Windows are weak, so this supersonic jet replaces them with panoramic screens

Right now, as you read this sentence, Boston-based company Spike Aerospace is hard at work building the world’s first supersonic private jet. It’s still in the conceptual phase at this point, but when the S-512 takes off for the first time (approximately four years from now), it’ll soar into the clouds without something most other planes have: windows.

Instead of the rounded, double-pane portholes you’re used to seeing on passenger aircraft, this supersonic bad boy will reportedly feature massive high-definition screens that will display video of the outside world in real time. The plane’s exterior will be outfitted with an array of tiny cameras that continuously beam footage to the thin, curved displays that line the interior of the fuselage. If everything works as planned, this will result in a giant, unbroken panorama of the outside world.

So why get rid of windows in favor of HD displays? It’s all about hull integrity. Windows tend to make an aircraft’s fuselage weaker because they create a discontinuity in the frame and concentrate any strain on the hull to specific areas. A plane’s fuselage is strongest if it has no windows, but passengers are accustomed to flying with a view of the outside, so a compromise has to be made. Nobody likes flying in a windowless tin can, but a strong hull is of the utmost importance in supersonic planes, so Spike decided to build something that offers the best of both worlds.

This clever structural workaround helps to relieve the drag and weight issues caused by the addition of windows to the fuselage, and although the plane hasn’t even been built yet, Spike projects that the design will allow the aircraft to reach a top speed of 1,370 mph while carrying up to 18 passengers. In theory, this means that the S-512 could travel from New York to London in less than four hours.

Just to give you some perspective, it took the famed Concorde three hours and 20 minutes to make the same trip on average.

[via Wired]

Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Folding canoes and ultra-fast water filters

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!

Looking for flexible and inexpensive phone service? Check out our favorite MVNOs

Looking to switch from a major carrier to something a little more affordable? Luckily, there are a ton of great MVNO options to choose from. Check out our guide to the best MVNOs, from Boost Mobile to Google Fi.
Emerging Tech

The 20 best tech toys for kids will make you wish you were 10 again

Looking for the perfect toy or gadget for your child? Thankfully, we've rounded up some of our personal favorite tech toys, including microscopes, computer kits, and a spherical droid from a galaxy far, far away.
Social Media

What do yodeling and Kylie Jenner have in common? YouTube’s top 2018 videos

In a true nod to the variety found on YouTube, the platform's top 10 list of videos from 2018 range from celebrities to sports, from perfectly tossing a picture frame on the wall to a kid yodeling in aisle 12 at Walmart.
Emerging Tech

New experiment casts doubt on claims to have identified dark matter

A South Korean experiment called COSINE-100 has attempted to replicate the claims of dark matter observed by the Italian DAMA/LIBRA experiment, but has failed to replicate the observations.
Emerging Tech

White dwarf star unexpectedly emitting bright ‘supersoft’ X-rays

NASA's Chandra Observatory has discovered a white dwarf star which is emitting supersoft X-rays, calling into question the conventional wisdom about how X-rays are produced by dying stars.
Emerging Tech

It’s no flying car, but the e-scooter had a huge impact on city streets in 2018

Within just a year, electric scooters have fundamentally changed how we navigate cities. From San Francisco to Paris, commuters have a new option that’s more fun than mass transit, easier than a bike, and definitely not a car.

Amazon scouted airport locations for its cashier-free Amazon Go stores

Representatives of Amazon Go checkout-free retail stores connected with officials at Los Angeles and San Jose airports in June to discuss the possibility of cashier-free grab-and-go locations in busy terminals.
Emerging Tech

Full-fledged drone delivery service set to land in remote Canadian community

Some drone delivery operations seem rather crude in their execution, but Drone Delivery Canada is building a comprehensive platform that's aiming to take drone delivery to the next level.
Emerging Tech

Intel wants its fleet of drones to monitor America’s aging, unsafe bridges

Intel has signed a deal to use its Falcon 8+ drones to carry out bridge inspections. The hope is that these drones will be useful in spotting potential problems before they become serious.
Emerging Tech

Transplanted pig hearts show promise in baboon trials. Are humans next?

Researchers in Germany have successfully transplanted modified pig hearts into baboons. The results take us one step closer to ending organ transplant waiting lists for good. Here's why.
Emerging Tech

An A.I. cracks the internet’s squiggly letter bot test in 0.5 seconds

How do you prove that you’re a human when communicating on the internet? The answer used to be by solving a CAPTCHA puzzle. But maybe not for too much longer. Here is the reason why.
Emerging Tech

Makerbot is back with a new 3D printer that’s faster and more precise than ever

MakerBot's new Method 3D printer aims to bridge the gap between home 3D printers and more industrial 3D printing tech. Here are a few of the tantalizing things you can expect from it.

Print your heart’s desire: Enter our giveaway to win a free Monoprice 3D printer

We’re giving away a $400 Monoprice MP Voxel 3D Printer. It's easy to use, especially for beginners, with its simple menu system and touchscreen display. It comes fully assembled so you can spend more time printing instead of setting up.