Contributing Monkie G Living Staff Monkies
Published on June 24, 2008
Flying terrifies me. Not because I’m afraid of heights; on the contrary, I love heights. I can climb the tallest tree and sit up there for hours, watching the world below. I’ve even skydived, which I thought would help me overcome my fear of flying. But once we got up there, I could wait to hurl myself at the ground below – simply because it got me out of the plane. It’s the feeling of utter powerlessness that makes me clench.
Yes, I’m the guy who grabs the hand of the person in the seat next to me – whether I know them or not – and squeezes it tightly while grinding my teeth at the first sign of turbulence.
Which means I won’t be taking a three-day cruise on French designer Jean-Marie Massaud’s Manned Cloud anytime soon. The concept is fantastic: a flying hotel with a two-deck cabin featuring a library, restaurant, fitness suite, spa, a sun deck and a bar (which would be my first destination if I were to be trapped in the air for three days) it sleeps 40 and has a top speed of 170 kilometers an hour.
Developed with the participation of French national aerospace research body ONERA and shaped like a giant whale, this creation – which falls right in with the current trend of designer dirigibles – is a sight to behold. And yes, I concede that the views from one’s bedroom would be beyond spectacular; seeing the sites and nature of this great world of ours from that height is probably beyond description. But as cool as the concept may be, it’s just not for me.
Take a brief virtual ride on the Manned Cloud below.