Science and Tech


Would You Board A Windowless Plane?

A U.K. design company announced it's working on a windowless, screen-filled airplane that could help manufacturers and passengers save money.
Posted at 7:03 PM, Oct 27, 2014

In your typical plane, there's the aisle seat, the middle seat and the window seat — the one with the best view, in my opinion. (Video via YouTube / Dantorp Aviation)

But what if pretty much everywhere you looked acted like a window? That's the aim behind this project from the Centre for Process Innovation in the United Kingdom. Check it out. 

"With live video streamed to vivid OLED displays offering seamless panoramic views and entertainment, information and in-flight services at your fingertips, it's time to start your journey your way."

Panoramic views and personal displays — sounds like a new level of luxury. But the company explains it's all about sustainability and saving money: no windows means less weight. 

"For every 1% reduction in weight, the approximate fuel saving is 0.75%. If you save weight, you save fuel. And less fuel means less CO2 emissions into the atmosphere and lower operational cost. ... Everyone wins."

And by everyone, that means you, too. Those expensive tickets could get cheaper if it costs less to fuel the plane. 

And although there will be no windows, Daily Mirror points out the screens would be able to simulate a view of what's going on outside. CPI officials say the view would be in real-time using cameras mounted on the plane's exterior. 

The Guardian talk to a CPI employee who explained: "The idea came about after discussions about how printable electronics, in which the centre specializes, could be used. We ... understood that there was this need to take weight out of aircraft." 

So the million-dollar question — would people want to get on a windowless plane? Media reactions seem pretty mixed. 

WFLX: "One thing is ... it gets hot in there. You have to close the windows so you can keep the cabin cool. ... I think it would be really weird, though, to not be able to see out of the plane at all."

ABC: "You like this idea?" 

"I think it would make me really nervous not to just be able to see what's going on. ... I don't trust what they're showing me on that screen." 

According to CPI, the high-tech cabin could be ready for takeoff within the decade. 

This video includes images from Douglas P. Perkins / CC BY SA 3.0 and Doug Kline / CC BY 2.0.