What next? Passenger planes with no windows

What next? Passenger planes with no windows article image

Imagine taking your next business trip aboard a plane with no windows.

This could well be the future of business and domestic travel.

Each year 3.1 billion people fly around the world using 80 billion gallons of fuel.

And aircrafts produce an estimated 705 million tonnes of CO2.

Weight is a constant issue on any aircraft. And one of the major factors in how much fuel an aircraft consumes is how much it weighs.

Removing windows considerably lessens the weight, which therefore lessens the cost of fuel and carbon emissions.

For every 1% reduction in weight, the approximate fuel saving is 0.75%.

The two biggest contributors to weight are not passengers and baggage but rather the fuel itself – and its fuselage.

Together they comprise more than 80 percent of an aircraft’s weight at takeoff.

By removing windows in planes, the thickness of the fuselage can be reduced significantly, thus reducing the weight.

The Centre for Process Innovation (CPI), a UK-based technology innovation centre, has put forward a proposal where airplane windows would be replaced by floor-to-ceiling scenes showing live video footage from outside the plane. 

Entertainment systems 

The display would be cast on ultra-thin, flexible OLED screens integrated into the body of the aircraft as well as seat backs, which would double as entertainment systems. 

Images would be relayed from a series of cameras mounted on the fuselage, potentially giving each display an uninterrupted view of the exterior (avoiding the wings and engines). Users in any seat will be able to select views from any side of the aircraft. 

It would not be necessary to reflect the actual view seen from a particular seat, so the cameras could be mounted in the most aerodynamically efficient positions on the aircraft. The lighting panels would allow the colour changes associated with sunrise and sunset to be controlled on long haul journeys, helping passengers to adjust to time zone differences. 

CPI estimates it could take up to two decades or more for this proposal to be implemented by major airlines and safety authorities. 

So you still have plenty of time to snap those beloved window-seat shots of the clouds and cities from above.


Previous Comments Leave A Comment
11 Nov 2014
This would be great move!! Planes with windows were built when they flew at lower altitudes! I hate it most when passengers open the shades when you're cruising at 10,000 meters, staring at the abyss and getting extra megadoses of radiation and UV!! which is fine if one flew once in a lifetime!! Time to "save" our environment using less fuel, while having to fly!!

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