Strato Cruiser airship concept by Tino Schaedler and Michael J Brown

| 41 comments

stratocruiser2sq.jpg

Strato Cruiser is a concept for a "lifestyle zeppelin" developed by art director Tino Schaedler and Michael J Brown.

glacier.jpg

The luxury helium-filled airship contains a gourmet restaurant, a spa, a swimming pool, a resident DJ and so on.

interior.jpg

See also our stories on the Aeroscraft ML866 hybrid airborne vehicle; and Jean-Marie Massaud's Manned Cloud airship.

Details from the designers:

--

STRATO CRUISER
concept for a lifestyle zeppelin
by tino schaedler and michael j brown

central.jpg

STRATO CRUISER

Concept:
Merging the soothing ride of an ocean cruise with Richard Branson’s futuristic visions of space travel, the Stratocruiser offers short, regenerative journeys for the cosmopolitan traveler. The project aims to bring lifestyle and health into travel routines, which have become increasingly compacted and frenzied. Like modern nomads we can again enjoy travel, arriving more refreshed than we left, thanks to incredible views of the worlds most exciting landscapes and cities.

skyterrace.jpg

Experience:
As a fictional partnership with the SupperClub, Stratocruiser adds a new experience to the chain’s clubs, restaurants, ‘On location’ and ‘Cruise’ boats. Guests depart for a full day of spa treatments—massage, personal trainers, yoga classes and beauty care are on offer. The Stratocruiser offers “medium-haul” transits between the Supperclub hubs: transatlantic, transpacific, trans-american or Europe-Middle East routes. With spa, library, and private mini-offices available, the contemporary traveler who seldom has time for a cruise can transform an otherwise exhausting and ordinary journeys into a positive experience.

stratocruiser4.jpg

As the zeppelin approaches its lookout destination at sunset, travelers then sit down to a healthy gourmet dinner overlooking glaciers, tropical jungles or Mayan ruins. New locations and star chefs are rotated weekly to ensure that no experience is the same.

stratocruiser2.jpg

As one would expect from the SupperClub, guest DJs inject a club flare after dinner with the option to party the night through or retire to ones private cabin to awake refreshed in the morning at ones origin.

Structure:
With its carbon fiber skin, sectional helium chamber design and photovoltaic cells, the Stratocruiser’s construction brings new levels of safety, speed and ecology to travel. Its “doughnut hole” atrium reinvents the zeppelin concept with a sky lounge on top, the earthward viewing restaurant on the underside and a recreational climbing wall in between. Private suites are sheltered away from public spaces on the ship’s belly, while an advanced propulsion system more than doubles the cruising speed of conventional blimps.

longsec.jpg

1. Rigid Airship Frame with Helium Chambers
2.Photovoltaic Cell Network
3.Retractable Polycarbonate Roof
4.Terraced Deck with Lap pool
5.SkyView Lounge
6.Main Atrium with Climbing Wall
7. EarthView Restaurant & Bar
8. Spa Treatment & Library
9. Private Suites
10.Kitchen & Staff Rooms
11. Captain's Bridge
12.Gantryway
13.Propulsion
14. Bungee Jumping Platform

| 41 comments

Posted on Monday, October 8th, 2007 at 1:01 pm by . See our copyright policy. Before commenting, please read our comments policy.

  • jasper

    basically the most amazing thing ive seen in some time. thank you

  • JJ

    Yeah where can I rent this thing for my next birthday bash?

    ps. What does the S / Supperclub logo do on this thing ?

  • http://aerocrat.livejournal.com AEROCRAT

    For other airshipworld themes welcome to Russian LJ-blog or read it blogs via web-translater as SO.
    By the way, it’s time to discuss Russian airships and other aeronautical complexes…
    For ex. ‘FGUP DKBA’ – that means ‘Federal Unitary State Enterprise, “Dolgoprudniy Design
    Bureau of Automatics” (“DIRIZHABLESTROI SSSR” in 1932-1940)’

  • Crosius

    As beautiful a concept as this is, it has a serious drawback – it is dependent on helium, and helium is a non-renewable resource.

