Airlines could have windowless airplanes within 10 years

28 Oct 2014

Future aircraft could be entirely windowless with the interior cabin covered entirely in LED screens to reduce weight and costs within the next 10 years, according to a company developing the technology.

The Centre for Process Innovation (CPI) in the UK hopes the technology will provide significant cost savings to airlines that are looking to bring down their annual spend on fuel and offset the amount of carbon dioxide put into the planet’s atmosphere through greater efficiency.

Going by CPI’s own figures, for every 1pc reduction in weight, the approximate fuel saving for an airline is 0.75pc.

CPI said the weight of an aircraft can be reduced through the removal of windows.

By embedding HD displays within the interior of the aircraft, CPI hopes to be able to turn a journey into one where the walls are interactive and would appear to passengers as if they are travelling on an invisible aircraft.

Airplane screens could one day be interactive to provide real-time information from the aircraft and online. Image via CPI

Other potential developments could allow passengers to see landmarks and their location on screen, other flights in the area, or even the location of the International Space Station.

Also, users in any seat will be able to select the views they want from any side of the aircraft.

However, if the screens’ spec are to be believed, they don’t appear particularly economical despite claims they would lower fuel costs.

At just 150dpi across its 100 cd/m2 screens, CPI expects these screens to be available for production within five years.

However, if the company’s calculations are correct, these screens will only have a lifetime of about 83 days, or 20,000 hours, which might put off potential airlines if the screens’ costs are quite high.

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic