Emirates Airline has unveiled a new first class suite on board with its latest technology which features virtual windows in the first class cabin.
With the virtual windows passengers are not looking directly outside the plane but rather they are looking outside with projected images from outside with the help of fiber optic cameras.
Emirates said it helps to pave the way for future windowless planes that are much faster, lighter and fly higher. While talking to BBC, Sir Tim Clark, President of Emirates said, “the projected images are so good, better than the natural eye”.
Emirates have done this experiment within the first class cabin of Emirates in the newest Boeing 777-300ER aircraft. Mr. Tim told BBC that they are looking forward to replacing windows with virtual windows in the future planes and that is the ultimate goal of all this.
“Imagine now a fuselage as you’re boarding with no windows, but when you get inside, there are windows,” he said.
“Now you have one fuselage which has no structural weaknesses because of windows. The aircraft is lighter, the aircraft could fly faster, they’ll burn far less fuel and fly higher.” He added.
Security and safety concerns
According to Professor Graham Braithwaite of Cranfield University, “the cabin crew should be able to see directly outside the aircraft in an emergency, crew’s ability to see outside the aircraft is really important especially in an emergency situation such as evacuation.
Flight attendants need to look outside in emergency for instance fire outside, they need to look before opening the door for evacuation, and anything that needs power from inside the aircraft to do this may not be certified and approved by the safety regulator, he added.
Prof. Braithwaite said the major obstacle in a windowless plane would be passengers, their understanding, and perceptions of technology.
Virtual Window cannot be the substitute for Natural window
Aviation expert John Strickland said there is no doubt if the windows are removed from the aircraft it will remove the structural weaknesses of the aircraft, would let them fly high, use less fuel and fly faster.
But he personally likes the Window, “I am window obsessive, I do not consider artificial windows a substitute for natural windows.”