This Epic Support Vessel Has a Full-Size Helicopter Hangar That Can Hold a 40-Foot Chopper

Rachel Cormack
·2 min read

If you’re a seafarer who likes to travel with your chopper in tow, then you’ll love Kirsten Schwalgien Design’s newest yacht concept Big Shadow. The epic 213-footer is less like a traditional support vessel and more like a floating helicopter hangar that can store your most prized set of wings while at sea.

The Barcelona-based design firm penned Big Shadow in partnership with an experienced yacht owner that, apparently, has a penchant for whirlybirds. The sizable vessel is equipped with an innovative roll-in heli-hangar that’s big enough to hold an Airbus H145 without needing to fold the rotor blades.

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For reference, the twin-engine utility helicopter measures nearly 43 feet in length and 13 feet in height. Since it’s quite compact, the chopper is ideal for superyacht owners and has a broad range of applications, including executive transportation, exploration or family voyages.

“The owner’s brief required to implement the heli-hangar into the existing structure,” Kirsten Schwalgien, founder of Kirsten Schwalgien Design (KSD), said in a statement. “The roll-in hangar allows the owner to transport their helicopter with maximum speed, ease and efficiency. It’s a feature which I expect to see more of in the future.”

With a beam just shy of 42 feet, Big Shadow offers a volume of 1,380 gross tons and will no doubt cast, well, a big shadow wherever she goes. The exterior is characterized by sharp, dynamic lines and a subtle gray colorway that’s accented by fluorescent yellow. The tapered bulwarks and sleek superstructure, meanwhile, help to create an aerodynamic silhouette with a decidedly industrial vibe.

Onboard, Big Shadow boasts a generous interior and can sleep a total of 11 crew. Naturally, the vessel also carries a comprehensive stock of limousine and luxury tenders, beach landers, RIBs and other toys and equipment that can be enjoyed by the mothership.

She’ll have no problems shadowing that mothership, either. The vessel is expected to reach a top speed of 18 knots and can cover some 5,000 nautical miles when traveling at a cruising speed of 14 knots.

Although it hasn’t yet hit the seas, Big Shadow has already been recognized for its ingenuity. KSD received the Good Design Award 2020 in the transport category for the support vessel. Choose your mothership well, or she may have to get used to living in Big Shadow’s shadow.

Check out more renders of the design below:

Big Shadow Support Vessel
Big Shadow Support Vessel
Big Shadow Support Vessel
Big Shadow Support Vessel
Big Shadow Support Vessel
Big Shadow Support Vessel

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