The Passenger Airplanes of the Future?

A British technology research company called The Center for Process Innovation suggests that the passenger aircrafts of the future would be much improved by removing the planes' windows and instead having OLED touch screens down the length of the plane, displaying the view from the outside as seen through rear-mounted cameras. 

CPI says that such a design would reduce the weight (and thereby the associated fuel and other costs) of the plane. According to CPI, the body of the aircraft would be lighter yet stronger, C02 emissions would be reduced and seating woulld be roomier.  

As impractical as it may seem in many ways, I would be interested to test ride such a plane, but I know a lot of people who wouldn't dare to, such as a member of my family who won't even ride in a glass elevator. How would the cabin's indoor environment affect the passengers? Would such a design turn too many passengers off, reducing ticket sales? What do you think?

Learn more about CPI's ideas regarding aircraft technology here.

-Via Bored Panda. | Images: CPI



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I'm sure that's just an extreme example to grab attention. The reality would be port-hole sized OLED screens, a drop-in replacement for current windows, but perhaps more conveniently located.

A few problems I see...

In an emergency, the power goes out and passengers can't see anything, like how far they are from the ground, if it's safe to open the emergency exit, etc. Neither can the cabin crew look out to see if the engine is on fire or fell off the wing.

Electronic screens don't mimic a window, properly... They can't imitate both the gentle diffuse and polarized light reflecting off an object, and the harsh non-polarized light of the sun, or reflective (eg. chrome) parts. Similarly, if they look pretty good during the day, they'll be much too bright at night, or vise-versa. Also, with a real window you can rise above it and look down to see the ground, go below it and look up to see the stars, as well as looking straight out to see horizontally... The picture on OLED screens won't change as you move, so you'll see only a fraction as much, and the picture not moving as you do, will ruin the illusion, and perhaps that fake motion could trigger motion sickness.

Cameras don't do well in direct sunlight, low-light conditions, etc. And when there's rain or just moisture, and the tiny camera lens is the first thing to fog up giving you a garbled wall?

On the plus-side, the ability to put (small) windows anywhere and everywhere, including above your head, would give people a much nicer view. Also, it could make "flying wing" concept planes, which are far safer and estimated at 30% cheaper to operate, with the only problem being that people want windows, would suddenly become viable as passenger craft.
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I would never fly on an aircraft like that. If anyone has ever crossed the Chesapeake Bay Bridge near Annapolis, they'd probably understand that seeing how high up you are and how far down you'd have to fall is not necessarily a good thing. My acrophobia doesn't kick up on aircraft flights, mostly because I'm looking out of small porthole windows that I could never fall out of. The illusion of large windows or no windows does not interest me.

Also, lots of people spend all their time on flights sleeping. Shut the windows, turn off the lights and nap. Too much light pollution for that with this setup.
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