Washington-based Windspeed Technologies introduced the SkyDeck, an aircraft seat design that allows passengers to sit on top of the plane. The transparent bubble seat design sits on top of the aircraft, giving passengers a 360-degree view during the entire flight.
Depending on the plane type, the lowest cost for SkyDeck installation is around $8 million. The highest rate could push towards $25 million. But unlike other aircraft seat designs, SkyDeck fits into various aircraft models currently in service and in production. However, SkyDeck's patent and trademark is still in pending status.
"Current in-flight entertainment offerings have not changed much over the decades. We wanted to come up with a product that would provide a higher level of entertainment to reduce the boredom of long flights," said Windspeed Technologies.
SkyDeck's canopy or transparent bubble is produced using the same material found in supersonic fighter jets.
SkyDeck's teardrop design also aids in lessening the drag factor. The anti-condensation film of the canopy will ensure viewers an unrestricted 360-degree view during the entire ride. Passengers don't have to worry about sunburn either because SkyDeck's bubble comes with a UV-protection coat.
Windspeed Technologies offers airlines with several SkyDeck designs that can be applied. For instance, an aircraft's SkyDeck can be a one-seater or a two-seater. Access to the SkyDeck could also come with either a staircase or a Jetson-type elevator chute.
Windspeed Technologies' CEO and President Shakil Hussain described SkyDeck as "the next exciting experiential in-flight entertainment for VIP aircraft owners and the airline industry." The SkyDeck has the potential to make even the longest flights enjoyable, at least for the several lucky passengers.
Windspeed Technologies believes that the upcoming seat offer can give airlines extra revenue. Using a pay-per-view approach, airlines can offer the SkyDeck experience at a premium price.
SkyDeck's concept garnered a lot of attention during the National Business Aviation Association held in Las Vegas in November. Hussain said a European aircraft manufacturer is gearing up to offer the SkyDeck experience to lucky passengers soon.