Aircraft

SkyDeck concept puts your head in the clouds

SkyDeck concept puts your head...
The SkyDeck will have a teardrop-like shape to minimize drag
The SkyDeck will have a teardrop-like shape to minimize drag
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It will be possible to install the SkyDeck on a wide variety of aircrafts, from wide-bodies to smaller executive jets
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It will be possible to install the SkyDeck on a wide variety of aircrafts, from wide-bodies to smaller executive jets
The SkyDeck will have a teardrop-like shape to minimize drag
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The SkyDeck will have a teardrop-like shape to minimize drag
A version of the SkyDeck will be available with an elevator
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A version of the SkyDeck will be available with an elevator
A version of the SkyDeck will be available with a staircase
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A version of the SkyDeck will be available with a staircase

If the window seat doesn't cut it for you when flying, how about a roof seat? The SkyDeck, designed by aerospace engineering firm Windspeed Technologies, will give passengers 360-degree views from a transparent bubble installed on the top of a plane.

Windspeed says that, in designing the SkyDeck, its aim was to create "exciting experiential in-flight entertainment for VIP aircraft owners and the airline industry." It suggests that the SkyDeck could act as an additional source of revenue for airlines, with passengers paying to experience it.

The transparent canopy will be made of materials similar to those used for the canopies of supersonic fighter jets. It will be accessible via elevator or staircase, depending on the version, and there will be rotatable seats for passengers to take in the views. Either a one-seat or two-seat configuration is available to order and GPS systems integrated into the platform will provide flight and location information.

Windspeed says it will be possible to install the SkyDeck on a wide variety of aircraft, from wide-bodies to smaller executive jets. Despite this, there were still a number of hurdles that had to be overcome in the design to make it feasible.

It will be possible to install the SkyDeck on a wide variety of aircrafts, from wide-bodies to smaller executive jets
It will be possible to install the SkyDeck on a wide variety of aircrafts, from wide-bodies to smaller executive jets

Initial concerns are said to have been focused on whether or not the SkyDeck's canopy would interfere with the aircraft's tail performance. Employing a teardrop-like canopy shape and ensuring its height was optimized, however, are reported to have mitigated these. Additional fuel usage due to drag, meanwhile, is claimed negligible due to the rear positioning of the SkyDeck.

Other considerations have included required structural modifications, the structural integrity of the canopy to withstand a bird strike and flight loads, condensation, noise levels, UV protection, safety and ingress and egress requirements. Although these all had to be worked through, Winspeed says that its experience in helping to develop aircraft ultimately made the engineering "pretty straight forward."

The SkyDeck idea was conceived in mid 2014 and was made public in May 2015. Windspeed says the conceptual design phase is complete and that it will commence a final design stage once orders have been confirmed. Although no orders have been made as of writing, Windspeed tells Gizmag that Airbus is one firm that has shown interest. The first SkyDeck is expected to roll out about 18 months after the first order is made.

The video below provides an introduction to the SkyDeck concept.

Source: Windspeed

Aircraft SkyDeck (Option 1) - Windspeed Technologies

29 comments
Madlyb
Unless this is a fairly small jet, all you are going to see is the upper body of the plane. Should just do this as VR from cameras mounted on the outside of the plane. Less weight and more consumers.
Deres
Why not. Would be a good option for luxuray business jets. And for long range commercial planes, it would be an interesting paying attraction during flight. But I think a better option for commercial planes would be huge window inside the doors. Being inside the doors, it would not need any structural modifications of the planes. It would also be sold as an option and as a possible retrofit.
VadimR
If this does become a reality, I'm guessing it will not be allowed to be in the deck during takeoff and landing, both of which are the most interesting times to be in the dome.
overbyte
The perfect gift for that billionaire in your life -- an add-on of the SkyDeck to the family personal jet. Other than that demographic, this is a nonsense gadget.
Stan Ubeki
When I was a rocket surgeon, and gas was about $1.50, we had some well funded advanced tech for a wind shear detection device for a major client. We proposed sticking a sensor outside the fuselage about the size of a soda can. They flipped out! "Do you have any idea how much the drag from that thing would cost annually in fuel! I doubt this concept will ever be accepted by airline bean counters.
markchristensen27
So where do the oxygen masks drop from? Access to emergency exits?
Bob Flint
Does it come with it's own escape pod? Why not have one facing below, with a clear floor?
MattII
Oh gods, if you're going to cut a hole in the fuselage, just make the windows bigger, because this thing is a disaster waiting to happen. Also, the effect could indeed be achieved by cameras
guzmanchinky
I would rather look out the front and/or down than out the top.
Fairly Reasoner
Meh. It'll never fly.