Would you fly on a windowless plane?
EMIRATES AIRLINE’S newest fleet of aviation innovation is a windowless plane.
The airliner unveiled the new first class cabin suites on its Boeing 777-300ER aircraft which are equipped with virtual windows.
The standard transparent windows have been replaced with fiber-optic projected images of the outside world.
“Imagine now a fuselage as you’re boarding with no windows, but when you get inside, there are windows,” Emirates president Sir Tim Clark told the BBC.
According to Clark, the images are better than what can be seen with the natural eye.
However, the move to replace the windows isn’t solely for the benefit of the passenger.
The unveiling comes at a time when fuel prices are predicted to rise at the rate of 25 percent by the end of the year.
And fortunately for Emirates, the new design will make planes lighter and cut fuel costs.
“The aircraft is lighter, the aircraft could fly faster, they’ll burn far less fuel and fly higher,” Clark added.
The windowless design also eliminates 94 weak spots in the aircraft where the windows would have previously been.
So in the event of an unlikely crash, the fuselage will be stronger with less chance of breaking up.
“Now you have one fuselage which has no structural weaknesses because of windows.”
Currently, the image projection is only fitted in first class cabins but Emirates plans to roll the innovation out down the aircraft in the future.
But the new design doesn’t come without its disadvantages.
If you’ve ever wondered why window blinds need to be up on take off and landing, it’s so cabin crew can spot an engine fire and know which side to evacuate the plane.
The windowless design won’t give crew this ability to check.
Also, the stifling fear of flying already affects around eight million people in the US and the prospect of clambering into a windowless metal cylinder may instill deeper worry.
However, Emirates is focusing efforts on making those in other classes as comfortable as possible for when the windows are disregarded.
Emirates plans to make its premium economy seats six inches wider than standard economy. It will also offer a private toilet and better food options.
This is to help stem the “leakage” of passengers who want more than a basic experience but can’t afford the luxury, Clark told reporters in Sydney on Monday.
Regardless of which cabin you fly in, most of the time in the sky is spent sleeping, watching movies or perusing the drinks and snacks list. So will anyone really notice the difference between plexiglass windows and projections?