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on Nov 18, 2016

The windowless aircraft shown seems a bit overdone.
I can well imagine windowless aircraft where you have a row of screens in place of the windows we have now. I can see no benefit in having screens in the roof where a view of the sky or clouds is not very interesting, but adds weight and energy usage. LCD screens are very inefficient ways to illuminate a place as they block so much of the backing light.
I would also expect to see some "real" windows in case the LCD ones go blank, just to reassure people (say 1 in 4 would be real).

It shows how far things have come that in the '60's they had to droop the front of the Concorde at enormous cost while now they could just put in a camera.

on Nov 18, 2016

OLEDs, James. The "screens" would double as the aircraft's interior lighting source. No blocked-out backlight.

on Nov 18, 2016

I recently flew and was the only person I could see looking out the window. To me that is part of the wonder of flight. For the mass of passengers the only thing they looked at was the screen on their dumb phones.

Conclusion: Passengers will not miss windows and airlines will love the reduction in weight and cost achieved by eliminating them.

on Nov 18, 2016

Countless surveys demonstrates passengers highly value windows. Boeing and Airbus cite size of windows on B787s and A350s as a top promotional point. However, as Mark pointed out, typically the shades on most windows are down during flight. Are these two facts a disconnect? No. The reason shades are down is precisely another reason why electronically dimmable windows are so valuable. Pax close shades because it is too bright to have them open, not because they want to block their view. With EDWs, pax can tune the tint to a comfortable level, without blocking the view.

on Nov 18, 2016

VR advances should allow any passenger to "see" the surrounding view as if they are flying along in their seat with no aircraft around them. No windows needed for passengers desiring to forego the sensation. I believe the F-35 already provides a similar experience. Weight is reduced to the main system and a set of goggles for any interested passenger. Accuracy levels would be far below those required for the Fighter pilot's helmet display.

on Nov 18, 2016

John, in your post you put "see" in quotes, which is appropriate. VR, regardless of how advanced it may become, will not provide the benefits of experiencing actual reality. Physiologically and psychologically, human well-being is strongly influenced by natural daylight. Windows not only provide a connection with the outside world, they provide natural daylight. By managing cabin daylighting via electronically dimmable windows, passenger comfort and the passenger experience improves. VR is vastly superior to all the blinds being down, but the ideal scene is having both VR and EDWs on board.

on Nov 18, 2016

I'm one of the few passengers that watches the ever-changing view out the window (at least while over land). But when everyone else wants to sleep or watch movies, I'm forced to close my shade as well. The dimmable windows on the B787 are a godsend to folks like me.

But I wonder how the regulators would view a lack of windows, or even a meaningful reduction in their number. In an incident as simple as a runway overrun, passengers often find out they've been in an accident only when they look out the window. There are plenty of examples; I can think of 3 ground incidents off the top of my head ... the very recent overrun of Vice President-elect Pence's B737 at LaGuardia, the Air France A340 overrun at Toronto, British Airways' B777 engine fire on takeoff from Las Vegas. Some inflight situations would also be affected, such as the time when Concorde burst a tire/tyre during takeoff from Dulles and a window-seat passenger had to alert the cabin crew multiple times, only to hear "Oh that's normal, sir. It's just the flaps.". Only after he threatened to go to the cockpit himself did the FA agree to bring the flight engineer from the cockpit to look at the hole in the wing.

With a limited number of cameras, the view being displayed on the video screens for the passengers might not show the problem. Worse, in many cases the power to the screens would go out leaving the passengers sitting in a closed metal tube with emergency lighting but no way to know what's happening outside. I love flying, but I don't know if I'd be comfortable with that. These situations happen rarely, but often enough to be a concern. Are we willing to sacrifice these people for the sake of saving weight?

on Nov 18, 2016

"...advertising ... on the window"
That's all we still lack to make flying a perfect experience!

on Nov 18, 2016

I hate it when Big Brother, presumably the captain, dims my window at night. I know my way around the night sky and I want to be able to see it. So when flying Virgin Atlantic Boston to London, on which I rarely sleep a wink but I am too tired to bother with in-flight entertainment or read a paper, I try to make sure it is in an Airbus not a Dreamliner, where I first encountered this imposition.

on Nov 23, 2016

Yes, I like to see outside, not being able to it in any aircraft is a problem.

on Nov 18, 2016

VR, windows, why not both? Keep the windows for all the safety reasons cited above- but a few cameras on the aircraft can provide inputs to the pax' own VR goggles as_well_as_to_the_flight_crew. The primary purpose of the cameras is flight safety so that cockpit crew can see the wings and engines without having to enter the cabin, but if the data is there it can also be put onto the entertainment data bus.

I could tolerate a center section seat on a widebody a lot better if I could have an eyeballs-in-the-air experience with moving map and air data floating in the sky with me.

on Nov 20, 2016

What is the product they are using to decide making some poor ideas in order not to take those and not getting fired at work!!!!!
Aircraft window period! Or it would be easier to make us traveling C5 or AN-225 windows deprived!!

on Nov 23, 2016

I reckon it would need powerful and cooled graphics cards for the rendering of what is outside, onto the panels. I like it.

on Nov 23, 2016

Are these new windows efficacious in filtering excess UV at high altitudes?

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