The concept of an airplane is to take you from point A to point B in the fastest possible time. Nobody associates an airplane ride to leisurely pace; unless you’re French industrial designer Jean-Marie Massaud. In the past Massaud has been associated with major brands like Yves Saint Laurent (for perfume bottles) and Yamaha (for submarines), but this time around he wants to partner with Onera, France’s space agency, to create the world’s first luxury airship- The Manned Cloud. Designed as a double-decker craft, the 5.6-million-square-foot airship shaped like a whale. It’s slated to reach a top speed of 105 mph and will have all the pleasures of a cruise liner. It will be able to transport 55 passengers from Paris to Madagascar in four days, offering a turbulence-free, un-pressurized flight at an altitude of only 9,800 feet. Massaud is hoping private investors buy his idea because he needs to raise $15 billion to begin building the Manned Cloud, with a sail date of 2020. Rollover for some Manned Cloud specs.
The Manned Cloud
A 2.6-million-square-foot hull filled with helium keeps the airship aloft. A de-icing device protects the ship from cold weather, while side fins provide maneuverability and stability.
The tapered tail optimizes aerodynamics by minimizing drag and controlling airflow over the hull.
As the airship burns fuel and becomes lighter, pumps inject outside air into the hull. The added weight helps keep the airship from ascending to dangerous heights.
Six turbo engines, 450 kilowatts each, power 16-foot-wide propellers. These generate enough propulsive force to sustain a steady cruising speed of 80 mph.
Onera’s design can comfortably carry 15 passengers in its underbelly. The spacious two-story cabin will include a restaurant, library, fitness room, spa, and furniture created by Massaud himself. Keeping weight to a minimum is critical to the blimp’s success, so to reduce water consumption, passengers will only have access to showers—no bubble baths or Jacuzzis.