Wednesday, March 6th, 2019

Helipad App for Superyachts from Airbus

Airbus Corporate Helicopters CEO Frederic Lemos said the tool provides a starting point for yacht builders and owners who want the “must have” convenience of instant lift and want to avoid headaches associated with adding it too late in the design process. 

Building a superyacht and want to include a helipad? Do you want to avoid headaches associated with adding one later in the design process? Well then there is now an app to help you do that.

Now an augmented reality tool from Airbus Corporate Helicopters (ACH) can be downloaded from the Apple iTunes or Google Play stores. 

The company claims that its yacht-design app provides a starting point for yacht builders. And owners who want the “must have” convenience of instant lift off.

Very tight helipad

Frederic Lemos, the company CEO said, “Too many times we were seeing helidecks built on these yachts that were not commercially compliant or were not built with the best dimensions for safety and comfort.” He explained that on a recent visit to Italy he met the Captain of a new superyacht in Italy. “That captain,” he said,  “Was so proud of his helipad on the bow, but it was only nine metres, long. Barely big enough for a Robinson R22.  And it certainly was not nearly large enough to do commercial operations.“  He added, “Even if it were 12 metres, operating with an ACH135 would be very tight.” 

This scenario became so common, that ACH made the decision to build their own helipad yacht app.

Helipad on Umbra
The shadow yacht Umbra with her new helipad

Augmented reality

The app uses augmented reality to display three popular types of yachts. It shows how various models of helicopters will look onboard the yacht’s helipad.  And it shows if there or any obstacles in the way. 

The software includes information with regard to helicopter models, weights, dimensions, and capacities, rotor diameter and tie-down points. It details; blade and fuel storage requirements, commercial regulations, and necessary support structures, among others.

The app gives 360-degree views along with data blocks that display individual helicopter model range, weight, and passenger capacity. 

Helipad on superyacht

Recent research into a Helipad

Recent research has identified the helipad as being the second most popular design feature on modern superyachts.  The same research has found that new generations of yacht owner are pushing their craft to extremes, staying at sea for longer periods. They are also sailing to more exotic and harsher destinations. Such as Antarctica as opposed to the traditionally and more placid waters of the Caribbean and the Riviera.

Lemos said, “People want helicopters to explore when they reach very remote locations” on their yachts, he said. Adding that, “Of the 10 ACH145s sold in 2017, six were destined for duty on superyachts.”

He said that the trend was not just for bigger superyachts, but for bigger helicopters on board them, noting that ACH has received orders for ACH175s and ACH160s destined for superyachts in recent months.

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