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IPFS News Link • Transportation

AirYacht would let passengers cruise both in the air and on the water

•, By Ben Coxworth

The luxury aircraft/watercraft is being developed by Switzerland's AirYacht company, which was founded by engineers Guillaume Hoddé and Matthieu Ozanne. French yacht designer Franck Darnet is responsible for its looks and layout.

Putting it simply, the AirYacht consists of two parts: a helium-filled airship, and a streamlined yacht which is coupled to its underside.

When in flight, the yacht serves as the airship's gondola, housing the crew along with up to 12 passengers. If the owner wants to cruise on the sea, however, the yacht can be detached from the airship, lowered down on a set of cables, then released from those cables once it reaches the water's surface. The process is reversed when it comes time to winch the yacht back up to the airship.

Needless to say, the aircraft needs to be hovering reasonably close to the water while all of this is happening. It will reportedly utilize an "air buoyancy" control system to keep from suddenly shooting up into the air when it releases all that weight from its underside. There's currently no word on how the airship will maintain its position while everyone takes off in the yacht.

Alternatively, if the owner wants to be land-based for a while, the yacht can once again be lowered and released, this time sitting on the ground via a set of struts that are deployed from its hull. On the other hand, for shorter trips to the ground, an elevator-like 12-passenger lift can be lowered on cables from the underside of the yacht, while the latter remains attached to the airship.