If a Boston-based aerospace firm gets its way, wealthy travellers will be able to fly from New York to London in as little as three hours, and they won’t even have to shut the blinds to get some sleep.
Spike Aerospace is working on the S-512 supersonic jet, which it promises will fly at 1.6 times the speed of sound — nearly twice the average cruising speed of today’s aircraft.
This week, Spike announced the latest update: The cabin of the blazing fast private jet won’t have any windows.
Instead, passengers will enjoy images captured by micro-cameras outside the plane and projected onto thin screens embedded in the walls.
So instead of dealing with glaring sun (or having the close the shade with their own hands), passengers can just dim the screens. And if the view of the clouds gets boring, they can switch the screens over to something more interesting.
The innovation has technical upsides, Spike explained in a blog post:
There are several reasons for removing the windows from the cabin. It has long been known that the windows cause significant challenges in designing and constructing an aircraft fuselage. They require addition structural support, add to the parts count and add weight to the aircraft. But until recently, it has not been possible to do without them.
With the micro-cameras and flat displays now available, Spike Aerospace can eliminate the structural issues with windows and reduce the aircraft weight. In addition, the very smooth exterior skin will reduce the drag normally caused by having windows.
That may be true, but eliminating windows will almost certainly kick up some dust with the FAA, whose strict regulations touch every aspect of aviation.
That’s not the biggest issue at the moment, anyway. Spike is working to raise a new round of funding to continue to develop the S-512, and it’s hoping to bring in $US250,000 through an Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign. One week in, with three weeks left, its haul is just over $US700.
And if it ever makes it to market, the supersonic jet will cost between $US60 million and $US80 million, according to the Daily Mail.
Here’s how the windowless cabin will look:
And another shot of the S-512: