There’s a new entrant appearing in the resurgence of supersonic travel, and its name is Spike. The Spike S-512 is set to be a supersonic business jet, capable of reducing flight times dramatically.
What is the Spike S-512?
The Spike S-512 is under development by Spike Aerospace, based in Boston. Capable of traveling at speeds of up to Mach 1.6, or 1,100 miles per hour, it promises to convey between 12 and 18 passengers around the world with flight times of 50% less than on other airlines. The company also shares that the plane would have a max range of 6,200 NM (11,482 km).
The route map for the Spike S-512 is a tantalizing prospect. The airline suggests a trip from New York JFK could arrive in Dubai in just 6.5 hours, a huge saving over the current 12.2 hours it takes. From LA, Tokyo could be within five hours reach, while London to New York could be cut to just over three hours in the sky.
The aircraft has been under study since 2013, and while the first prototypes are still a way off, the company is hopeful of success. Notably, the Spike S-512 promises to deliver quiet supersonic flight, with a perceived loudness level of just 75 dB, something the developers described as ‘sounding like a soft clap’.
Spike Aerospace has released some exciting images of what the interior of this supersonic jet could look like. Let’s take a tour.
A multiplex digital cabin
Aircraft windows have long presented a challenge for planemakers. While they are necessary to prevent claustrophobia and to make passengers happy, they weaken the structure and add weight to the design. As such, they are necessarily small and often inconvenient.
Spike has come up with a novel solution to this age-old problem. Onboard the S-512, passengers will be treated to a full cabin length high definition screen. These can display the real-time aircraft surroundings, fed from the 360 degree external HD cameras, or can be used to display a movie or work presentation.
Removing the windows not only allows for this next-level IFE experience. It also significantly reduces the noise infiltration, which Spike says will reduce cabin noise by 20dB. Speaking to the Telegraph, Spike Aerospace founder and CEO Vik Kachoria said,
“The Concorde was ridiculously noisy. Most conversations between two people are between 65 and 75 decibels and the noise level found within most plane cabins is around 85 decibels. Not quite a vacuum cleaner but not far off. Our windowless aircraft will be about 60 decibels, so lower than the sound of a conversation. No noise-cancelling headphones required.”
In terms of comfort, the aircraft is proposed to feature luxurious leather seating with a range of layouts to suit the needs of the buyer. A more commercial operation might choose a 1-1 layout with 12 or more seats, whereas a VIP or private customer could really make the most of the space.
As expected, the jet will feature high-speed WiFi and an inflight telephone system to keep its business customers connected.
What do you make of the Spike supersonic jet concept? Let us know in the comments.