The world looks like a completely different place from the sky, sometimes even magical with beautiful cotton-candy-clouds floating about. For me, the view from an aircraft window is the best thing about the otherwise tiresome and boring journey. However, that one good thing about air travel may soon become obsolete in the name of making more efficient and structurally rigid airplanes. Emirates Airlines is one of the first major air travel company to experiment with the idea and is coming out with a new windowless airplane. The aircraft will have high definition monitors instead of windows. The outside view, or just about any other pleasing visual, will be virtually displayed on the screens with the help of real-time fiber-optic camera technology present in the first class cabin. The virtual displays in the Emirates First Class cabin will be augmented by floor to ceiling sliding doors and other high-tech features. The President of Emirates Airlines, Tim Clark, claims that the visual quality of the projection is “so good it’s better than with the natural eye.”
So how exactly does a windowless aircraft fare better in comparison to traditional airplane design? Well, windowless airplanes are lighter, faster, and save on fuel because the planes can fly higher. In addition to that, they actually cheaper to build a plane without any windows, along with being aerodynamically more slippery which reduces drag. The internal cabin space will also increase if the windows are swapped for monitors. However, not everyone in the industry believes it’s a good idea. The aircraft window in a commercial airline also has a more practical purpose. In the event of an emergency, the airline crew needs a clear view of the outside to safely evacuate the passengers. Moreover, a lot of people have claustrophobia and the lack of windows might make their time in a windowless aircraft unbearable. These windowless airplanes still need to pass regulatory testing before they take to the skies. The technology is currently being tested on select flights and it will still take a few years before windowless planes make it to the fleet even if they get operational clearance.