For some time now, the aviation industry has been seeking alternatives to cut aircraft fuel consumption. In order to do so, aircraft weight would need to be reduced. The weight reduction would cut fuel consumption and in turn, decrease the cost of fares. According to the Centre for Process Innovation (CPI), for every 1% reduction in the weight of an aircraft, there’s a 0.75% saving in fuel.
While staying on task, UK developers are looking to remove windows in planes — which would reduce pressure and usage of fuselages — replacing them with smartscreen panels. As per The Guardian, [the CPI] imagines how large, hi-definition, ultra thin and lightweight displays could form the inside of the fuselage, displaying images of the exterior from cameras mounted on the plane’s exterior.
This would give passengers the option of actually viewing the outside of the aircraft from inside, but with the use of cameras — like a live-action Google Earth. In addition to using the hi-definition screen to view the exterior, passengers could also view their email and surf the web.
“We had been speaking to people in aerospace and we understood that there was this need to take weight out of aircraft,” said Dr. Jon Helliwell of the CPI. “By putting windows into a plane, the fuselage needed to be strengthened. And by omitting them in favour of walls of screens on panels, the fuselage would be lighter.”
We decided to ask our Instagram followers if they’d feel comfortable flying in a plane with virtually no windows. The majority replied no.
To some, the thought doesn’t make sense. But to all future flyers, it saves cents; money. “Follow the logical thought through. Let’s take all the windows out – that’s what they do in cargo aircraft – what are the passengers going to do? If you think about it, it’s only really the people that are sitting next to windows that will suffer,” added Helliwell. “So you could have a display next to a seat if you wanted it; you could have a blank area next to a seat if you wanted it; you would have complete flexibility as to where you put [the panel screens]. You could put screens on the back of the seats in the middle and link them to the same cameras.”
–Jamaal Fisher (@jamaalfisher)