Picture of sunset, Cotswolds, England March 2005. Kevin Meaney
Phileas Fogg may have hopped aboard hot air balloons, trains, and elephants in his race around the world in 80 days, but future airship passengers need only step aboard the Aircruise for a far shorter and more luxurious travel experience. The 2015 concept for a sky hotel comes courtesy of London designers Seymourpowell, and a commission from Samsung Construction and Trading to make the vision come to life before our eyes in a series of stunning visuals.
Passengers would enjoy living and dining above the clouds for journeys lasting up to 90 hours from Los Angeles to Shanghai, or perhaps less for other destinations. The hydrogen and solar-powered airship could perhaps only top itself in our minds by flying us to Cloud City on Bespin — not that we’re expecting Leia or Lando as fellow travelers.
Ready for your imaginary future ride? Take a quick tour here.
All Aboard the Aircruise
London design firm Seymourpowell unveiled its fanciful vision for a future sky hotel — a vertical airship lifted by hydrogen and powered by solar energy. Korean giant Samsung Construction and Trading asked the designer to elaborate upon the visual concept of a luxury zeppelin.
Breakfast in the Clouds
Aircruise passengers could gather in their own open-view kitchens for breakfast. The luxury zeppelin offers a bar and lounge area, four duplex apartments, a penthouse and five smaller apartments.
Cruising Above Landmarks
The airship travels silently and without pollution thanks to hydrogen fuel cells supplemented by photovoltaic cells collecting sunlight on the outer surfaces. It can reach a cruise ceiling of 12,000 feet or drop within a few hundred feet of the ground for a closer look at landmarks. Here the Aircruise passes over Incheon Bridge in Seoul, South Korea.
Airship passengers can enjoy an indoor view of the clouds beneath their feet in the moon pool, or go to the upper deck promenade for an open-air excursion.
Evening Sky View
Evening allows Aircruise passengers to kick back and enjoy a spectacular view not unlike that of an alien world. A group of 14 support staff attend to passenger needs as the airship cruises along at 62 – 93 mi/hr (100 – 150 km/hr).
Night Sky Flight
Aircruise could make its way to cities such as Hong Kong by 2015. A six-person crew might pilot the airship in shifts from London to New York in just 37 hours, or from Los Angeles to Shanghai in 90 hours.