Hotelicopter – The World’s First Flying Hotel

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Hotelicopter – The World’s First Flying Hotel

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Hotelicopter – The World’s First Flying Hotel

By Ofonime Essien

Hotelicopter is an April Fools’ Day video produced as a viral marketing campaign by Hotelicopter, a now defunct hotel search site, in 2009. It showed a craft based on the Soviet giant Mil V-12 military helicopter, leading millions to believe the world’s first luxury hotel/helicopter was a reality. The video and website explained the first commercial flight of Hotelicopter was scheduled to take off on 26 June 2009 from JFK Airport in New York City, and reach the UK later that August.

READ: 20 Ultimate Ways to Keep Kids Comfortable on Planes

Millions of web users fell for the elaborate April Fool’s Day hoax featuring video footage of the world’s first flying hotel in a converted helicopter. In 2010, the Christian Science Monitor named the Hotelicopter as one of its top five online April Fools’ pranks. The Times also included the prank in its “10 best travel April fools”, rating it as 10/10.


Artists impression of the Hotelicopter a flying 5 star hotel which has appeared on the internet in what might be the most elaborate aviation hoax ever Photo: SWNS

A viral email clip appeared to show a Russian-made Mil V-12 being used as the first-ever flying ‘hotelicopter’.

The spoof advertisement shows the aircraft flying with the strapline: “For the first time in aviation history, the luxury of a five-star hotel room can finally take flight. Experience the luxury, elevate your stay – Hotelicopter.”

According to its makers, the 137 ft (42m) hotelicopter was said to have 18 luxurious rooms “for adrenalin junkies seeking a truly unique and memorable travel experience”.

The clip became an overnight internet sensation after it was posted online by an ‘expert’ calling himself Alvin Farley.

He claimed to have spent the past five years modifying the helicopter, which he boasted had a top speed of 158mph.

But it emerged that the interior shots used for the video – which show queen-sized beds and jacuzzis – were lifted from airport hotel chain Yotel’s website.

Furthermore, only two Mil V-12s were ever built – one crashed in 1968, and the second was donated to a museum near Moscow where it still remains.

But scores of people fell for the hoax and the ‘hotelicopter’ had tens of thousands of fans on its Facebook and Twitter pages.

The 37-second video, which went live on then, was created with computer-generated graphics.

It claimed the soundproofed hotel had queen-sized beds, a mini bar, wireless internet, DVD player, whirlpool bath and room service.

The helicopter itself was said to be 137ft (42m) long, 91ft (28m) tall, and capable of flying 700 miles on a cruising speed of 147mph.

But the advertisement was actually part of a viral marketing campaign by Yotel.

Spokeswoman Jo Berrington said: “Although this is a joke maybe in the future it could become reality. We are looking to push the boundaries and make people think about what’s possible.

“It’s a little bit tongue in cheek and we are just having some April Fool’s day fun but we are always looking at other options for hotel rooms.

“One day this will be possible because air travel and technology are constantly advancing.”

Internet user Beth Hale, 29, said: “I was totally caught up in the hype. I honestly thought this was totally true, and even asked by boyfriend if he could book a room for my 30th birthday later this month.”

Sources: Wikipedia, Telegraph


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About Author

Ofonime Essien

Mr. Ofonime A. Essien, is a Helicopter Pilot. He is also a Microsoft Certified Database Administrator (MCDBA), Oracle Certified Associate (OCA), a Computer Forensics Expert, a Blogger, Web Master, a Writer and an Entrepreneur. He is an avid reader. He likes motivating others to achieve their dreams through writing and speaking.

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