Ultimate window seat design patent unveiled

18 Dec 2015 by Tom Otley

Aeropace engineering company Windspeed Technologies is patenting the design for a pair of seats set into a capsule on top of an aircraft.

The bubble will sit just behind the wings, allowing two passengers uninterrupted 360-degree views of the sky.

Skydeck sky bubble

Skydeck sky bubble

The canopy will be made of the same high-strength material used in the windows of fighter jets. Meanwhile, the seats will either rise up from inside the plane in a transparent pod via a lift system, or be accessed by stairs.

A statement from Windspeed Technologies said: "The uniqueness of the design is that it allows passengers to safely position themselves at a safe semi-external location of the aircraft while enjoying a thrilling view.

Skydeck sky bubble

Skydeck sky bubble

"In addition, GPS systems will be integrated in the design of the platform and seats to provide the viewer with real-time position and flight information.

"The rotatable seats will come with seat-belts and the complete SkyDeck will be designed to withstand all load requirements of the FAA."

Although a ride on the Skydeck might be a dream for some passengers and a nightmare for others, it is likely to remain largely imaginary.

The company said that the design would cost airlines between US$8 million and US$25 million to install on each aircraft with a retrofit requiring the aircraft to be grounded for three to four months for installation and testing.

It would also require an airline to place an order.

Windspeed says that it would take 18 months to roll out from receipt of an order, but that it is confident that the design is possible.

It says,“Many design hurdles had to be overcome including structural modification, structural integrity of the canopy to withstand a bird strike and flight loads, condensation, noise levels, UV protection, aerodynamic drag, potential disruption to the vertical tail's performance, safety, ingress and egress requirements per the FAA requirements.

“[However] we have succeeded in resolving all of these concerns. Considering the fact that Windspeed has been highly involved in major aircraft development programs such as the B787-8, 787-9, 787-10 and the new 777X, the engineering needed for the SkyDeck is pretty straight forward.”

Jenny Southan

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