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   xoxoxoBruce  Tuesday Mar 31 12:33 AM

Mar 31, 2009: Hotelicopter

For those of you uneffected by the economic turmoil and are looking for a way to spend the lumps out your mattress, here you go.

Experience the adrenaline rush of taking off and flying high in the largest helicopter ever produced.

The Hotelicopter features 18 luxuriously-appointed rooms for adrenaline junkies seeking a truly unique and memorable travel experience.

Each soundproofed room is equipped with a queen-sized bed, fine linens, a mini-bar, coffee machine, wireless internet access, and all the luxurious appointments you’d expect from a flying five star hotel. Room service is available one hour after liftoff and prior to landing.
This is one of two Russian Mil V-12 prototype helicopters built in the 1960s, but never went into production.

The Hotelicopter Company purchased one of these prototypes from the Mikhail Leontyevich Mil helicopter plant in Panki-Tomilino, Russia in 2004 and have been engineering the world’s first flying hotel ever since.
This sucker is huge...
Length: 42 m (137 ft)
Height: 28m (91 ft)
Maximum Takeoff Weight: 105850 kg (232,870 lb)
Maximum speed: 255 km/h (137 kt) (158 miles/h)
Cruising speed: 237 km/h (127 kt) (147 miles/h)
Original Mi Range: 515 km (320 mi)
Our augmented Mi Range - 1,296 km (700 mi)

Hotelicopter is supposed to start service this Summer with an Inaugural Summer Tour(east coast US), California Tour and European Tour, so book your flight and up your life insurance making the Cellar tip jar the beneficiary.


Undertoad  Tuesday Mar 31 02:25 AM


xoxoxoBruce  Tuesday Mar 31 03:32 AM

Thing is, the story has a few holes big enough to fly the Hotelicopter through.

First, the Mil V-12 is a real helicopter, but there's no way Farley bought one. The Soviets only built two. One crashed in 1968. The other currently sits in a museum in Moscow. We have the pictures to prove it. Second, the interior shots of the Hotelicopter were lifted straight from Yotel, the chain of hotels that offers tiny accommodations at European airports.

We tried to track Farley down, but couldn't reach him by phone or e-mail. That only strengthens our case — you'd think someone drumming up publicity for a venture like this would make it easy for journalists to get ahold of him. We suspect the only "updates" the site will send those who sign up for the e-mail alerts will be an "April Fool's" message on Wednesday.
Actually, I'm relieved. I was thinking disaster-waiting-to-happen considering the specs on the Hotelicopter site. Guess we'll have to fill the tip jar the old fashioned way.


I've seen plenty of pictures of the Mil V-12 in the museum, but the second one did not crash. It had a minor accident bending the wheel/landing gear in 1968 and I've no idea what they did with it after the plans for production were canceled.

I'm not familiar with the Yotel chain, but they could have the same designer/supplier... or simply stole the design.

Farley not responding is weak because they don't give a time frame, like "the defendant didn't respond to our inquiries by press time".

So Wired might be right, I hope so, but, "the story has a few holes big enough to fly the Hotelicopter through.", is certainly hyperbole.

Sundae  Tuesday Mar 31 04:05 AM

Great. There go my plans for the summer.
Still, I've had a really interesting offer to buy a bridge in a town called Brooklyn...

TheMercenary  Tuesday Mar 31 04:49 AM

That thing is huge. Not something I want to fly in. I doubt auto-rotation could be achieve in that big assed rock.

Beestie  Tuesday Mar 31 04:52 AM

The blades look too small to lift that behemoth.

Sort of like a fat kid wearing a propeller beanie.

spudcon  Tuesday Mar 31 08:40 AM

I hope you got permission to post that picture of Barney Frank.

floatingk  Tuesday Mar 31 09:53 AM

...and ALF

Sheldonrs  Tuesday Mar 31 09:53 AM

Originally Posted by spudcon View Post
I hope you got permission to post that picture of Barney Frank.
Having lived in MA for a few years and actually met Barney Frank a few times, I can honestly say that he doesn't look THAT good!

sweetwater  Tuesday Mar 31 09:56 AM

It looks like the space shuttle and a Chinook helicopter had some sort of unholy mating.

birdclaw  Tuesday Mar 31 10:12 AM

What a waste of a helicopter. I mean those things are meant for quickness and mobility. Not rich people sleeping quarters.

Undertoad  Tuesday Mar 31 11:07 AM

The pictures look like what good digital artists are capable of rendering these days. But it's all just a little too perfect. The lighting is utterly uniform. The other elements in the shots, like the two accompanying helicopters, are almost cartoonish. I find even the placement of the people in shot 4 to be bogus-feeling. The clouds look like a decision to not show it in sunlight where more detail would have to come out, and the rendered fuzziness would seem fake. The jetway in Bruce's shot above looks particularly suspect, the letters on it appear to be anti-aliased (which doesn't happen in real life) and unweathered.

Bullitt  Tuesday Mar 31 11:29 AM

According to the ever accurate Wikipedia posting for that helicopter model, one was retained by the manufacturing plant while the other went to the museum. The website for that "hotelicopter" states they obtained theirs from said factory. So that part checks out... in theory. But that said all the "photos" look like 3D renderings with just a little too much gloss and reflection added to make it look more real. Also the purported video of it "in action" is way too smooth at certain points to make it even remotely believable.

xoxoxoBruce  Tuesday Mar 31 11:33 AM

All the pictures are artist's renderings, as I would expect from someone trying to entice people to part with large sums of money. The whole thing reeks of a scam, a physical impossibility, but after Branson's Space Plane, who knows.
If they said they had done it, I'd say bullshit. When they say they're going to do it, I'll say show me.

Undertoad  Tuesday Mar 31 11:36 AM

All the pictures are artist's renderings

They're claiming real, and they're claiming the video is real too!

xoxoxoBruce  Tuesday Mar 31 11:43 AM

If the pictures are real, they've been photoshopped enough to make HDR look like tintypes.

spudcon  Tuesday Mar 31 12:37 PM

Kind of reminds me of this...

glatt  Tuesday Mar 31 12:53 PM

Was this an April Fool's story that somebody let out too early?

newtimer  Tuesday Mar 31 01:54 PM

"The Soviets only built two. One crashed in 1968..."

...while it was attempting to airlift a valuable meteorite from Arizona?

Kolbenfresser  Tuesday Mar 31 02:25 PM

Chopper on googlemaps in Moscow?

I checked googlemaps for "Panki-Tomilino", and look what I found at 55.66733,37.932057
To me it looks like the chopper described above.
Maybe this is the location of the Moscow openair museum?

limey  Tuesday Mar 31 04:34 PM

A quick search for the Russian words helicopter hotel reveal nothing ...

Gravdigr  Tuesday Mar 31 06:02 PM

That "Hotelicopter" pic looks SO fake, I'm not even going to comment...Wait, damn!

Clodfobble  Tuesday Mar 31 06:09 PM

For the record, even if it is real--that all-white glossy plastic furniture in the rooms is not what I would call "five-star." Luxury, indeed.

xoxoxoBruce  Wednesday Apr 1 12:39 AM

Originally Posted by Kolbenfresser View Post
I checked googlemaps for "Panki-Tomilino", and look what I found at 55.66733,37.932057
To me it looks like the chopper described above.
Maybe this is the location of the Moscow openair museum?
Yes, that's the one in the museum, I recognize the landscaping around it from the pictures.

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