    It comes out of the ground with natural gas, when that natural gas spends millions of years in close proximity to radioactive ores. All the helium in the world comes from within 250 miles of Amarillo Texas – the only spot on earth where these specific geological requirments are met.

    At our current consumption rates of helium for balloons, welding and cryonic cooling, the US only has about 10 to 25 years of helium stockpiled, and the global supply will be exhausted by the end of this century.

    Once it’s out of the ground, it slowly leaks away and is gone forever.

  • http://www.nenadk.com Nenad Katic

    If this thing doesn’t get you high, nothing will… So if all the helium is going to be wasted in a decade or so anyway, throwing a few parties in a sky wouldn’t hurt so much, right ? Cheer up, thumbs up, sign me in, what’s the dress code ?

  • http://www.harrop.info Mike Harrop

    Maybe start by reducing weight ?
    Are water-filled pools, tiled spas, resin climbing walls, supperclubs and other weight-inducing yuppy toys really necessary ?
    With all that gourmet cooking, you could build a compost heap on the lower deck and use methane for lift.
    Or could you use all that gas that’s flared in the Middle East or Siberia ?
    What else could provide lift ?
    Other gases ? Heat ?
    Photovoltaic paint driving a few propellers ?
    Surely the design community can do better than this ?
    Dubai’s Burj Al Arab hotel would probably fly better.

  • corey

    its a fun idea, I would like to go on a cruise over a continent, rather than miles of ocean as far as you can see.

  • Chairman Mo

    utter nonsense

  • rog

    Mike,

    Methane is combustible. Remember the Hindenberg? That’s why the ship would use helium, which doesn’t burn.

  • lyle

    This is a fantastic idea, but I am surprised that it has taken so long to start thinking about the potential uses of lighter than air technology. I have been watching the california fires and the pathetic attempts to affect the blaze with helicopters and planes. I have been reading about airships with a payload of 500 tons! Could we not make it rain with such a craft? We could deliver vast amounts of food and clothing to dissaster sites anywhere in the world- deserts, flooded areas, earthquake zones- anywhere that has had it’s infrastructure destroyed or where it never existed.
    While the military uses are obvious, the more positve aspects of this exciting technology is much more interesting. Floating cities, personal flying “motor homes”, wildlife protection, evacuation platforms…..this all good stuff.

  • http://www.jonmallinson.co.uk jonboris

    please, please please just hurry up and BUILD IT!!!!! Then sell one to me which I will live in and cruise round the world :)

  • http://tmp2.wikia.com/wiki/Main_Page Eric Hunting

    I’ve been writing about imminent airship technology recently for the TMP2 wiki project (a revision of Marshal Savage’s futurist book The Millennial Project) and the discussion here brings up some things I was writing about. We think of them as fanciful or antiquated, but airship very neatly fill certain gaps in the spectrum of aircraft capability of that the developers of fixed wing aircraft have long overlooked. With current technology, we now can make VTOL solar-hybrid airships which will allow one to travel non-stop at 60mph around the globe at a zero fuel cost and twice that speed in combination with renewable-sourced fuels. One might consider that a laughably slow speed, but bear in mind most of all goods shipped around the world today by container ship only travel at about 20mph and at a tremendous diesel fuel cost. (airship enthusiasts often point out that the average jumbo-jet consumes as much fuel taxiing on the runway as zeppelins of the past would have consumed traveling from New York City to Los Angeles)

    Lyle brings up a good point, though, about the non-renewability of helium gas but modern airships can potentially be engineered using air ballast systems to eliminate the discharge gas and modern materials can eliminate the issue of leaking, giving an airship a potential life-time supply of gas. And though the legacy of the Hindenburg probably dooms its use for passenger transport (despite the fact that today we know the cause of that legendary disaster was, in fact, a waterproofing paint made from a compound similar to that used in the Space Shuttle’s solid rocket boosters…), hydrogen gas would still be suitable for cargo vessels and would perform better than helium.

