Concept art showing nuclear-powered 'sky hotel'
youtube | Hashem Al-Ghaili

Design For 'Flying Cruise' Would Host 5,000 And Never Have To Land

We've seen no shortage of futuristic, pie-in-the-sky projects backed by big money that seem like they'll never get off the ground.

The latest such project, one of the most audacious we've seen, flips the script: if it ever gets off the ground, it will never have to touch the ground again.

Confused? We sure are. This 'sky hotel' promises to provide lodging for 5,000 guests. Oh, and it flies continuously through the sky thanks to nuclear power.

Nuclear reactors provide a lot of power.

USS Nimitz in Victoria, BC, Canada
Wikimedia Commons | Unknown author

There's clear precedent for nuclear-powered forms of transportation. Take Nimitz-class aircraft carriers, which can sail the high seas for 20 years or more without needing to stop for fuel. Under the waves, nuclear submarines can go for 30 years without needing refueling.

What about nuclear-powered aircraft?

Nuclear-powered NB-36H with B-50, 1955
Wikimedia Commons | USAF

While there have been many proposals for nuclear-powered aircraft over the years, only one U.S. aircraft has ever carried a nuclear reactor: the NB-36H.

It's been more than six decades since the NB-36H project was cancelled, but biologist Hashem Al-Ghaili wants to revive the idea with an audacious project: a 'sky hotel' that would apparently never have to land.

It would be a massive aircraft.

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The aircraft, which Al-Ghaili calls the 'future of transport', would dwarf any kind of conventional aircraft, as seen in this concept art. This concept art also shows the sky hotel in a place you wouldn't normally see it: the ground. That's because, according to Al-Ghaili, it would never have to land.

It would be powered by artificial intelligence.

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According to the design, the aircraft wouldn't require any pilots (although it would require many support staff, considering the fact that it would house 5,000 people, multiple shops and amenities and, oh yeah, an active nuclear reactor).

It would stay in the air while guests would be ferried via conventional aircraft.

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This image shows a passenger jet perched neatly on the sky hotel. It fails to show how passengers would actually move between the ferry jet and the sky hotel. It also doesn't explain how a jet aircraft, with its cruising speed of 575 miles per hour, would safely dock or take off from a massive nuclear-powered building in the sky.

Here's the schematic.

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Because it's easy to make plans for a project that doesn't exist and likely never will exist, here's how things would work: there'd be a massive entertainment deck running nearly the whole length of the aircraft, along with a smaller viewing area mounted in the tail. This viewing area would almost certainly ruin the plane's aerodynamic properties.

There'd be a shopping mall onboard.

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This almost goes without saying, since shopping malls are a feature on most modern cruise ships, but the sky hotel would have a big one. To illustrate this, Al-Ghaili shows what appears to be stock footage from an actual shopping mall.

Launch date: to be determined.

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Considering the fact that the person who designed this is a biologist who has no background in nuclear power, aeronautics, or international nuclear regulations, it should come as no surprise that this project has no backers, no launch date, and no info other than some pretty concept art.

Here's how the engine would look.

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The concept art shows what appears to be a typical jet engine that you'd find on any aircraft. I guess we'll just have to take the designer's word for it that this thing would be big and would contain a nuclear reactor (I mean, it says "nuclear-powered engine" right there).

It raises more than a few questions.

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Most countries probably wouldn't take kindly to a massive nuclear reactor flying around in their airspace. There's also the fact that, even though nuclear reactors can provide power for a long time, they'll need servicing eventually, and this would likely need to be done on the ground. Then there's the worrying fact that humans have a bad habit of accidentally dropping nukes from the sky.

I could go on an on, but you get the idea. This thing is a fun idea that will almost certainly never see the light of day.

Would you travel on this monstrosity?

Concept art showing nuclear-powered 'sky hotel'
youtube | Hashem Al-Ghaili

This could actually be a viable option for one percenters in the event of some kind of apocalypse rendering the planet uninhabitable. Outside of this scenario, however, it's hard to see how this thing would ever get off the ground.

Let us know your thoughts in the comments.

h/t: YouTube | Hashem Al-Ghaili