure should play out. As such, their aircraft of choice must be luxurious (duh), accommodating for the owner’s guest party regardless of size, and packed with gear. Again, like a superyacht explorer, the Explorer would carry all manners of vehicles for exploration on the lower deck, ready to be taken out once the jet has landed – and ready for private viewing thanks to the glass floor on a section of the upper deck.

Lufthansa Technik says that the final layout of such an aircraft is up to the owner, but they do have suggestions on what could be included. For instance, there’s the Luxury Mobility Lounge, which would be designed with Brabus – the luxury automotive tuner and customizer Brabus, that Brabus, which should give you an idea of the kind of gear in it. The Lounge would be accessible even during flight by a set of stairs, and viewable from the upper deck thanks to a glass section in the floor. No private jet owner can feel complete without a full showing-off, eh.

The Explorer concept is a private jet inspired by superyacht explorers, insane but totally doable \- for $100 million
Another idea is the advanced project system within the walls and the roof, through a partnership with Diehl Aerospace. How that would work is highlighted in the video at the bottom of the page, but the idea of replacing regular plane windows with screens isn’t exactly new. However, this concept takes it to the extreme, covering most surfaces in them, to the point where any virtual ambient can be recreated inside at the guests’ will. They would control the imagery displayed on it, and it could range from summer skies to gorgeous underwater worlds, which would admittedly be confusing but awesome, and even disco lights.

The third suggestion is that of a foldable deck, yet another borrowed element from superyacht explorers, where bulwarks fold out to create private terraces for tanning or sunning. To visualize how that would work, Lufthansa Technik uses the deck cargo hatch on the Airbus A330 freighter, but the company says the solution can be retrofitted to passenger jets as well. It would offer an unparalleled vantage point to the owner and guests once on the ground, but this probably works in theory only: after all, a plane, no matter how fancy or expensive, will have to land at an airport or on the runway.

A multi-functional room at the rear of the aircraft would serve whatever purpose desired by the owner. It could be a gym or a full wellness area, or it could be a flying hospital room in case of emergency situations.

The same degree of customization is possible with accommodation: the model presented in the video, for instance, is designed for 12 people, but other options could offer accommodation for up to 47 well-heeled air travelers. The owner could choose to have his or her owner’s module, which would be the flying version of an owner’s suite on a yacht, with master bedroom, private bathroom, office and lounge, or they could ask to have additional areas for guests or a larger crew.

The Explorer concept is a private jet inspired by superyacht explorers, insane but totally doable \- for $100 million
Perhaps the most impressive part about the Explorer concept is its feasibility. This isn’t just a wild, virtual concept with no roots in reality. “When designing an Airbus A330 as a versatile Explorer tool – whether for private owners or also for charter agencies for this type of travel – we paid particular attention to feasibility,” Jan Grube, Sales Director in VIP & Special Mission Aircraft Services, says. “Therefore, our experts have already developed detailed implementation proposals for many technical features and innovations.”

An Explorer conversion would cost an estimated $100 million, in addition to the cost of the aircraft, so that’s about $350 million to get your own flying superyacht. But it’s not the kind of figure that would put off adventurous multi-millionaires, Lufthansa Technik believes. It is, in short, the future of private air travel.



press release
 
 
 
 
 

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