TECH

World's First Supersonic Jet Will Have Screens Instead Of Windows (PICTURES)

19/02/2014 11:14 GMT | Updated 19/02/2014 11:59 GMT

The world doesn't quite have its first private supersonic jet yet, but it's coming - fast. (Hoho).

Spike Aerospace is currently working on its ground-breaking S-512 model and, when it takes off in 2018, you can bet more than a few of the world's billionaires will be willing to stump up the $80 million required to get from one place to another, very fast.

One thing that money won't buy you however, is a good view.

spike aerospace

You see, the jet will not actually have windows. In order to achieve a craft efficient enough to carry 18 people at 1,370 MPH, and not run out of fuel, Spike said it needs to keep the fuselage smooth and as strong as possible.

But that's not going to be good enough for the wealthy passengers onboard, so Spike has developed a spectacular new concept: huge, thin, ultra-high resolution video walls.

The idea is that instead of windows providing a direct view to the clouds, the craft will instead transmit live video feeds from the outside of the craft onto extremely thin panoramic screens inside.

The effect looks set to be dramatic - an unbroken, bright view of the Earth, which you can watch from your ultra luxurious couch.

black hole

Above: the jet is designed to travel at more than 1,300 MPH

Spike says on its website:

"There are several reasons for removing the windows from the cabin. It has long been known that the windows cause significant challenges in designing and constructing an aircraft fuselage. They require addition structural support, add to the parts count and add weight to the aircraft. But until recently, it has not been possible to do without them.

With the micro-cameras and flat displays now available, Spike Aerospace can eliminate the structural issues with windows and reduce the aircraft weight. In addition, the very smooth exterior skin will reduce the drag normally caused by having windows.

The supersonic jet design already incorporates the latest technologies including composite material, advanced avionics and propulsion system. The interior design and windowless cabin is one more innovation the company is incorporating into the design."

It's not a new idea - we recently reported on a slightly more depressing version of this planned for cruise ships, and it's familiar from science fiction going back decades.

Which makes us think - if you can show live video from the outside of the plane, presumably you can show other stuff too. Like... the Moon? Or the Earth from Space? And has anyone told Richard Branson? Because this seems like a pretty cheap way of getting around that whole 'getting to space is actually quite difficult' conundrum.