26 September 2016

13 Oct 2015

A pioneer of the air and sea


In 1910, on the banks of Lake Constance, famed aviation expert Count von Zeppelin joined forces with Claude Dornier to design pioneering aircraft, and Dornier Seawings was born. Over a century later, his grandson, Conrado Dornier, continues to lead the brand in its passion for the ultimate amphibious aircraft: The Dornier Seastar.

Dornier Seawings is deeply connected to the sailing world. Dornier, himself, is the owner of 35.6m S/Y Tiziana.   “I was fascinated by Tiziana’s hull lines from the moment I saw her. When I learnt that she was designed by Sparkman & Stevens and built at Abeking & Rasmussen for Gianni Agnelli, there was no holding me back from giving her a new lease of live.” In an interesting twist of fate, Tiziana’s first owner, Gianni Agnelli, had purchased a Seastar from Dornier nearly two decades before. “He was the first yachtsman who visited us at the Paris Air Show back in 1989 [and] he immediately placed an order for the Seastar.”

With a long history of record-breaking aircraft and trailblazing technology, Dornier is confident that amphibious aircraft will continue to play an important role in transportation, “The amphibious aircraft of today is a coastal vehicle that will complement, and in part replace the helicopter in operations where land and sea can best be connected through the sky.”

The Dornier Seastar. Image courtesy of Dornier Seawings

Dornier’s knowledge of aviation and nautical technology leave him in the unique position to understand and utilise designs, materials and ideas from both worlds, “The composite technology that we developed for the Seastar is, today, widely used for the design of regatta yachts and superyachts who require exactly the same material quality mix for their structures.”

The Dornier Seastar. Image courtesy of Dornier Seawings

Similarly, the control of a Dornier Seastar requires an innate knowledge of the ocean, as well as the skies, “When it comes to the operation of seaplanes on water you need the skills of a good seaman who can read the waves, who knows what effect wind and current have on the control of the aircraft at all speeds.”

This November, Dornier will join a panel of aviation experts in the Global Superyacht Forum’s ‘Yachts of the Sky’ keynote presentation. Providing pertinent insight into the aviation world, this session will look at what the superyacht industry can learn from the world of luxury aircraft, whilst discussing the similarities and differences between the two. 

Mr Conrado Dornier

The theme for this year’s Global Superyacht Forum is to put ‘The Fun back into the Fundamentals’. Registration for the event, held from 16 - 18 November in Amsterdam, is now open. Click here for more details and to secure your place.

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