Emirates airline has put a new twist on travel… airplane windows are to become a thing of the past.
Would you travel in a windowless plane?
A major airline has unveiled the plane of the future – complete with windowless cabins.
Emirates Airline has debuted its new first class suite for the Boeing 777-300ER, which boasts virtual windows that link to the outside world with fibre-optic cameras.
Emirates president Sir Tim Clark said it was the first step towards entirely windowless planes.
Removing the windows would make aeroplanes lighter and faster and reduce fuel consumption, he said.
“Imagine now a fuselage as you’re boarding with no windows, but when you get inside, there are windows,” Sir Tim told the BBC.
“Now you have one fuselage which has no structural weaknesses because of windows.”
Sir Tim said the virtual windows offered a better view than the natural eye.
However, aviation safety expert Professor Graham Braithwaite said in an emergency it would be vital for cabin crews to be able to look outside the aircraft.
“An aircraft could be very claustrophobic and for many, air travel is anxiety inducing already,” he said.
The Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA)’s Peter Gibson said an important part of the in-flight safety briefing is to instruct passengers to ensure their window shades are up during takeoff and landing.
He said this is crucial in the event of an emergency.
“This is so the crew can see what’s happening outside the aircraft during an emergency landing,” Mr Gibson said.
“The optimum maximum time to evacuate an aircraft is 90 seconds. This is what the crew is trained to do. But you don’t want to be wasting time getting people to lift the blinds up.
“The crew needs to be able to quickly assess which side to evacuate the plane, for example if there is a fire, because every second counts.
“One clear issue [with windowless planes] is being able to visually assess what’s going on outside an aircraft – the situational awareness of what’s happening outside is critical.”