Are Windows In Planes On Their Way Out?

A debate was sparked online after Emirates chief outlined his argument for aeroplanes without real windows. Could we be living in the last few years of a real view out of your window, or this is simply an unrealistic vision? HEKKTA investigates.

A windowless plane? Could you think of anything more claustrophobic?

Well that is the argument of many people after hearing Emirates president Sir Tim Clark’s vision. Emirates have unveiled a new first class suite on board it’s latest aircraft that features virtual windows, and Clark’s dream is for the rest of the Emirates fleet to be the same.

He swears that is provides the customer with just as good an experience compared to an ordinary window, stating the image was, “so good, it’s better than with the natural eye.”

Virtual windows in Emirates first class

Virtual windows in Emirates first class

So what is the reason for getting rid of the windows in planes? It’s actually a very good reason! Getting rid of windows reduces the aircraft’s weight by half, enabling it to fly quicker and higher and it also vastly improves fuel efficiency.

Not only will this benefit the airline and the price paid by the consumer, but it will mean less fuel used per flight and could have a hugely beneficial impact on the environment.

Making the fuselage windowless will also remove the structual weakness that is created when windows are put in. Tim Clark explains, “Removing them would save 50 per cent of the weight of an aircraft simply because in terms of build and structure and load [they] are quite a problem and you have to reinforce a fuselage to be able to take them,” he said.

“Imagine now a fuselage as you’re boarding with no windows, but when you get inside, there are windows,” he told the BBC.