Windspeed Technologies, based in Everett, Washington, has come up with a concept of a canopy that sits on top of the fuselage of an aircraft for passengers to have a truly unique vantage point. Designed to be accessed either by stairs or an elevator, it might be one of the best in-flight entertainment options to come along in many years. As shown in the video below, the seat also rotates for an even better experience.
Windspeed feels confident in their design and have conducted several feasibility studies which have included structural modifications, loading, system integration, interior modifications, aerodynamics and certification requirements. It is also designed to handle flight loads and birdstrike impact tests.
One concern for potential customers could be the drag on the aircraft and this is solved by positioning the Skydeck toward the rear of the aircraft so that the drag is minimized. The teardrop shape and the height of the canopy reduces any problem with the performance of the aircraft’s tail. Any concerns with either issue will be addressed with wind tunnel or CFD analysis tests.
Additional weight is also a factor that will depend on which version of SkyDeck is chosen for installation and the type of aircraft.
Their hope is to have this available for many types of aircraft from smaller business jets to wide-bodies. They have come up with a variety of conceptual designs and have patent and trademarks pending.
Windspeed is in talks with a canopy manufacturer to design, build, test and supply the canopies, fully certified, delivered and ready-to-install to completion centers. Depending on whether a 1 or 2 seat version with stairs or elevator is chosen, along with the type of aircraft, the cost is estimated to be from $8-25 million installed and certified.