BY: AYA TSINTZIRAS
Bad news for those afraid of flying; good news for those wanting more adventure in their plane travel.
A UK-based technology company is developing a plane without windows that’s a little more stylish than the white windowless work van that makes your whole neighborhood nervous.
The Centre for Process Innovation (CPI), a government-funded technology innovator that solves manufacturing issues, hopes to have their windowless plane ready for use in a decade.
The reasons? Weight, safety and environmental concerns. According to the CPI, 80 billion gallons of fuel are used annually by air travel, along with over 705 million tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions. The airplane itself and its fuel make up more than 80 percent of a plane’s weight, so eliminating windows will make airplanes lighter and therefore safer. Reducing an airplane’s weight will therefore reduce fuel and costs, and release less carbon dioxide.
Instead of windows, the plane will have screens that project images from cameras on the outside. Those screens will be using OLED, or “organic light-emitting diode” technology, which allows the screens to be light and adjustable and so far has been used in televisions. The plan is for travellers to be able to control the view, which will be panoramic: they can choose which side of the plane that the screen reflects, and can choose to look more closely at a landmark the plane is currently flying over.
Passengers will also be able to change the lighting on the screens, which will make it easier on longer flights that involve different time zones. The promise of wider seats is another positive feature (still no news if you’ll still have to fight for the arm rest).
The CPI is currently using 35 million pounds worth of equipment to develop its windowless plane.
In a time when the price tag on plane travel continues to rise, and the word vacation has become synonymous with the word debt, one should wonder what effect this will have on already crippling air fare.
Regardless, the future has a nice view– as long as you’re not claustrophobic.
See more photos and a video of the windowless plane.