Supersonic Passenger Jet without windows   Leave a comment


Spike S-512 is a supersonic jet that will enable travelers to reach destinations in half the time it currently takes. Passengers will be able to fly from NYC to London in 3-4 hours instead of 6-7 hours. LA to Tokyo in 8 hours instead of 14-16 hours.

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Commercial airliners typically fly at .85 Mach (567 mph). Spike S-512 uses advanced engine and airframe technology to cruise at average speeds of Mach 1.6-1.8 (1060-1200 mph).

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 time, supersonic travel will be available to everyone so they can explore more of the world, faster.

The S-512 Supersonic Jet is obviously a very capital intensive project that will require a lot of financial and engineering resources and management expertise. Without doubt, this project has tremendous risks and challenges from almost every direction — technical, financial, regulatory, political and market perspective. But the opportunity to solve a critical problem with potentially huge demand is too appealing to pass up for simpler ventures.

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When the $80 million S-512 takes off in December 2018, it won’t have something you’d find on every other passenger aircraft: windows.

The Boston-based aerospace firm is taking advantage of recent advances in video recording, live-streaming, and display technology with an interior that replaces the windows with massive, high-def screens. The S-512’s exterior will be lined with tiny cameras sending footage to thin, curved displays lining the interior walls of the fuselage. The result will be an unbroken panoramic view of the outside world. And if passengers want to sleep or distract themselves from ominous rainclouds, they can darken the screen or choose from an assortment of ambient images. But this isn’t just a wiz-bang feature for an eight-figure aircraft.

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While windows are essential for keeping claustrophobia in check, they require engineering workarounds that compromise a fuselage’s simple structure. And that goes two-fold for a supersonic aircraft. An airplane is stronger sans windows, which is one of the reasons why planes carrying military personnel or packages fly without them. Putting passenger windows on an airplane requires meticulous construction — the ovular shape, small aperture, and double-pane construction are all there to maintain cabin pressure and resist cracking while flying 500 mph at 35,000 feet.

It would be much simpler and safer to have a smooth-skinned, window-less fuselage, but frequent fliers have become accustomed to a calming view of the clouds and tiny cities during takeoff and landing.

Spike says that in order to hit their performance goals, they’ve planned to go windowless since the beginning. “A few advisers and friends are concerned that there are no windows,” Spike founder Vik Kachoria told WIRED. “But I think that if you give them the screens and give them the visibility, you might be able to get away from that.”

This structural workaround relieves Spike’s craft of the drag and weight issues presented by adding windows, which will, Spike projects, allow the plane to hit a top speed of 1,370 mph (Mach 1.8) while carrying up to 18 passengers.

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General characteristics

  • Capacity: 12-18 passengers
  • Length: 131 ft ()
  • Wingspan: 60 ft ()
  • Height: ()
  • Wing area: 1125 m² ()
  • Empty weight: 38000 lbs ()
  • Loaded weight: 44000 lbs ()
  • Max. takeoff weight: 84000 lbs ()
  • Powerplant: × Pratt & Whitney JT8D turbofan

Performance

  • Maximum speed: Mach 1.8 (1100 mph)
  • Cruise speed: Mach 1.6
  • Range: 4,000 nm

Posted February 18, 2014 by markosun in Uncategorized

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