The Hotelicopter

The premise: According to, a giant helicopter (a Soviet-made Mil V-12) has been transformed into a flying hotel:

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.

Reasons to think it's a hoax: a) it's a strange idea (how long it could fly before it would have to be refueled?); b) all the photographs of it are computer-rendered; c) the site is registered anonymously (what are they trying to hide?); d) no contact info; e) the site made its debut suspiciously close to April Fool's Day.

Probable perpetrator: It mentions Yotel, the mini-sized hotel rooms you can check into at Heathrow or Gatwick airports. So that would be my guess.


Posted on Mon Mar 30, 2009


I once stayed at a Hotelephant. Had lotsa luggage storage in the trunks, and the bar was always pachyed. I also stayed at a religious retreat called Hotelit On The Mountain, a place where room service consisted of mind-links to room service called Hotelepathy, and a place for fans of humor called Hotelmeanother. You're welcome
Posted by Hairy Houdini  on  Mon Mar 30, 2009  at  10:31 AM
damn, I mentioned room service twice in my line about telepathy. What was I thinking?
Posted by Hairy Houdini  on  Mon Mar 30, 2009  at  10:33 AM
Heh, yeah, it would have to refuel about every two hours. So it would take off, fly for two hours, land, refuel for an hour, take off, fly for two hours, land. . .

Plus there would be the little matter of getting Mil to set up production facilities for parts that haven't been made in something like 30 years.
Posted by Accipiter  on  Mon Mar 30, 2009  at  07:00 PM
From my Twitter "hotelicopterWe've just issued our launch press release - you can download it and our hi-res images here:" hotelicopter suddenly started twittering today, how odd to start on the 31st of march after they have been quiet the last week. 😝
Posted by pete  on  Tue Mar 31, 2009  at  10:33 AM
Another reason :
6) The original Mil V-12 is quite smaller than the "Hotelicopter", and though the Hotelicopter website claims that the helicopter body was extended to accomodate an extra floor, this seems an impossible feat of engineering. You just don't add a floor to an aircraft (much less an helicopter) like you do to a house.
Posted by Simon G.  on  Wed Apr 01, 2009  at  04:23 AM
Actually, aircraft designs are modified to make them bigger all the time. Take the Boeing 777, for example. It's often only making it a little wider or longer so you can add a few extra seats, but there are other examples that are a tad more extreme. But in general, a truly major change is going to demand all sorts of reworking of the rest of the aircraft as well, and adding a huge amount of extra mass will probably not do anything beneficial to fuel consumption rates.
Posted by Accipiter  on  Thu Apr 02, 2009  at  07:11 PM
There were only two V-12s built, back in the 1960s. The capacity was around 45 tonnes. Doubling the size of the body would have reduced it to zero.
Posted by David  on  Fri Apr 03, 2009  at  11:36 AM
I went to the hotelicopter site (, and hotelicopter is a real company launching on Wednesday. If it
Posted by LBlackwell  on  Fri Apr 03, 2009  at  02:50 PM
Hmmmmm. . .perhaps a joke combined with an advertising ploy?
Posted by Accipiter  on  Fri Apr 03, 2009  at  09:13 PM
I checked into this again - hotelicopter now is a site that helps you search for hotels. They have a link to the April Fools hoax as well:

the main page:
Posted by Charles  on  Fri Jun 19, 2009  at  02:53 PM
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