, 2022-04-14 02:00:00,
Flying yachts, once the stuff of our wildest, most outlandish dreams, are slowly inching closer to a reality. As the industry prepares for the 2022 Superyacht Design Festival, BOAT catches up with Guillaume Hoddé, co-founder of AirYacht, and Franck Darnet, the yacht’s designer, to learn more about an exciting concept that’s set to take to the skies in 2026…
Swiss company AirYacht has unveiled a radical new concept that marries the flying power of an airship with the luxury amenities of a superyacht.
Capable of flying between 100 to 3,000 metres above the ground with an autonomous cruising time of around one week, the AirYacht’s groundbreaking design is composed of two separate modules: a 200-metre helium-filled airship attached to an ultra-lightweight all-carbon 52-metre superyacht residence.
All images courtesy of AirYacht
The three-storey residence can be landed in its entirety or it can deploy a 12-person elevator to allow guests to disembark for a quick stopover.
Each module has its own complement of crew – the airship will have a crew of three and the residence will have a crew of 12.
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The AirYacht is the brainchild of Guillaume Hoddé and Matthieu Ozanne, who founded the company in 2017 and enlisted the design expertise of Franck Darnet, who most recently worked on the exteriors of 63.8 metre Atomic. Born in Nantes and immersed in the world of Vendée Globe racing boats, Darnet has a masterful knowledge of “weight performance” technology that makes him uniquely suited to the challenges of airborne yachts.
The residence will have the same layout as a superyacht, with three decks, 750 square metres of indoor space and amenities including a gym, sauna, swimming pool and touch and go helipad.
Accommodation is provided for between ten and 12 guests in a five or six-cabin layout. Terraces, which can be used while the AirYacht is both underway and stationary, flank the starboard and port sides and there is an additional 120 square metre terrace-style lounge on the aft.
Aerodynamic shape and low weight are crucial to the design of the AirYacht. In order to keep the vessel as lightweight as possible, the residence component won’t be fitted with engines.
This creates additional space and increased flexibility to tailor the interior layout, while also allowing the residence to be built at AirYachts’ own facility without the need for a shoreside…
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