If you don't manage to get a window seat when flying, you often forget the brilliance of air travel. After all, you may be cramped, tired, irritable, and cramped, but you're still hurtling through the air at 600 mph in a metal tube tens of thousands of feet above the surface of the Earth. You're still flying. But if anything can remind you of this fact, it's putting a goddamn sunroof in your plane — that is, if you're rich enough.
imagine gazing out these windows while cruising at night
This is the idea behind Brazilian airplane manufacturer Embraer's "Airship Kyoto" design, a concept that the company first unveiled last year and that it now says it's ready to take orders for. Customers purchasing one of Embraer's $53 million Lineage 1000E private jets can ask for wraparound glass windows in the front section of the plane, giving passengers unparalleled views as well as access to natural light. Just imagine cruising at night in one of these planes, staring out the window at the clouds below and the stars above.
The Airship Kyoto concept at dusk. (Image credit: Embraer)
Speaking to Wired, Embraer's vice president of interior design, Jay Beever, says the company is ready to deliver the spectacular windows to any customers who want them. "I’ve always believed that we should be able to execute the customer’s dreams and passions in an airplane," Beever told Wired. "Customers are usually being told ‘no’ because of certification restrictions in airplanes."
The windows are reportedly quite easy to install, requiring only that Embraer cut some extra holes in the plane's fuselage. The windows are extra weight and therefore affect fuel efficiency, but that's not a primary concern for the super-rich. And as long as they're in front of the wings, says Beever, they don't affect the plane's structural integrity. "There’s a lot of stress and load on the wing during flight that extends through the fuselage and all the way back to the tail," he told Wired.
The master suite and bathroom of the Embraer Lineage 1000E. (Image credit: Embraer)
Embraer first unveiled its new Lineage 1000E private jet design last year, teaming up with superyacht designer Patrick Knowles to finalize the concept. The jet includes some 800 square feet of living space spread across five separate areas, and includes a master suite with a queen-sized bed and a two-person, walk-in shower. Clients can also customize the interior to their heart's content, choosing between fabrics, fittings, and different internal layouts.
And is there anything that Embraer can't put in their jets? "I’ve been asked to add a fireplace to the main cabin," Beever told Architectural Digest last year. "Obviously that brought about more red tape and safety concerns than imaginable. It was a simple no can do." Now if only they could open up one of those new windows, they could surely stick a stove pipe out of it.