Even with the growth of green energy, nuclear fusion still powers many facets of our lives. But, except Cyclops in the comedy classic The big busnuclear-powered vacations have fortunately remained a largely untapped corner of the market.
So far, that is. ‘Science communicator and video producer’ Hashem Al-Ghaili has caused a stir online with its video dramatically showcasing a new Sky Cruise concept first created by Tony Holmston – a flying hotel that can carry over 5,000 passengers in “the epitome of luxury”.
With 20 nuclear-powered engines, the ‘Skytanic’ (or ‘Flytanic’ – take your pick as neither inspires much confidence!) doesn’t need to land, but cruises endlessly above the cloud line offering spectacular sunrises and sunsets, glorious night skies and the promise of the Northern Lights up close and more extraordinary than ever.
Passengers would be transported on conventional airliners and private jets which dock at the Sky Hotel and drop them off via an external lift. Once on board, they would enjoy luxurious living with a 360-degree observation deck at the tail and a huge lobby with shopping malls, state-of-the-art medical facilities and all the usual trappings of a cruise ship at sea. in the main body of the aircraft’.
On the tricky subject of turbulence, the Sky Hotel’s AI system promises to predict ahead and use technology similar to noise cancellation to balance shocks so passengers ‘slide easily on vibrations’ . Particularly convenient if you are swimming in the pool on board at that time.
In response to his video, Al-Ghaili reiterates that it’s just a concept but that he dreams of ‘a future where such things could exist’, going so far as to fend off critics with a quote of Albert Einstein: “If at the beginning the idea is not absurd, then there will be no hope for it.
But he also believes the science: “Small nuclear reactors capable of propelling aircraft should be ready by the 2030s. The UK is working on a small modular nuclear reactor (SMR) which should join the network in 2029, and the United States is investing heavily in commercial nuclear fusion research. With just a few design tweaks, nuclear fusion and good aerodynamics, the Sky Cruise could one day take off and carry thousands of passengers above the clouds.
Reactions were mixed, with some pointing in particular to the cost of such a project, likely to be reflected in ticket prices that make it an elitist opportunity only for the wealthy (although they may be getting ahead of themselves here ). As one spirit said in the comments, “I’m sure I’d be able to afford a ticket to the lowest deck with no leg room and no lounge access.”
While the thought of docking in the air with a nuclear-powered flying hotel might not sound like the most relaxing way to enjoy a vacation, it surely pales in comparison to the common hell of cramming into a small seat next to a screaming child for ten years. hours of torture that commercial flight is today!