Continuing its trend of partnering with premium brands on cabin designs, Lufthansa Technik (LHT; Booth G55) has announced an alliance with Brabus—a high-performance automotive aftermarket specialist—for the updated Explorer VIP ACJ330 “superyacht of the sky” interior concept. LHT is showcasing the design this week at EBACE, as well as highlighting other innovations and news regarding its robust completions and refurbishment activities.
Unveiled at the Dubai Airshow in December—after a sneak peek at September’s Monaco Yacht Show—the Explorer is based on the trend toward having superyachts serve as luxury base camps for journeys of discovery. LHT analyzed the typical elements of the Explorer boat class, transferring the design concept “from the water to the air, and thus into a new cabin design,” according to the company.
The concept is well served by the Airbus A330 airframe—now available for retrofit from commercial and freighter variants—that can be modified to allow a platform to extend several meters from the main deck cargo hatch in the forward fuselage area when the aircraft is parked, creating a spacious veranda over a dozen feet in the air. For venturing farther afield, the Explorer is equipped with a fleet of vehicles in its Brabus-created Mobility Lounge. Located in the aft section of the lower deck, that lounge is viewable from the main deck through a glass floor and accessible via staircase, even in flight. The space could also be outfitted with a wine cellar, exploration laboratory, or emergency medical room, or be adapted for other special uses.
The widebody airframe also offers space for “a large number of novel cabin ideas,” allowing passengers “to travel to the other side of the globe within hours and set up their own individual base camp for further activities,” according to LHT.
The cabin concept features a large-scale integrated projection system in its multifunctional lounge area that displays virtual content from the window belt to almost the entire cabin ceiling. Content can be configured to create virtually any overall interior look imaginable, from fanciful to traditional, and can be changed as desired.
Created in cooperation with Diehl Aerospace, the projection system incorporates small, lightweight, passively cooled projectors in the sidewall and ceiling elements. It also could be adapted for single-aisle airliners, including the ACJ320neo and BBJ Max, allowing operators to create instantly customizable cabins. “If people want to resell the aircraft, you only have to change the content of the projection system, and then you have a totally different cabin,” said Wieland Timm, LHT's head of sales for VIPand special mission aircraft services.
The Explorer interior is designed for eight to 12 passengers, but other floorplans are available, including versions for larger passengers loads. LHT sees a market for the Explorer among a new class of air tour operators catering to high-end adventure travelers who want all the comforts and amenities you'd expect from a five-star hotel. The layout can be easily adapted for any other widebody airframes, including the Airbus A350 and the Boeing 787 and 777, according to LHT.