The latest idea in commercial aircraft design is windowless airplanes. These futuristic planes will be covered in OLED touch screens the entire length of the cabin. The screens will project exactly what is outside surrounding the airplane, thus giving everyone in the plane a virtual window seat! Going windowless will give all passengers a panoramic view of the sky.
How It Works
Fiber-optic cameras will be placed all over the outside of the plane. These cameras are connected to the touch screens which allows them to beam an image of the outside, onto the wall. This produces a 360-degree realistic view inside the cabin of what is going on around the plane outside. They say that the projections on the screens will reflect the real world outside, exactly as it is.
If you get bored with the scenery, you can just turn the virtual window into an entertainment system, by touch. The OLED-touch screen technology is something everyone is most likely familiar with already. It is the same technology currently being used in televisions, tablets, mobile phones, and computer monitors.
Pros And Cons
Emirates airlines has unveiled designs for a new first-class suite, which features this windowless cabin. Every seat is a window seat and everyone gets a good view. Furthermore, the costs for airlines and consumers will be reduced due to reduced fuel consumption. That would also reduce their carbon dioxide emissions as a result.
Sir Tim Clark, President of Emirates, told the BBC:
“The quality of the imagery is so good, it’s better than with the natural eye. [It’s] as if you were in the window seat. So can the new generation of aircraft be windowless with this technology? In my view there’s no reason why not. The aircraft are lighter, the aircraft could fly faster, they’ll burn far less fuel and fly higher…and they will be safer because getting rid of windows would make planes more solid, getting rid of structural weaknesses.”
Although, others say that no windows is a safety hazard. They say that flight attendants need to be able to check outside the aircraft in the case of an emergency, for example for fire, before opening a door and commencing an evacuation. However, aviation regulator, the European Aviation Safety Agency says: “We do not see any specific challenge that could not be overcome to ensure a level of safety equivalent to the one of an aircraft fitted with cabin windows.”
There are also concerns about the amount of light the screens will emit and if that may cause some passengers discomfort, and concern about whether this will make the environment more claustrophobic and anxiety-inducing for those who feel nervous about flying.
What do you think? Would you like to fly in one of these windowless airplanes?