Aerophobia: the fear of flying is common for many people. Being 30,000 feet in the air in a tin can isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. But in ten years time, flying may become even more terrifying! What about windowless airplanes?
The Centre for Process Innovation (CPI) is hoping to develop a technology that will allow windowless planes to be a thing of the present. The hope is to limit the use of fuel by reducing the weight of aircrafts. Rather than windows, flexible display screens would take their place by covering the entire wall of the cabin. Passengers would be able to see outside the plane. Terrifying or exciting? It depends of who you are. Some of us prefer to forget we are no longer on the ground.
CPI states that 80% of the weight of an airplane is actually the plane itself along with its fuel. “We had been speaking to people in aerospace and we understood that there was this need to take weight out of aircraft. Follow the logical thought through. Let’s take all the windows out— that’s what they do in cargo aircraft,” states Jon Helliwell of the CPI.
Reducing a plane’s weight by 1% means 0.75% less fuel is used. This leads to fewer CO2 emissions, lower costs and cheaper plane tickets.
So what would replace the windows? Organic light-emitting diodes (OLEDs). This flexible display screen would allow a projected panoramic view from cameras attached to the outside of the plane. Passengers could adjust their views, watch videos and use the internet using this versatile technology.
CPI is hoping this technology will be available in the next 10 years. But we will have to see how the idea flies with the everyday passenger.