Air travel could soon look a lot different for the world’s uber rich – 360 degrees different.
That’s because The SkyDeck is giving a whole new meaning to “I get the window seat.”
In the not-too-distant future, passengers on business jets could have the option of sitting in a glass-enclosed bubble on top of the fuselage that would provide 360-degree views of the outside world. Two comfy seats can be rotated to take in the view from any direction.
Accessed by stairs or an elevator, the SkyDeck can be installed on private jets (for an estimated price that ranges from $8 million to $25 million) as a VIP amenity or as a pay-per-view feature on passenger airliners.
Aerospace engineering firm Windspeed Technologies developed the concept. The company has been working on the specifications for more than a year, and has filed a patent application.
“The concept attracted a lot of attention at the recent conference of the National Business Aviation Association, in Las Vegas,” says Shakil Hussain, the firm’s CEO, according to Robb Report. “A large aircraft manufacturer in Europe plans to start offering the SkyDeck to potential customers soon.”
Windspeed says that the added weight shouldn’t be a problem for executive jets, but it will add to the fuel consumption. Furthermore, the SkyDeck’s shape and minimal height won’t interfere with airflow across an airplane’s fuselage and tail surfaces.
Passengers will remain protected in their high-flying bubble: its canopy will be made with high-strength materials similar to those of supersonic fighter jets, and it will be designed to withstand all load conditions, including bird strikes. It will also protect travellers from ultraviolet rays.
Each system will be custom-fitted to the aircraft type, hence the ultra hefty price tag. If money isn’t an issue (and you already live in your own bubble anyway), it may be worth it to dish out the extra millions for this “elevated” experience.
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