As if superyachts weren't audacious and expensive enough already. Sure, today's top of the range vessels may come with cinemas, swimming pools, helipads, spas, gymnasiums and supplementary submarines. But that's nothing compared to the futuristic luxury cruiser envisioned by Russian businessman and designer Vasily Klyukin.
The Monaco 2050 is also a jet plane and a helicopter that can take off and land like a Harrier Jump Jet or F-35 fighter plane. If such a vessel comes to pass, it could ensure billionaires of the future can quickly hop from the French Riviera to a New York City penthouse without as much as getting their Bruno Maglis damp. "I truly believe that we (can) create a future giving ... engineers direction to think," Klyukin said.
As it stands, there are no yacht-makers with concrete plans to turn the Monaco 2050 vessel into a reality. Rather, Klyukin hopes to spark a conversation and encourage fellow yacht designers to consider the possibilities. But that hasn't stopped superyacht fans chattering about the possibilities on social media.
Initial renderings show a sleek yacht with a top deck that can quickly detach and transform itself into a jet plane for long distance flights or a helicopter for shorter airborne journeys using rotors that can be moved or adapted as required. "The upper deck is the part of the yacht and the independent aircraft at the same time," Klyukin said. "If necessary, it will rise upwards with the help of the screws embedded in the wings, becoming a helicopter. "(It's not possible) to cross the Atlantic or to fly to Hong Kong by helicopter. Therefore, after gaining the necessary altitude and speed, it's possible to turn on the jet engines and even go overseas."
Klyukin has designed a number of high-concept yachts before. Previous renderings include giant vessels shaped like a swan, the iconic Manhattan skyline and an old-fashioned Mississippi steam ship with a contemporary luxury twist. He has also designed a number of buildings that are equally spectacular and ambitious, as displayed on his website. In 2014, Klyukin also reportedly paid $1.4 million to buy a ticket to fly into space alongside Leonardo Di Caprio on one of the first Virgin Galactic flights.
Despite the precise technology that would make the Monaco 2050 possible being some way off, Klyuklin says he will see the yacht built in his lifetime. "We shouldn't really have to wait for 35 years. Such a yacht can be started designing even today," he said. "The development of drone technology and the current achievements of the helicopter industry allow aircraft to reach the desired height, and only then, at the altitude of 1,000 to 2,000 meters, it can be switched to the jet engines."
Until then, the uber-wealthy will just have to slum it by cramming aboard helicopters if they want to travel to and from their seaborne pads by air.