Plane of the Future Won't Have Windows
Losing them will help planned supersonic jet zoom, but experts raise concerns
By Matt Cantor, Newser User
Posted Mar 23, 2014 9:25 AM CDT
A screen grab from Spike Aerospace's website.   (Spike Aerospace)

(Newser) – Why have windows on a plane when you can have cameras showing passengers the sky? That's the philosophy behind Spike Aerospace's S-512, a planned supersonic jet that will zoom up to 18 passengers from London to New York in less than four hours; it's set to travel up to 1,370mph, Wired notes. Windows, says the Boston company, mean glare for passengers; more importantly, they make planes heavier owing to the construction demands presented by the need to maintain cabin pressure and have the windows remain intact. Without them, a plane can move faster and save on fuel. So the S-512, due in 2018, will instead have screens covering the walls and showing either the view, entertainment, or documents for in-air meetings, the Telegraph reports. Passengers will be able to control what's on, the firm says.

"Most of the time while flying, you can't see much anyway," the company says, estimating that within 20 years, no new aircraft will have them. Boeing isn't so sure, a rep says. "We're not looking at going windowless," he notes, confirming that the 777 X due next decade will have them. "We've found that passengers want windows." Adds a pilot: "Placing yourself in a sealed metal tube, flying faster than the speed of sound at great altitude with no spacial awareness would prove disturbing for most, and as a pilot, I can see huge safety issues." For instance, he notes, windows aren't just there for passengers, "but also to allow emergency workers to see in."

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Showing 3 of 60 comments
Box1Car
Apr 6, 2014 3:50 PM CDT
....and they could save even more weight if they eliminated overheads and seats, just pack 'em in like so many human sardines, standing room only with a hand rail to hold onto Isn't that why humans learned to stand erect? to crowd into a cave for herd protection?
kj_nm
Apr 5, 2014 1:03 PM CDT
note to spike and the gang, the first subway in London tried the no windows thing, thinking the riders wouldn't want to look at walls going by, but they did and ridership increased once windows were installed
TwoSheds
Mar 24, 2014 7:11 PM CDT
Looks like that plane did away with the fuel as well, or is it nuclear powered?