Windows are kind of a drag for airplanes—literally. They add extra weight, weaken the body, and generally slow down the aircraft; that's why the new Spike S-512 Supersonic Jet won't have any. Instead, passengers get to enjoy their sky-high surroundings on real-time, panoramic video screens.
It sounds a little silly, but it's true. The $80 million (around £48 million) jet will feature an ultra sleek exterior outfitted with "micro-cameras" that will capture the pretty blue sky and little fluffy clouds as they stream by. The cameras are connected to curved displays that span the length of the aircraft and give passengers an unprecedented view. The displays can be dimmed if anyone wants to take a nap or, presumably, turned off completely if anyone wants to test out their claustrophobic tendencies, all while the supersonic jet is flying at 1,370 miles per hour.
Funnily enough, this screen idea is becoming a bit of a trend. We learned just a couple of weeks ago that Royal Caribbean outfitted the economy, windowless rooms on its latest cruise ship with HD screens, which made it look as if the room had a balcony.
Looking ahead, these same screens could, in theory, be used to show media other than the sky and clouds outside, perhaps even films specially made for the immersive screens of luxury air travel. Perhaps even having extra content added to the backgrounds, making passengers see clear skies during turbulence or a sunrise after a long international flight.
Either way, when you think about it, this screen trend really isn't too dramatic a departure. After all, we're already spending most of our lives looking at screens of one sort or another. [Spike Aerospace via Wired]