Futuristic windowless airplane lets passengers see all around them

A few months we told you about a windowless private plane designed for business travel.

Now, a company in the U.K. has unveiled a similar concept for commercial planes where windows would be replaced by full-length smart screens to show what's happening outside as the plane flies through the air.

While the Centre for Process Innovation's concept to eliminate cabin windows isn't new, it says it can be done in the next 10 years, reports The Guardian.

The high tech, lightweight screens would be constructed from organic light-emitting diodes (OLEDs). Currently, the technology is expensive and sensitive to moisture so CPI is looking to develop flexible glass OLED panels. OLEDs are lighter than LCD or plasma screens and do not need a backlight to be seen.

Passengers could change their screen to check email, watch television, surf the net or check out the landscape from different angles and the plane flies along.

CPI claims its design could bring substantial changes to the commercial airline industry.  First it would make the aircraft's walls thinner, stronger and lightweight -- since traditional glass windows—and the bolts needed to secure them-- are heavy.

“We had been speaking to people in aerospace and we understood that there was this need to take weight out of aircraft,” Jon Helliwell, a program manager at CPI told The Guardian. “Follow the logical thought through. Let’s take all the windows out – that’s what they do in cargo aircraft – what are the passengers going to do? If you think about it, it’s only really the people that are sitting next to windows that will suffer.”

Reducing aircraft weight can cut down on fuel costs and carbon emissions for airlines. CPI estimates that a 1 percent reduction in aircraft weight can lead up to a fuel savings of .75 percent—overtime that can mean big bucks for carriers.

With the new technology, Helliwell believes the possibilities are endless.

“So you could have a display next to a seat if you wanted it; you could have a blank area next to a seat if you wanted it; you would have complete flexibility as to where you put [the panel screens]. You could put screens on the back of the seats in the middle and link them to the same cameras.”

It remains to be seen if CPI can meet all the safety regulations and deliver, but until then, check out what may be the commerical airplane of the future.

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