Are you tired of having to peer out of the tiny window when you’re flying, or maybe you’re sick of never getting the window seat? How about choosing the roof seat? The engineering firm Windspeed Technologies has come up with a ground-breaking (or should that be sky-breaking) SkyDeck design, which allows flight passengers to enjoy an amazing 360-degree view from their seat on the top of a plane.
Being encased in a transparent bubble is the company’s vision for creating a new and more exciting form of entertainment for passengers. Open to the VIP passengers, the new SkyDeck concept could not only be a great experience for the passenger, but could also mean that airlines could take higher revenues thanks to the opportunity to charge premium fares for SkyDeck seating.
To ensure that you are completely safe in the SkyDeck, the window will be made from the same grade of material as manufacturers use in the production of fighter jets. To get to the seats, there will be either an elevator or a stairway to gain access and the seats are intended to be able to be rotated. This will allow you to enjoy the full view and you can position your seat to face away from the sun for example if you find that it is too bright for you. Planes will have either a 1 or 2 seat SkyDeck, and some configurations will also include the use of GPS technology to give the passenger access to flight and location information.
There will be few limitations for the successful installation of the SkyDeck on aircraft, as it will be suitable for wider planes, as well as smaller private jets, although coming up with a design that was versatile enough to do this wasn’t without its problems.
Some of the main concerns in the design of the deck included whether or not the dome shaped window could possible interfere with the aerodynamics of the aircraft. To overcome any issues that could have arisen, the dome was designed in a teardrop shape to minimize any negative performance, and the height was considered carefully too. As the SkyDeck is to be positioned to the rear of the aircraft, it is claimed that a little additional fuel consumption may be required, although this will be minimal.
Structural modifications to the design of the dome also had to be implemented to ensure that the window would not crack or break if a bird struck it, or if there was particularly bad wind conditions. It also had to have specially treated glass to incorporate UV protection, safety and to minimize condensation and noise.
The idea for the SkyDeck was founded in 2014, although it wasn’t made a public known concept until May 2015. The manufacturer claims that the design phase is complete for the concept, and that they are waiting for order conformations so that they can move onto the next and final stage in the design process. Whilst no orders have actually been confirmed yet, it is believed that Airbus is interested. When there is some interest confirmed in the idea, it is expected to take Windspeed some 18 months to make up the first order.