    By the time the projected reserves of helium are depleted, we should also be able to replace the use of lift gas altogether by the use of nanofiber or nanomembrane materials which would allow the creation of vacuum-lift cells based on a sort of tensegity membrane cell with integral compression struts. Thus airships would function essentially the same as a submarine in air using vacuum cells made to last a lifetime, allowing for permanent airborne structures -high altitude aerostats or inhabitable ‘aerostadts’. This vacuum-lift principle cannot be demonstrated at sea level with today’s materials but it would work with current materials at high altitude, allowing for the creation of dirigible structures designed to ‘float’ on the edge of the atmosphere by transitioning from gas lift to vacuum as they are launched. And structural concepts could be simply demonstrated and explored in water with the construction of membrane-based submersible tents. Texlon is probably tough enough to make a compelling transparent underwater membrane structure.

  • mehmet yalim eryigit

    very very interesting

  • David A. Young

    Regarding helium supplies: the only place it’s in short supply is Earth. The solar system has plenty of it. And using one of these as transport to a low-level crawler-station on a space elevator would be pretty cool.

  • jayrtfm

    Crosius and Eric Hunting are just WRONG.
    Helium is in short supply right now, but it is available in MANY places, not just Texas. Its production is a byproduct of natural gas processing. Science Friday just did an interview with an owner of a helium supply company http://podcastdownload.npr.org/anon.npr-podcasts/podcast/510221/15242863/npr_15242863.mp3

    As far as vacuum lift, it would require far more exotic materials than we can produce, and, more importantly, the difference in lift between helium and a vacuum id negligible. This issue pops up on various space/rocketry forums and is quickly shot down.

  • Anonymous

    As far as vacuum lift, it would require far more exotic materials than we can produce,

    Well yes, currently

    and, more importantly, the difference in lift between helium and a vacuum id[sic] negligible.

    Infinity percent is negligible in what respect?

  • mehmet yalim eryigit

    yuuhh

  • Alexandre Weber

    About the gas filling the airship, there is an interisting experience developed by Germans with super heat steam, they just flow a prototype and it fly as it was filled with helium.

  • Alan Henderson

    I have actually had a very similar idea for a home/office in the sky. I was probably 9 years old and saw pictures of the luxury liners that had their breif moments in the sky and instantly imagined a modernized and open architechture bridge. Ofcourse at that age I had no idea what it was that I was imagining. I just took what I could see of other forms of aviation. If a 747 can be a home for a few days at a time, why can’t a zepplin be one permanently.

    More recent thoughts have protected the controls while making them a fixture of a grand crentral hall. I would buy small plots in Alaska and Texas for mooring points. Ultimately I would like to spend the better part of my time just wandering around.

    There is a company making a thread called Spectra which is modeled off spider silk. The idea is to maintain a contigious molecular bond rather than a series of compounds with loose mechanical bonds. They can make the thread at varrying degrees of consistency. Fewer breaks in the molecules means greater strength, but it also becomes less elastic. So the key is to find the longest molecules that will also be flexible enough to absorb some stresses. Even if you go horribly wrong, you still get a stonger, lighter airship than even the best carbon fiber and polycarbonates.

    What is the area of the floor plan you have proposed here?

    And might I also suggest you read up on recent developements with the various ionic eltromotive propulsion systems. At this stage they are completely ridiculous for use on traditional aircraft, but for this…..no moving parts, low maintenance, and for once the large surface area would actually be a benefit and not just a side effect of concept.

  • Michaela And Romany

    haya wat air craft is this?

  • david

    build it and they will come

  • Akram Shaikh

    Great design. I am also designing the same thing.

  • http://www.sgraae.net sofus Graae

    Cool to see that the dirigble concepts are getting popular – reminds me of one I saw here http://s3.amazonaws.com/projectionist/future_dirigible.jpg dont know the creator of it but if anyone does please reply.

  • http://jepi-san.blogspot.com/ Jesper

    This is the way to go! Airships could and should be the more democratic way to move around the planet as it’s more energy efficient and cheaper per air-mile. Imagine lift capacity of 500 tons! That’s theoretically 7 000 persons per flight… Evacuation suddenly became realistic.

  • Herbert Wang

    Thank you for enlight us with a wonderful design!
    As an airship fan from China,I hope to make friends with you and see more of your outstanding design!

