130m Mad Max superyacht concept harnesses recycled jet engines

Former Winch Design protege Uros Pavasovic drew inspiration from the number of grounded jets around the world for his latest 130m superyacht concept.

Cobra is described by Pavasovic as “a work of creative indulgence” as it certainly pushes the envelope in terms of exterior aesthetics.

As these eye-catching renderings show, the superyacht would be propelled by a pair of jet engines suspended above the deck by two large pillars.

“It pushes our understanding of design parameters, and yet is, in fact, buildable,” insists the Croatian designer. “It might look like science fiction, but it’s not total fantasy. The only unreal element is that those engines would be loud!”

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This propulsion system has been used previously on Royal Navy frigates, but Pavasovic was inspired to apply this idea to a superyacht after seeing the mass grounding and early retirement of several Jumbo Jets at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“News of all those discarded airplanes and their perfectly functioning jet engines made me wonder how they could be repurposed in a Mad Max-inspired, post-pandemic world,” he adds.

As well as the lightweight jet engines, Cobra would include an electric Azipod propulsion system below the waterline for silent cruising.


“Unlike a jet aeroplane, in which the jets are used to generate direct thrust, in this installation, as on Royal Navy Frigates, they are simply an efficient means of generating electricity to supply the electric motors powering the propeller pods underneath the boat,” explains MBY editor Hugo Andreae.

“They tend to be very noisy but they generate a lot of power for their size and weight while creating very little vibration compared to a massive diesel engine.”

That’s not the only way that this bold concept blends naval architecture with aeronautical design – the forward superstructure is inspired by the streamlined cockpit of fighter jets like the Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird.

Other key features on board Cobra would include an aft-deck swimming pool, various folding balconies, a helicopter landing pad and a garage for storing a custom trimaran tender, which would also be powered by gas turbine engines.

Formerly of Winch Design, Pavasovic founded his own studio in 2020 and is currently working on a 90m explorer for a European shipyard and a sporty new tender design for UK boatbuilder Falcon Tenders.

His 15-year career also includes work on the 99m Madame Gu and 62m Sea Owl (both of which were built by Feadship) as well as the Lurssen superyachts Pheonix 2 and Ace.