Aerospace engineering company Windspeed Technologies has designed a bubble-shaped viewing platform for the top of commercial aircraft as an alternative to current in-flight entertainment (+ movie).
Passengers could access the SkyDeck via a staircase or elevator inside the aeroplane, and would be able to see out the top of the cabin through a bump-shaped canopy that protrudes from the fuselage.
"The aim was to create the next exciting experiential in-flight entertainment for VIP aircraft owners and the airline industry," said Windspeed Technologies.
According to the company, the SkyDeck can be added to existing aeroplanes and customised for different-sized vehicles. Smaller jets would have a single-seat option, while larger aircraft could include space for two passengers.
The rounded canopy is designed not to interfere with an aeroplane's performance. The company claims the deck's position towards the back of the vehicle will ensure no additional fuel consumption.
The covering would be constructed from high-strength glass, and coated in anti-condensation film so passengers can enjoy 360-degree views at any time.
"Current in-flight entertainment offerings have not changed much over the decades," said Windspeed Technologies. "We wanted to come up with a product that would provide a higher level of entertainment to reduce the boredom of long flights."
The company has suggested that SkyDeck could provide a new source of revenue for the airline industry, with passengers potentially charged on a pay-per-view basis.
A major aircraft manufacturer is reportedly already planning to offer SkyDeck to its clients, and the viewing platform design currently has a patent pending.
Windspeed Technologies isn't the first to suggest panoramic views for passengers. Tech firm Centre for Process Innovation suggested replacing cabin windows with flexible screens that could project 360-degree views from outside.
International agency Technicon Design also designed a concept for a private jet with screens that would display the exterior environment, and Boston engineering firm Spike Aerospace is building a windowless supersonic jet that will offer passengers digital views of their surroundings.