  • http://www.myspace.com/1goodspeed Goodspeed

    Goodspeed Machine Skydiving !!!

  • Henry

    How much

  • lyle

    There are a couple of disaster stories currently in the news, the typhoon in Burma and the earthquake in China, for which the concept of these large airships offer a particularly good solution. The destruction of the access to these hard hit areas and the enormous level of devastation, require that large amounts of supplies be delivered, but without roads or adequate airports, helicopters offer the only solution.
    The concept of an airship that could deliver 500 tons of food, clothing and medical supplies to one area, at one time, would transform these kinds of rescue operations.
    At the same time, whole hospitals could be located on one of these ships, or thousands of people evacuated at once.
    The issue here, with the idea of the modern airship making a comeback, is getting an airship into the air, developing a reliable track record, and demonstrating that these ships can actually do what we think they can do.
    For this to happen, we must get the airship concept out of these blogs and into more conventional media, if we are ever going to get over the kind of ” Hindenberg Syndrome ” that still holds this idea back.

  • http://www.akhmeteli.org Akhmeteli

    I have reasons to believe that vacuum lift can be demonstrated with today’s materials. You may wish to look at our US patent application 20070001053 (11/517915). We propose an evacuated sandwich spherical shell with two thin face sheets and a light core between them. Finite element analysis confirmed that the structure using commercially available materials (e.g., boron carbide face sheets and aluminum honeycomb core) can be light enough to float in air and strong enough to withstand the atmospheric pressure with decent safety factors for strength, buckling, and intracell buckling. Actual manufacturing, while definitely possible, is not easy.
    I agree that vacuum balloons cannot provide more lift than helium balloons, but they may significantly simplify altitude control.

  • John

    Rigid airships benefit from economies of scale, however the larger they are, the larger the hangar required to build them in, the smaller the potential market and the greater the investment required before cash flow is established. Even the Zeppelin’s with the investment of their own personal fortunes, required government assistance to get started.

    A small blimp can easily cost 2 million dollars and even at 4 million, the size of the airship would not justify anything more than a semirigid design. The military still funds R&D into composite rigid airships but in general, airships are too large, too slow, and too easily damaged for military use.

    Ultimately, there are very few markets for airships due to public perception. The current Zeppelin NT is scrambling for buyers with the concept of a rescue platform (hospital airship) being the latest proposal.

    Somehow the cost of entry into the airship business must be lowered and markets identified. I suspect that the most likely market will be for remotely controlled UAV high altitude communication platforms as the most likely to be profitable (small blimps, solar powered and cheaper than satellites).

    Recreational use as a ocean liner style cruise ship also has a limited market and current ocean liners carry at least 1,000 passengers before realizing a profit. An airship will likely carry between 50 and 100 passengers. I don’t think passengers are going to pay 10 times the cost of an ocean cruise to just be in the air rather than on the water.

    Personal RV’s captures a lot of imagination as it would bring a sense of personal freedom but sailing ships large enough to live on typically start at $200,000 and go up to $2,000,000. Any personal RV airship will have to be in that range and currently only small blimps with a cramped gondola for a handful of passengers are in the top end of that range.

    Also, hydrogen is a lot safer than the public realize, even with the Hidenburg, the hydrogen would’ve burned in a controlled fashion since it has to mix with air before it’s combustible (It was the flammable skin that started and kept the fire going) and the hydrogen were in 17 separate gas bags. Besides, what if it was mixed with FM-200 or some other Halon like fire suppressant. Keep in mind that all these “fire suppressants” are actually in the Propane family (FM-200 is HeptaFlouroPropane). Hydrogen can also be used in fuel cells as a backup power source especially since some gas must be removed as the airship gains altitude anyway, the limit at which no more gas can be removed due to the airship design (volume of balloonets in blimps) is known as pressure altitude.

