British developers are working on removing windows in planes to save weight and fuel, replacing them with OLED screens which will allow passengers to enjoy the view outside as well as check their emails and surf the net. This next generation of planes could become a reality in the next 10 years.
The early-stage concept for the windowless plane, is based on technology used in mobile phones and televisions, comes from the Centre for Process Innovation (CPI), an organisation with sites across north-east England that works with companies to develop new products. The goal behind the windowless planes is to reduce weight and cut down on fuel consumption, leading to lower air fares.
OLED screens are flexible and lightweight. Arranged in panels along the ceiling and cabin walls, the screens could show the outside world captured by a wide-angle panoramic cameras on the outside of the plane. The technology needed to manufacture large OLED panels will be ready in approx five years and introducing them into airplanes, will come much later, CPI added.
Dr Jon Helliwell of the CPI stated, “We had been speaking to people in aerospace and we understood that there was this need to take weight out of aircraft. By putting windows into a plane, the fuselage needed to be strengthened, and by omitting them in favour of walls of screens on panels, the fuselage would be lighter."
CPI says, "For every 1% reduction in weight, the approximate fuel saving is 0.75%. If you save weight, you save fuel. And less fuel means less CO2 emissions into the atmosphere and lower operational cost... everyone wins."
Source: The Guardian