LONDON – Yes, you read that correctly, Emirates said that they are looking at the possibility of having no windows on their planes in the future.
The idea has come from the brand new First Class on their newest Boeing 777-300ER aircraft, which offers passengers virtual windows in the middle aisle.
Emirates are planning to introduce 'virtual windows' that provide passengers with a view from outside the aircraft. Would you want to fly on a windowless plane? Watch again ▼@Iromg | @AlexInAir | https://t.co/sv3MZUm41c pic.twitter.com/F3WeuNpWSr
— talkRADIO (@talkRADIO) June 7, 2018
So what are the safety benefits?
The removal of the windows from the airframe would allow for a stronger fuselage, with additional supports being able to be placed in.
Experts have said having no windows would address fatal security issues, such as in April when a passenger died on a Southwest Airlines flight after being partly sucked out of the plane when the engine exploded, throwing debris at the window, therefore causing it to break.
However, there is an additional safety concern that comes with this idea. In the event of an emergency landing, with no power, the camera on the outside would not be able to reproduce the image on the cabin’s screens, causing passengers and crew to lose situational awareness during an emergency.
Any other benefits to this idea?
Yes, by removing the windows and increasing the fuselage’s strength, planes will be able to fly not only higher but faster, according to Emirates CEO, Tim Clark.
The removal of the plane’s windows would make the plane more efficient with its airflow and could allow airlines to see a 50% saving on the aircraft’s weight.
When asked what his thoughts were on the future of air travel, Clark pondered, “Will we have an Airbus A380 at supersonic speeds in the next 20 years? No, I don’t think so.”
“What we may have is aircraft that are windowless. On the outside, there will appear to be no windows, but on the inside, there will be a full display of windows. And we will use fiber optic camera technology to beam in the images from the outside into those windows, as we have done on the first class suite,” he said.
Clark added that his A380 suites “have full windows and we have cameras bringing in the images from outside. In fact, these images are such high definition, with a very high pixel count, they are better than with the naked eye.”
Is it really viable?
There are always pros and cons in aviation, in the end, it will come down to personal opinion on the idea,
While airlines might save money on fuel, the idea of eliminating windows could change the way we travel forever.