Windowless planes could become reality within the next 10 years, according to a UK-based company working on technology that could see the standard porthole windows replaced with electronic screens stretching the length of the cabin.
In news that could ground nervous fliers for good, the Centre for Process Innovation (CPI) has released images demonstrating how OLED (organic light-emitting diodes) wraparound screens could potentially use cameras mounted on the outside of the plane to replicate the view in real-time. Further cameras could be used to track the movements of a passenger’s head to project the image from their point of view, as if they were actually looking out of a floor-to-ceiling window.
For those who don't want to be reminded they are thousands of feet up, the screens could also provide information about conditions and points of interest, become dim at night, or show the usual in-flight films and other entertainment.
While it sounds like a trippy new technology for the rich and famous to play with on their private jets, CPI say it's actually aimed at taking some cost out of the process and easing some of the burden on the environment. With air travel more accessible than ever (£99 flights to the US just the latest potential offering), over 3 billion people fly around the world every year, using 220,000 gallons of fuel and producing over 705 million tonnes of CO2, according to CPI. The new concept in theory takes some weight off a standard plane and so would consume less fuel, leading to fewer emissions.