This is what Lufthansa Technik is currently doing. At this year’s edition of the Dubai Airshow, the first major event of its kind to take place after an almost two-year hiatus, the company showcased one of the most daring and expensive jet concepts: l ‘To explore. It is a private jet or charter with exploration capabilities or, in simpler terms, a flying superyacht explorer.
The comparison is not random, as Lufthansa Technik drew direct inspiration from the aircraft to meet the growing demand from explorers of superyachts in the maritime industry. They too appeared as virtual concepts a few years ago, were brought to life by multi-millionaire clients, and are now becoming the go-to toy for the ultra-rich. The Explorer will follow the same path, as Lufthansa Technik sees it.
First of all. The Explorer is a private jet concept based on the Airbus A330, chosen for its generous size and wide range. It comes with a fully customizable layout and the kind of gear you would see on any of those superyacht explorers, with the difference that, as the company points out, the Explorer can cross the world in a matter of hours. .
This last part was essential in identifying the potential target customer for such an aircraft, explains Wieland Timm, VIP Sales Manager & Special Mission Aircraft Services at Lufthansa Technik. Timm is convinced that there are buyers for flying superyachts like the Explorer, so they are only getting ahead with this concept. He makes a valid point: the restrictions still in place on shared public spaces and travel have led to an increase in demand for private flights. For a very small clientele, the current private air travel offers are simply not exclusive enough.
The Explorer is aimed at multimillionaires who want to see the world in two weeks, and who have a very precise idea of how this adventure will unfold. As such, the aircraft of choice should be luxurious (duh), able to accommodate the party of the owner’s guests of any size, and crammed with gear. Again, like a superyacht explorer, the Explorer would carry all manner of vehicles for exploration on the lower deck, ready to be removed once the jet lands – and ready for a private tour thanks to the glass floor. on part of the upper deck.
Lufthansa Technik says the final layout of such a plane is up to the owner, but they have suggestions on what might be included. For example, there’s the Luxury Mobility Lounge, which would be designed with Brabus – the Brabus luxury automotive tuner and customizer, this Brabus, which should give you an idea of what kind of gear it contains. The lounge would be accessible even during the flight by a staircase, and visible from the upper deck thanks to a glass section in the floor. No private jet owner can feel complete without a full demonstration, eh.
Another idea is the advanced project system in the walls and roof, thanks to a partnership with Diehl Aerospace. How it would work is highlighted in the video at the bottom of the page, but the idea of replacing regular airplane windows with screens isn’t entirely new. However, this concept takes it to the extreme, covering most surfaces, to the point where any virtual environment can be recreated inside at the will of the guests. They would control the images displayed on it, and it could range from summer skies to beautiful underwater worlds, which would admittedly be confusing but awe-inspiring, and even disco lights.
The third suggestion is that of a collapsible deck, yet another element borrowed from explorers of superyachts, where the ramparts unfold to create private terraces for sunbathing or sunbathing. To visualize how that would work, Lufthansa Technik uses the deck hatch of the Airbus A330 freighter, but the company says the solution can also be adapted for passenger jets. It would provide an unprecedented vantage point for the owner and guests once on the ground, but that probably only works in theory: after all, a plane, no matter how sophisticated or expensive, will have to land at an airport or on the track.
A multifunctional room at the rear of the aircraft would serve any purpose desired by the owner. It could be a gym or a complete wellness area, or even a flying hospital room in an emergency.
The same degree of customization is possible with accommodation: the model shown in the video, for example, is designed for 12 people, but other options could offer accommodation for up to 47 affluent air travelers. The owner could choose to have his owner’s module, which would be the flying version of an owner’s suite on a yacht, with master bedroom, private bathroom, office and living room, or he could request to have additional spaces for guests or a larger crew.
Perhaps the most impressive part of the Explorer concept is its feasibility. It’s not just a wild, virtual concept with no roots in reality. “When designing an Airbus A330 as a versatile exploration tool – whether for private owners or also for charter agencies for this type of trip – we paid special attention to feasibility.” Jan Grube, Sales Director of VIP & Special Mission Aircraft Services, says. “Therefore, our experts have already developed detailed implementation proposals for many features and technical innovations. “
An Explorer conversion would cost around $ 100 million, on top of the cost of the plane, which is roughly $ 350 million to get your own flying superyacht. But that’s not the kind of number that would put off adventurous multimillionaires, Lufthansa Technik believes. In short, it is the future of private air transport.