A Boston-based aerospace company says they'll have a supersonic jet to whisk travelers to overseas destinations by 2018, and now their customers can enjoy a high-definition view of a waterfall, forest or even the Superbowl, no matter what the scenery is outside.
To create a plane that can top the speed of sound, Spike Aerospace had to rethink the entire fuselage to minimize turbulence and maximize efficient use of the natural laminar flow. "That's the airflow that goes over the wings and the fuselage ... instead of trying to mitigate it or eliminate it we are using it to our advantage," Spike founder Vik Kachoria told TheBlaze.
Spike aerospace announced their goal to design and build their new S-512 Supersonic Jet last year, and this screen-vice-windows revelation is fueling a new round of crowd funding, aimed to boost their firm through the second round of the design phase.
"Our founders have put in a lot of money for the initial research, but revealing these details allows for more attention and visibility," Kachoria said.
Passengers have become accustomed to watching tiny houses disappear through the clouds and squelching those queasy, airsick moments by glancing out the windows. But windows require engineering workarounds that compromise a fuselage’s simple structure, according to Wired:
"And that goes two-fold for a supersonic aircraft. An airplane is stronger sans windows, which is one of the reasons why planes carrying military personnel or packages fly without them. Putting passenger windows on an airplane requires meticulous construction — the ovular shape, small aperture, and double-pane construction are all there to maintain cabin pressure and resist cracking while flying 500 mph at 35,000 feet."
Kachoria explains airflow at supersonic speeds requires mitigation for several components of the jet; not just to avoid a sonic boom. "Internally the air has to slow down because the engine can't process air flowing that fast and the turbulence has to be mitigated somehow," he said.
While taking every aerodynamic advantage possible, Spike will also use standard ports on the outer skin of the aircraft to provide manual readings of altitude and drag, and these openings will allow for cameras to be placed outside to provide real-time landscape imaging inside the jet, if that's what the passenger prefers.
"Yes, they could watch the Superbowl; essentially anything that can be transmitted with the satellite and wireless connections. Or we can simply dim the lights - just like closing the shades in a plane when it's time to rest," Kachoria said.