Sky Cruise: This nuclear-powered luxury ‘flying hotel’ could stay in the air for years, carrying 5,000 guests
BERLIN— Forget short space trips. A nuclear-powered flying hotel promises to keep its head in the clouds all the time. The high-flying Sky Cruise concept sees a gigantic airplane skin to a cruise ship capable of being constantly in flight. The developers envision 5,000 guests arriving by passenger planes that dock with it.
With a small nuclear reaction powering the engines, the Sky Cruise could stay airborne for several years at a time. If you want to experience a nearby destination, guests simply hop on a flight back to Earth.
Berlin-based science enthusiast and video producer Hashem Al-Ghaili has created a realistic take on the Sky Cruise, originally designed by concept artist Tony Holmsten.
“I believe that the current flight experience has become tedious and outdated, and it’s time for new innovations that can make our flight experience more comfortable. So I imagined a world where fly from one place to another turned into a joyful experience rather than fighting for legroom,” Hashem said in a statement, per South West News Service.
“I was looking for a 3D model featuring a futuristic aircraft design and came across this 3D model by Alexander Tujicov. It is based on an earlier design created several years ago by Tony Holmsten,” he continues. bought the 3D model and decided to animate it, wrote the script and edited the video to show what it might look like in real life.
Like a traditional cruise ship at sea, guests can enjoy luxuries including a 360-degree viewing platform, entertainment deck, shopping malls, gyms, swimming pools, restaurants and bars, as well as theaters and cinemas.
There is also capacity for business events, meetings and even a venue to get married.
“I think some people won’t mind a longer flight as long as it’s comfortable. Think of the sky hotel as a vacation spot that moves and takes you where you want to go,” says Hashem. “As you enjoy your vacation in the sky cruise, you are transported to your destination. The air cruise itself will not land, but you can still land wherever you want thanks to a docking port that allows aircraft to attach and exchange passengers with air cruise.
“Once the sky cruise reaches your destination, you board a small plane or commercial airliner that lands you on the surface.”
Some online commentators are pessimistic about whether such an idea could work, with one posting: “If the physics and aerodynamics didn’t exist, then this craft might actually be able to lift off.
But Hashem is realistic about the feasibility of the idea and believes it could become a reality before 2040.
“George Bernard Shaw said that ‘optimists and pessimists contribute to society. The optimist invents the airplane, the pessimist the parachute,” he says. “It’s nice to see people pointing out flaws in the design and trying to come up with solutions, that’s what we need to make it more perfect.” It’s like a group of people working together on a single project.
“As for those who believe that the concept will never work because it ignores important aspects of engineering, remember what Einstein said, ‘if at first the idea is not absurd, then it there’s no hope for it,” he adds. “I would go for the 2030s or 2040s at the latest for the possibility of Sky Cruise. All we need is sufficient energy for takeoff. That’s why nuclear power was part of the design.
“I believe it’s only a matter of time before powerful nuclear reactors become small enough to fit in an airplane of this size. The United Kingdom is one of the main countries working on small nuclear reactors. These reactors should become fully operational by 2029. A few tweaks to the design and we have a massive flying hotel that could roam our skies one day.
Continue below for more SkyCruise concept images, as well as a video.
South West News Service writer Dean Murray contributed to this report.