    The advantage of vacuum over helium is not infinite but rather equal to the density of the helium which is about 0.18 g/L. Therefore for every cubic metre, a vacuum could lift 180 grams more than helium could, even nanotechnology would have a hard time making a vacuum container that light. With a cubic metre of helium lifting 1.072 kg and a cubic metre of vacuum lifting 1.252 kg, the advantage of vacuum over helium is 16.8% not infinity The infinite bit is from the same flawed logic that have the general public assuming that people would explode in the vacuum of space when in reality we withstand 1 atmosphere of differential pressure quite easily. Essentially, a gas is already an efficient a vacuum lift cell based on nanotechnology as each molecule of gas keeps a certain volume free of anything else, would heavier carbon bucky balls do any better when carbon itself is heavier than helium or hydrogen? The volume occupied by each molar of gas is much larger than the conceivable volume of even large bucky balls. Also how much are you willing to pay for that additional 180 grams per cubic metre.

    I would love to see airships return but first there has to be a market, a better way to build them and the return of hydrogen as the mandate for helium use is unreasonable and only brought about by public fear and ignorance.

  • Tino Rawnsley

    If you need a pilot I’m your man, after years skippering big yachts and schooners i have always held the dream of piloting a zeppelin, to sail a ship sea or sky…. this is the one! The name Tino is pure coincidence.

  • http://unknown Roscoe

    Think; nylon strand impregnated styrofoam sections that have individual cells- Earth people can dream up some large crafts for us sky people.

  • pjcamp

    A standard Olympic size swimming pool contains 2500 tons of water. Even a tiny pool would contain in the hundreds of tons. You’re not getting off the ground.

    Of course, if you do, the ship will get a lot lighter every time you make a turn and the water sloshes over the side.

    You can draw anything you want, but that doesn’t mean you can ever build it.

  • Graham

    The concept is novel. One thing that gets me though: how are you going to obtain sufficient lift; given how little space you’ve allocated to your helium cells when compared to conventional airships. Additionally, I have to agree with John on your lift gas, you’re going to need hydrogen, especially if you want to essentially stick solar panels on the envelope.
    This airship is fairly obviously a rigid. I wonder what materials would be light enough to lift, yet strong enough to cope with the stresses it will undergo. Also, I don’t see any maneuvering propellers; how are you supposed to take off/land this thing?

  • Simon

    A helicopter and jet dont require gas at all. Applying some of their flight technology in combo with the effects of gas/vacume lift could improve the probability of effective flight. This may cost some of the ‘zero’ unrenuable resource usage, but utalising existing tech could help convince companies of its viability in something already proven.

    Maybe propellas for direction and lift, additonal power being created from momentom and the movement of outside gases, solar panels are obvious. Rechargable batteries that can be recharged from a simple plug!!

    Im just recharging my blimp dear, its dropped over next doors house…

  • ces

    Crosius I don’t think your problem is a problem.

  • truth

    There is no such thing you morons.

  • Howard

    I favor the vacuum ship since a small pump can maintain a constant desirable low pressure. I have the vacuum pump–all that is needed is the light weight cmposites for the structure. John's numbers look good and the size of a sphere to float is not that great–I estimate a radius of about 10 meters–the calculations are simple.

  • 7Dee

    I have to agree that hydrogen is a must for such craft. Helium does not pack the lifting punch required AND it is not readily replaced. Hydrogen can be made from water with mere electricity. Sure, everyone is afraid of hydrogen going 'boom'. But advances in materials and technology today greatly reduce such risks. Hydrogen will be employed in such craft should they be built to any serious size and quantity.

  • Vlad

    Just awesome. thanks! Would it work on smaller scale?
    Please respond on my email, Im very interested in this project.

  • FOOLBOLLISTA-BILLIONISTA

    The Strato Cruiser with all of its luxury is something the world cannot be without. Sheer class all round, one can imagine the ‘Bling-Blimp’ full of footballers and even classier people, all being typically fabulous and glistening with jewels at sunset, plus clouds of designer perfumes mingling richly
    among the other stratospheric odours of excess!
    Then, sumptuously crapulous gourmet banquets while overlooking classy locations like Ethiopia.

    Star chefs reemployed weekly to guarantee no two crapulations are ever alike. Sheer class! The ideal buoyant would be pure hydrogen, not helium, (too much rich food might help with the gas though).

    Can’t wait!