Passengers will "see'' the actual outside sky displayed on the interior walls thanks to "digital wallpaper".
A large portion of the cost of an airplane ticket goes to fuel charges. Anything that can reduce the fuel usage of aircraft would, in theory, reduce the cost of airline tickets.
Reducing aircraft weight would reduce fuel costs, and significant weight is added to the structure of an airliner because of the construction needed to keep the windows from cracking. Making sure cabin pressure is maintained at 35,000 feet requires additional structural engineering that adds to the weight of the plane.
A British firm, the Centre for Process Innovation, has designed a plane’s interior that would not include windows but would include a real-time display of the atmosphere outside of the plane. The design would significantly decrease the weight of the airplane, would actually increase safety due to fewer potential construction gaps in the interior shell, and would still provide a view of the outside world.
The plane’s interior would be lined with Organic Light Emitting Diode panels that would display the exterior sky conditions thanks to cameras mounted on the exterior of the plane. CPI calls the interior displays “digital wallpaper.”
CPI estimates there is a 0.75 percent drop in fuel costs with every 1 percent reduction in weight.
The displays (seen here) can give the illusion of flying in an open-air plane, kind of like the biplanes flown in the early days of aviation. It appears that it would provide both a thrilling and daunting experience.
The concept would definitely take some getting accustomed to for passengers, including those that are claustrophobic and want windows to see outside and those that are agoraphobic and would be uncomfortable feeling as if they were somehow outdoors. But because of the benefits in terms of cost and fuel savings, it is an idea that is being actively pursued.
But CPI officials say the technology could be installed so that the person sitting next to the wall could determine whether they have a “view’’ of the outside or just have a blank wall next to them. The exteriors could also be projected onto the backs of the seats and onto the ceiling of the plane as well.
“We are talking about it now because it matches the kind of development timelines that they have in the aerospace industry," said CPI program manager Jon Helliwell in an interview with The Guardian. “We had been speaking to people in aerospace and we understood there was this need to take weight out of aircraft. Let’s take the windows out – that’s what they do in cargo aircraft – and if you think about it, it is only the people that are sitting next to the windows that will suffer.”
Kent McDill is a staff writer for Millionaire Corner. McDill spent 30 years as a sports writer, working for United Press International and the Daily Herald of Arlington Heights, Ill. From 1988-1999, he covered the Chicago Bulls for the Daily Herald, traveling with them every day through the nine-month season. He also covered the Bulls for UPI from 1985-88, and currently covers the team for www.nba.com. He has written two books on the Bulls, including the new title “100 Things Bulls Fans Should Know And Do Before They Die’, published by Triumph Books. In August 2013, his new book “100 Things Bears Fans Should Know And Do Before They Die” gets published.
In 2008, he resigned from the Herald and became a freelance writer. The Herald hired him to write business features and speeches for the Daily Herald Business Conferences and Awards presentations.
McDill also writes a monthly parenting column for the Herald’s Suburban Parent magazine.
McDill is the father of four children, and an active fan of soccer, Jimmy Buffett and all things Disney.