Wednesday, 6 June 2018

Emirates boss wants windowless planes in the future......

Virtual windows on Emirates
Emirates boss has told the BBC he wants windowless aircraft in the future as these will be faster, stronger and more fuel efficient. But, will passengers want to fly without windows to view the world outside?

Emirates president Sir Tim Clark thinks they will, his airline recently introduced a new first class suite that doesn't have windows, instead, it features what it calls 'virtual windows' which are just LCD tv screens in reality.

Instead of being able to see directly to the outside world, passengers actually see live images projected on the screens from fibre-optic cameras on the outside of the aircraft. Now, whilst it may sound a little strange and perhaps slightly odd, looking at the product and talking to people who have experienced the windowless suites, it seems like a great idea.

"It is absolutely amazing, it is all high definition and the picture is so sharp that it really is like a real window, only a bit better," Thomaz told us, having flown in the Boeing 777-300er. "I thought it would feel a little claustrophobic as it is a fully enclosed suite, with no real view of the outside, but that couldn't be further from the truth, it feels amazingly big and spacious with these virtual windows,  it is a super way to fly oh those unlike real windows, those virtual ones never get dirty."


Zach Honig, editor at large at The Points Guy has said he prefers the virtual windows to the real ones. That's a sentiment shared by many of who have samples the delights of those first-class suites and it is something worth thinking about. Also, on a long-haul flight, how much of the time do you really spend looking out the window, especially on an airline of Emirates standard, with hundreds of hours of entertainment at a touch of a button?  

Sir Tim believes that removing the windows would make the aircraft of the future lighter and faster and the new first class suites, with their virtual windows, proves that passengers would accept not having real windows.

"Imagine now a fuselage as you're boarding with no windows, but when you get inside, there are windows," he told the BBC,  "Now you have one fuselage which has no structural weaknesses because of windows. The aircraft are lighter, the aircraft could fly faster, they'll burn far less fuel and fly higher."


I've not yet experienced the new first class suite on the Emirates triple seven, but from reading all the accounts of those that have, it seems to be a winner and a much more encompassing flight experience than having the actual window suite. However, could that experience be continued through the entire aircraft, with screens replacing windows in both business and economy?  I don't see why not, sure it would need to have a few more cameras on the outside to offer people seated in the middle and back of the aircraft an accurate perspective but with today's technology that is already possible. We spend so little time looking out of windows during a long-haul flight anyway, so why not just replace those windows with screens. I suppose, near - or in the doors, there might need to be a window so the cabin crew to look out for dangers in emergency situations, other than that I can't see a problem with an aircraft with windowless passenger cabin.

The European Aviation Safety Agency said: "We do not see any specific challenge that could not be overcome to ensure a level of safety equivalent to the one of an aircraft fitted with cabin windows."

Would you fly in a windowless aircraft?
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