EXPLORER design study opens new worlds for VIP cabins

(IMAGE: Lufthansa Technik)

Lufthansa Technik has unveiled the details of its new EXPLORER widebody VIP cabin concept. The EXPLORER design concept is based on the current trend of super yachts that fulfill two wishes of their owners: take them almost anywhere and anytime and serve them at their destination as an individual hotel and base camp for a wide variety. leisure activities. and hiking. Lufthansa Technik specialists have chosen the Airbus A330 as the platform to fulfill these wishes of customers in private aviation. As a classic widebody aircraft, it offers enough space for a large number of innovative cabin ideas and also sufficient range to meet the special wishes of the EXPLORER target group.

“In yacht building, multifunctional exploration vessels have now become a class of their own. And many owners of these ships also call an aircraft theirs, ”said Wieland Timm, VIP Sales Manager & Special Mission Aircraft Services at Lufthansa Technik. “For this rapidly growing target group of explorers from the VIP world, we have therefore created a flying platform for the first time. Unlike a yacht, however, our EXPLORER aircraft allows passengers to travel halfway around the world in hours and set up their own individual base camp for other activities. This opens up completely new possibilities for explorers.

(IMAGE: Lufthansa Technik)

A particularly striking feature of the EXPLORER concept is the large-scale integrated projection system for virtual content, which extends from the window sash to almost the entire ceiling of the cabin in the multifunctional lounge. Although similar characteristics have often been observed in design studies, until now there has been no suitable technology to implement them in a manner that is both convincing and aesthetically certifiable. In close cooperation with Diehl Aerospace – a joint venture between Diehl Aviation and Thales – the experts at Lufthansa Technik have now succeeded in building the decisive bridge towards the large-scale realization of such virtual cabin elements. To this end, the Lufthansa Technik design team integrated Diehl’s projection technology and adapted it specifically for use in a VIP cabin. By intelligently positioning the small, light and passively cooled projectors in the sidewall and ceiling elements, large-scale virtual impressions are created, the content of which can be individually configured by customers according to their wishes using a solution. corresponding software from Diehl.

(IMAGE: Lufthansa Technik)

“By integrating Diehl’s unique projection system, we have created an interior that harnesses the full potential of technology for a VIP cabin,” said Michael Bork, Aircraft Interior Designer at VIP & Special Mission Aircraft Services at Lufthansa Technik. “It is technically and aesthetically optimized to provide the right setting to bring a variety of atmospheres and virtual worlds to life, changing the overall appearance of the cabin at your fingertips. “

Another feature that allows EXPLORER passengers to make whole new discoveries is the floor in the forward fuselage area, which extends outward from the parked aircraft to form a spacious veranda. The cargo hatch on the main deck of the Airbus A330 cargo, now also available as a retrofit solution for the passenger versions, opens the interior of the EXPLORER to its environment, in which passengers can then immerse themselves directly via a platform. -stretchable shape of several meters. Here too, the EXPLORER concept is based on the category of yachts that already bears this name. These ships have precisely these retractable elements to give their passengers even more direct contact with the environment. At about four meters high above the apron, the passengers of the EXPLORER aircraft are thus offered a unique view of the surroundings and of the airport which serves as a base camp for new discoveries and excursions. , for example using on-board vehicles.

(IMAGE: Lufthansa Technik)

To ensure that the VIP vehicle fleet can be attractively presented to guests and other passengers, the Lufthansa Technik team is considering a special mobility lounge in the aft section of the lower deck, which can already be seen from the main deck through a glass floor. This special space will be created in cooperation with BRABUS, one of the leading manufacturers of high performance and luxury automobiles, and will be presented jointly 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 meet the technical needs of the automotive treasures carried on board.

In addition to the technical characteristics, Lufthansa Technik’s engineering and design teams have paid the greatest possible attention to multifunctional solutions and the widest possible range of use cases. So, in addition to classic room elements such as bedrooms and guest rooms, bathrooms, offices, dining rooms and conference rooms, there are also new design ideas. Another of these highlights is the multifunctional room at the rear of the aircraft. It caters to the needs of all those world explorers who don’t want to be 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 currently presented design configuration is designed for a maximum of 12 VIP passengers and explicitly emphasizes creating the special character of the Explorer for that particular VIP target group. Alternatively, however, other modular variants with up to 47 passengers are also possible based on 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 spaces for the crew or additional entourage.

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