A window-less plane sounds terrifying, but the next generation of commercial aircraft might be replacing them with smartscreen panels. The reason? To save on weight and fuel. Perhaps even lower airfares, though we wouldn't count on that last bit, airlines being airlines.
Look Ma, no windows
What would these panels be like? You would be able to switch views on and off, browse the Internet and see what's going on outside.
The Centre for Process Innovation (CPI) created an early-stage concept, which imagines large hi-definition, ultra thin and lightweight displays that show images channeled from cameras mounted on the outside of the plane.
Fuselages would be lighter if windows are no longer needed on planes. These lightweight screens could translate to lower fuel usage, as the CPI calculates that every one per cent reduction in weight will see a 0.7 per cent fuel savings.
Organic light-emitting diodes (OLEDs) would be used to create these screens and they could be made flexible, as seen in the case of LG's 18in OLED screen that could bend and contort without disrupting images being displayed.
The CPI is currently working on creating these flexible OLEDs and addressing issues of durability and cost. It's not likely we'll see these windowless planes in the next year, but the geek in us can't help but be excited at the next best thing to riding in an invisible plane.