Travel in comfort, inherent in five-star hotels, has become familiar to the owners of modern cruising sea yachts. Developers from Lufthansa Technik (the engineering division of the Lufthansa group) decided to expand the possibilities of VIP tourists and create conditions for a comfortable air travel. At the Dubai Air Show (UAE), the concept of a modernized cabin of a modern airliner was presented, allowing long-distance flights to be performed in conditions comparable to the service offered by the best hotels or ocean yachts.
The Explorer concept is based on the wide-body Airbus Corporate Jet ACJ330 (A330 modification), the parameters of which allow designers to embody the most daring desires of elite travellers who strive to be anywhere in the world at any time and receive service worthy of the best hotels. The almost 60-meter-long fuselage of the A330, the cabin width of over 5.2 meters and the full-load flight range of over 10 thousand km provide an opportunity for the most daring fantasies of engineers and designers to come true.
The standard A330-300 is designed to carry from 295 to 440 passengers, and the business modification with a VIP cabin provides transportation for 25 people. The new Explorer concept will allow for air cruises with just 8-12 passengers. The A330 cabin creates the atmosphere of first-class hotels or modern ocean yachts, with many open spaces equipped with comfortable furniture and sofas.
In the huge dining room there is a dining table, at which all members of the elite expedition can be accommodated. Passenger cabins are equipped with bathrooms and offices, the plane has a gym for fitness and rooms that can be used as offices. In case of emergency, one of the cabins can be converted into a flying hospital ward, equipped with the most modern medical equipment.
One of the main features of the presented Explorer concept is a projection system built into the walls and ceiling for displaying visual virtual content, located in the main salon-living room of the aircraft. As a result, passengers will not be limited by the views from the plane’s small windows, but will be able to pick up the most fantastic environmental landscapes displayed on the ceiling and walls. The technology was developed by Lufthansa Technik in conjunction with Diehl Aerospace, a joint venture between Diehl Aviation and Thales. Compact, lightweight projectors with passive cooling were used to create a virtual panorama. Users will be able to customize the content of the displayed video according to their individual desires.
The developers are positioning the conceptual “flying hotel” Explorer as a kind of tourist mobile base that can become a camp for more detailed excursions to the most exotic parts of the planet. In this regard, passenger mobility can be expanded with the help of road transport, for which there is also room in the spacious A330 liner. Passengers can see a kind of flying garage through the glass floor of the main deck, and can be accessed via a wide staircase.
At the front of the A330, instead of a freight elevator, Lufthansa Technik engineers installed a retractable platform, which is an observation deck from which tourists can view the surroundings from a height of 4 meters above the runway surface airport.
Developers from Lufthansa Technik point out that the Explorer concept may be suitable for more than for A330, but also easy to carry to the cabins of wide-body airliners such as Airbus A350, Boeing 787 or Boeing 777 and other aircraft.