How It Works
The British Center For Process Innovation has also figured out how to make this work. Rather than windows, planes will now have OLED touchscreens running from end to end. Cameras attached to the exterior will relay the view to these screens in such good quality that it will all look very real. And when you get bored of the view, you can simply touch the screen to change it to an entertainment system.
OLED or organic light-emitting diodes are films made up of certain organic compounds that can project light when stimulated with electricity. This is the same technology that we use to make our TVs, smartphones, and laptops work the way they do.
But There Are Drawbacks
Of course not everyone is as optimistic about this latest development. Victor Carlioz, one of the founders of ACLA Studio, a design studio in California, remains sceptical about the predicted improvement in passenger experience. According to him, retaining a way to communicate with the world outside is an experience in its own way.
The Chief Analyst working at StrategicAero Research, Saj Ahmad, also sees problems of practicality. While such planes would indeed be a marvel, they pose a variety of issues. For example, if there is an emergency situation, the crew onboard should be able to see outside in order to help people evacuate. They need to be aware both visually and spatially and this is just not possible if there are no windows. Moreover if the ‘windows’ malfunction, then both passengers and crew will feel suffocated and disoriented because they will be trapped inside without any way to see the outside world.
Moreover, it is also true that fliers just like looking outside naturally. Tech is great but sometimes our own eyes are better. These new plans would also have to be regulated and new tests will have to be formulated for them in order to ensure fire safety, proper evacuation pressures, regulation of pressure and other factors.
Another expert in the field is John Strickland and he too echoes these worries. Though he agrees with Sir Carry that the structural integrity of aircraft would improve, he doesn’t believe that technology can effectively replace nature. Professor Graham Braithwaite who teaches at the University of Cranfield and who is also an expert on aviation safety also points out the need for the crew to be able to see outside. He stresses greatly on the way fliers will perceive this technology and the problems that people with claustrophobia and anxiety disorders will suffer.
However, at least on the topic of safety, the European Aviation Safety Agency has stated that most of these challenges can be dealt with to ensure that windowless planes are just as safe as planes with windows.