Supersonic passenger plane to use giant screens instead of windows

Passengers on long haul flights often while away the hours starring aimlessly out the windows at the passing scenery however, the group behind the world’s first commercial supersonic plane have decided it is best if they do without windows.

Instead Spike Aerospace has decided to use giant screens inside the passenger cabin which will show what is happening outside the plane.

It says that removing windows will reduce the challenges in designing and constructing the aeroplanes fuselage. Windows require extra support and add to the number of parts that are needed as well as the overall weight of the plane.

Also a smoother outer skin of the plane will help to reduce the drag when flying at high speeds.

In a post on its website Spike Aerospace say: “The interior walls will be covered with a thin display screens embedded into the wall. Cameras surrounding the entire aircraft will construct breathtaking panoramic views displayed on the cabin screens.”

Passengers will be allowed to dim the screens if they want to sleep or be able to change it to any number of images stored in the plane’s system.

This could cause problems for those wanting to sleep when others are working or wanting to eat. It’s not worth considering how uninspiring the plane will be if the screens break.

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The new supersonic jet will allow passengers to reach destinations in half the time it currently takes, the company claims. It says flying from New York to London will take three-four hours instead of the six-seven hours it currently takes and it says LA to Tokyo will take eight hours instead of 14-16.

At present commercial airliners fly at speeds of around 567mph, but the planned Spike S-512 plane is targeting speeds of 1,060-1,200mph for its slights.

The company say: “We expect the first customers for the jet will be businesses and their management teams that need to manage global operations more efficiently.

“They will be able to reach destinations faster, evaluate more opportunities and have a bigger impact on their enterprises.”

In short, the jet is being designed for the select few on corporate accounts who will be able to afford the flight costs in the initial stages.

But it appears virtual environments aren’t only going to be used for the super wealthy as only weeks ago cruise ship company Royal Caribbean announced its latest cruise shop would play host to ‘virtual balconies’ for those in the worst rooms.

The ship company intends that virtual balconies will comprise of an 80-inch LED screen on the wall of 373 rooms in its latest boat, the Quantum of the Seas.

If the company’s images are to be believed sea-goers will be able to enjoy the best views around the boat without having to put up with sea air or, if caught in a storm be able to change their view to that of a sunny day.


Image courtesy of Spike Aerospace.


Why there are plans to wrap the world’s tallest building in fabric

As if the world’s tallest building wasn’t already a fairly prevalent sight on Dubai’s landscape, a think tank has proposed draping the building in a reflective fabric to make it more noticeable.

The group, OP-EN (Of Possibilities Engaging Novelty), has proposed the fabric covering which it says would be suspended from a support structure on the top of the tower as a temporary installation. Its plans show the Burj Khalifa tower, in Dubai, which stands at 828-metres tall covered in a “reflective super-lightweight and semi-transparent fabric”.

The concept has been named Exo-Burji and in a post on OP-EN’s website it is described as: “In the spirit of exploring creative potential in the public realm, Exo-Burj aims to create a fluid urban ambience by suspending a reflective fabric material around the 828-metre tower, complementing the structure’s reflective facade.”

The skyscraper holds at least 18 records, including highest nightclub, and was officially opened in 2010 after a period of six years of construction. OP-EN describes itself as an interdisciplinary creative practice with a focus on art, design and architecture that tries to seek the unfamiliar.

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The group visualises that the end result would increase the visual perspective of the city’s skyline as well as improving the tower’s symbol as an urban destination in the centre of the city. It also says it would create an artistic atmosphere on a vast architectural scale.

The proposed support structure to hold the fabric aloft is fan-shaped, circling the tower with the main point of connection coming from the spire of the building.

Visitors would be able to view the temporary installation from a distance – which would reflect the tower and its surroundings – but also walk up close to the fabric and experience it first-hand.

However if the – somewhat unlikely – project was to ever go ahead, the manufacturers would have to carefully look at the materials they use to create the covering as reflective buildings have caused serious problems elsewhere in the world.

In London, UK, an under-construction skyscraper’s curved shape caused heat from the sun to be bounced onto everything in its  shadow. This resulted in damage to nearby buildings and cars, and even resulted in one person frying an egg with the heat from the reflective rays.


Images courtesy of OP-EN.