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This airline seat has only sky above it

Have you ever been on a long-distance flight and felt cooped-up, or even claustrophobic, and wished you were up front with the pilots for a better view as your travel?

A company in Washington state has apparently heard your daydreams and is answering them. Behold the SkyDeck: their very exclusive, miles-high version of a railroad observation car.

Windspeed Technologies calls it "the next exciting experiential in-flight entertainment for VIP aircraft owners and the airline industry." It also means a new revenue stream for air carriers.

Windspeed Technologies

Depending on the type of aircraft involved, the SkyDeck system features either an elevator or staircase to take one or two passengers up to sit nestled within a clear canopy atop the plane. Windspeed says the canopy is "made of similar high-strength materials as those used to build the canopies of supersonic fighter jets." From this lofty perch, privileged passengers can watch the world pass by from a very unique perspective.

Windspeed CEO Shakil Hussain told CBS Moneywatch SkyDecks would cost between $8 million and $25 million to install per aircraft, depending on the whether the system uses an elevator or staircase, or has one or two seats. The system would take between three and four months to install.

Hussain laughingly agreed: SkyDeck isn't for the faint of heart.

"It's like the first time you go on a roller-coaster ride," he said. "This is quite revolutionary, but over time it's going to be used by folks who want to have a better view when they fly."

Don't book your SkyDeck reservations just yet, however. Windspeed said its conceptual designs of the system's different versions have been completed, but the SkyDeck patent and trademark are still pending.

However, Hussain added the company has already been approached about installing a SkyDeck on the business jet version of a Boeing 737. He also sees SkyDecks becoming a big draw for airlines catering to high-end clientele -- and a money-maker even if some seats have to be removed to accommodate the system.

"The in-flight entertainment options haven't changed in decades," he noted. "It's looking at an LCD screen in front of you, nothing as exciting as the Sky Deck. We call it experiential entertainment."

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