These Airplane Bubble Pods Make Futuristic Fantasies Come True

The Skydeck is the ultimate window seat.
August 11, 2016, 2:05pm
Images courtesy of Shakil Hussain at Windspeed Technologies LLC

In every bottle of Perrier, there are countless bubbles. Together, #ExtraordinairePerrier and The Creators Project celebrate "the extraordinary" behind some of the most fascinating artists pushing boundaries through their chosen medium, technique, and perspective. This is an ongoing series exploring those artists. 

Designed to sit atop airplanes and private jets, the Skydeck is a Jetsons-style viewing bubble that offers 360-degree views 35,000 feet in the air. When Windspeed Technologies, a Washington state-based aerospace engineering company, filed a patent for the Skydeck late last year, the Internet freaked out. Now in partnership with a major Boeing supplier, Windspeed Technologies' is currently offering the Skydeck to high-end aircraft owners and airlines.

And though the Skydeck may seem like a far out idea for a far off future, similar canopies have been in use by the military since World War II. Many of the design challenges Windspeed engineers had to contend with could be remedied with solutions from military aircraft. "[As in fighter planes] there is UV film that goes with the Skydeck canopy and will protect anyone who's in there from harsh UV light," says Windspeed Technologies CEO Shakil Hussain. In addition to UV light, noise was another factor needed to be considered. Hussain tells The Creators Project, if the sound gets to a level where it's not comfortable then what we'll do is have the two passengers communicate with each other through noise suppressing headsets."

With the engineering hurdles surmounted, the biggest challenge facing users of the Skydeck may be who to bring with you. Designs thus far only feature two seats, though Hussain assures us it's possible to add more. "You can have a four-seater or a six-seater," he says.

So, what's the future like for this futuristic bubble pod? We asked Hussain if he envisioned a day where all planes will feature them. "This could be an option," he mused. "When you install a Skydeck, you have to have access to the seats. There are two versions either the staircase version or the elevator version, so of course if you're installing this on the airlines you have to forfeit a certain amount of seats for where the staircase or elevator would go. These are some of the factors that airlines and airplane owners will have to consider. It will be interesting to see who will be the first person, the first plane that will have the bragging rights to say, 'I've got a Skydeck.'"

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