Boston engineering firm Spike Aerospace is building a windowless supersonic jet that will be able to fly from London to New York in under four hours, and will offer passengers digital views of their surroundings (+ slideshow).
The S-512 eschews the small porthole style windows typically found on planes in favour of full-length curved digital screens that run the length of the fuselage. An array of cameras installed on the outside of the cabin will feed images through to the displays, which will then be stitched together to create panoramic views.
"Passengers will be able to dim the screens to catch some sleep or change it to one of the many scenic images stored in the system," Spike Aerospace said in a press release.
Unlike standard commercial airliners, which fly at approximately 567 mph, the S-512 will achieve speeds of between 1,060-1,200mph thanks to advanced airframe and engine technology, and the absence of windows.
“It has long been known that the windows cause significant challenges in designing and constructing an aircraft fuselage. They require additional structural support, add to the parts count and add weight to the aircraft,” said the company.
The reduced weight and lack of drag caused by removing the windows will also mean the S-512 will use considerably less fuel compared to other private jets. Spike projects that this means the plane could carry 18 passengers at up to 1370 mph.
The result is a plane that will shave flight times in half, meaning traveling from Los Angeles to Tokyo would take eight instead of 16 hours.
The S-512 is still in development, but Spike Aerospace hopes to begin shipping in December 2018, with a price tag of £48million.
"We expect the first customers for the jet will be businesses and their management teams that need to manage global operations more efficiently. They will be able to reach destinations faster, evaluate more opportunities and have a bigger impact on their enterprises," said the company.
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