Windowless Planes: Would You Fly in a Plane with a Panoramic View of the Sky?

Even though it may seem like the worst nightmare for a claustrophobic person, this new design from a Dubai-based airline Emirates eliminates windows from planes entirely.

Rather than real-life view of the sky and clouds, the passengers will be able to look through virtual windows and to look at projections of views of the world passing through.

The new cabins of the Emirates are private suites intended for people flying in first-class and offer floor-to-ceiling sliding doors as well as other high-tech features.

What Kind of Technology Is Used for these Virtual Windows?

These ‘windows’ are based on real-time fiber-optic camera tech which creates virtual view of the outside world.

The airline’s choice to abandon windows started a major debate in the aviation world. And, not everyone is entirely convinced about windowless aircrafts.

According to Victor Carlioz, co-founder of design studio ACLA from California, there may be some structural advantages of removing regular windows from airplanes; however, a certain point of communication with the external world significantly betters the passengers’ experience.

Chief analyst from Strategic Aero Research, Saj Ahmad, emphasizes the practical problems of windowless airplanes. He explains that from an engineering stance, they’re great; however, in reality, this may not be the case.

Why Could Virtual Reality Airplane Windows Be Problematic?

Ahmad emphasizes that in an emergency, the cabin crew would need to see outside for reference point in order to be able to coordinate accordingly.

Visual and spatial awareness are pivotal and in a jet without windows, this won’t be available.

Further on, he also agrees with Carlioz’s worry about the comfort of passengers. Passengers are known to enjoy the natural view and even though technology is pretty awesome, can it really beat what we see with our naked eye?

Further on, let’s not forget the regulatory issues. This significant change would demand new tests to determine the system redundancy, evacuation, fire suppression, and other engineering changes.

Futuristic Aircraft Designs with Larger Windows

Boeing’s Dreamliner features large windows whereas Airbus has designed a cabin with transparent walls which was presented at the 2011 Air Show.

Embraer have constructed the Kyoto cabin with big panoramic windows running along the lateral walls of the cabin.

Believe it or not, it may be possible that planes become pilotless in the future; however, Ahmad is skeptical about seeing all planes being flown without pilots in the near future.

Sources:

CNN

BBC

IFL SCIENCE

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