Yacht owners take flight

Business Jet Traveler » February 2008
Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen’s 412-foot-long Octopus features one helideck
Friday, February 1, 2008 - 4:00am

Last fall at the prestigious Monaco Yacht Show, Eurocopter was in attendance-not to buy a yacht, but to sell a helicopter, or two or three, in a market in which helicopters are much in demand. In fact, it is rare these days to see any yacht longer than about 120 feet come off the design board without a helicopter flight deck. On larger vessels that must be anchored out rather than tied up dockside, the on-board helicopter is more than a luxury. For ship-to-shore transportation when the water is rough, and for flights to and from the nearest airport, mega-yacht owners consider it a necessity.

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“When you get into the larger aircraft it becomes like a hotel, with dozens of staff supporting the plane based in a galley area down below. You have very comprehensive cooking facilities, and on larger aircraft we have looked at theatres, with spiral staircases and a Steinway grand piano. The limitations for what you can put inside a plane are pretty much the limits of physics, and even money cannot always overcome that. Even so, people are still always trying to push [the limits]. ”

-Howard Guy of Design Q, a UK-based consultancy