Next Level Luxury: Glass Pod Concept Puts Passengers On Top Of The Plane

If you’re often more captivated by the view from the window of your plane than the inflight entertainment, no doubt you’ve sometimes wondered why we can’t get a better look at the wonderful world outside. Without any sunroof or viewing window, we’re limited to seeing the world pass by through a small oval hole.

Fancy seeing the world differently? Photo: Windspeed Technologies

The most recent technology to attempt to tackle this issue is the fabulous tailcam. Seeing the view from the top of the vertical stabilizer or even the belly of the plane on their seatback screen has become a popular pastime for many fliers. But what if there was something better than that?

One company has developed a concept that looks just jaw-dropping. The SkyDeck would see a two-person pod installed on the top of the fuselage, giving a couple of lucky passengers a pilot’s eye view of the world as it passes by. Here’s what you need to know.

The two-person SkyDeck would be mounted on top of the fuselage. Photo: Windspeed Technologies

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How does the SkyDeck work?

Creators of the concept, Windspeed Technologies, have come up with two options for making the SkyDeck work.

In the first scenario, the access to the rooftop pod is via an elevator in the cabin. The passengers are safely strapped into their seats before ascending to the SkyDeck. Once up there, they have a clear view down the fuselage of the plane and out across the skies.

The view from the SkyDeck. Photo: Windspeed Technologies

In the pod, an interactive map will help them pick out any landmarks or cities they may be overflying, and a button control allows them to rotate the pod to see different parts of the view. Take a look at how it works in the video below.

The company also proposes a second option, which removes the need for elevator access. In this scenario, the pod is accessed by a flight of stairs that descend from the roof of the cabin. Once seated in the pod, the functionality of the experience is the same.

The pod itself looks to be not much bigger than some of the larger radomes seen on connected aircraft. Well, perhaps a little bigger. But the additional drag and fuel burn is bound to be offset by the kudos of having this facility.

Commercial airlines could charge for the privilege of having some time on the deck or could offer it as part of a super-luxury first class package. It could provide them a little extra income and could certainly give them a leg up on the competition.

When will we see the SkyDeck on a plane?

In terms of where the concept is right now, Windspeed told us,

“The Skydeck has been patented and is currently in a conceptual design phase with some amount of design details completed. We have had discussions with Boeing and Airbus who have indicated their interest in partnering up with Windspeed in offering the Skydeck to customers should they decide to have one installed on their aircraft.”

It would definitely give airlines bragging rights. Photo: Windspeed Technologies

So, it seems the world is waiting for an airline to bite. Has there been any interest so far? Windspeed told us,

“There have been a few airlines and a private VIP aircraft owner who have inquired about installing the Skydeck on their aircraft. No takers yet. For the airlines, there has to be a business case for having one on their aircraft. Factors such as the amount of revenue they can generate by offering passengers access to the Skydeck seats on a pay-per-view basis. For the VIP aircraft owners, it would obviously be an exceptional IFE to boast to their guest.”

In terms of the target market, we have to agree that this is something much more likely to be taken up by a VIP / corporate jet customer than by a commercial airline. However, we’ve seen other technologies migrate across to the commercial sector from the VIP realm, so it’s entirely feasible that, eventually, this could be something everyone could enjoy.

Would you like to see your flight from a brand new perspective? Let us know in the comments what you think of the SkyDeck.