Lufthansa Technik AG and Diehl are to display an enhanced version of their new wide-body VIP cabin concept EXPLORER, at the forthcoming Dubai Air Show (November 14 – 18).
Visitors to the Monaco Yacht Show have already had a preview of the design concept which is based on the current trend for superyachts to take their owners nearly anywhere at any time and serve as a personal hotel and base camp for the most diverse kinds of recreational activities and excursions.
Lufthansa Technik’s specialists have chosen the Airbus A330 as the platform for realising these customer wishes in private aviation. As a classic wide-body aircraft, it offers sufficient space for a large number of novel cabin ideas and also a sufficient range to fulfil the special wishes of the EXPLORER target group.
“In yacht building, multifunctional exploration vessels have now become a class in their own right. And many owners of such vessels also call an aircraft their own,” explained Wieland Timm, Head of Sales VIP & Special Mission Aircraft Services at Lufthansa Technik. “For this fast-growing target group of VIP world explorers, we have therefore now created a flying platform for the first time. Unlike a yacht, however, our EXPLORER aircraft allows passengers to travel to the other side of the globe within hours and set up their own individual base camp for further activities. This opens up completely new possibilities for explorers.”
The EXPLORER concept features a large-scale integrated projection system for virtual content, which extends from the window belt to almost the entire cabin ceiling in the multifunctional lounge area. Lufthansa Technik’s design team integrated Diehl’s projection technology and tailored it specifically to the use in a VIP cabin. By positioning the small, lightweight and passively cooled projectors into the sidewall and ceiling elements, large-scale virtual impressions are created, the content of which customers can configure individually according to their wishes with the help of a corresponding software solution from Diehl.
“By integrating the unique projection system of Diehl, we have created an interior that exploits the technology`s full potential for a VIP cabin,” said Michael Bork, Aircraft Interior Architect in VIP & Special Mission Aircraft Services at Lufthansa Technik. “It is optimised under technical and aesthetic aspects to provide an adequate framework for bringing a variety of atmospheres and virtual worlds to life, changing the overall look of the cabin by a fingertip.”
“We are proud of the outstanding results of the cooperation with our partners at Lufthansa Technik,” said Harald Mehring, Chief Customer Officer of Diehl Aviation. “The specialists of our two companies have created truly breath-taking worlds for our shared customers, which become almost tangible in the cabin, and which create an exclusive atmosphere.”
The first short teaser shown in Monaco featured an animated underwater world.
Another feature is the floor in the forward fuselage area, which extends outward from the parked aircraft to form a spacious veranda. The main deck cargo hatch on the Airbus A330 freighter, which is now also available as a retrofit solution for passenger versions, opens up the EXPLORER interior to its surroundings, into which passengers can then immerse themselves directly via a platform that can be extended by several meters.
At a height of around four meters above the apron, passengers of the EXPLORER aircraft are offered a unique view of the surroundings.
To ensure that the VIPs’ vehicle fleet can be attractively presented to guests and fellow passengers, the Lufthansa Technik team envisions a special Mobility Lounge in the aft section of the lower deck, which can already be viewed from the main deck through a glass floor. This special area will be created in cooperation with BRABUS, a leading manufacturer of high-performance and luxury automobiles, and will be jointly presented at one of the upcoming trade shows. Via a convenient staircase, the Luxury Mobility Lounge will be easily accessible to passengers from the main deck, even during the flight. It will also cater to the technical needs of the automotive treasures carried on board.
In addition to classic room elements such as bedrooms and guest rooms, bathrooms, offices, dining and conference areas, there are also some new design ideas. Another such highlight is the multifunctional room in the rear of the aircraft. It meets the needs of all those world explorers who do not want to do without their usual fitness and wellness facilities on long-haul flights. For emergencies, this space can also be converted into a flying hospital room.
The design configuration currently showcased is designed for up to 12 VIP passengers. Alternatively, further modular variants with up to 47 passengers are also possible on the basis of this concept. These can include, for example, a much more individual owner’s module with a master bedroom and bathroom as well as an office, but also larger areas for the crew or additional entourage.
Lufthansa Technik will use the EXPLORER concept as an ideas laboratory to further develop and present other ideas and technologies that currently exist only on the drawing board.