This may not be good news to white-knuckle flyers, but Dubai-based Emirates Airlines is testing a new kind of flight experience—one without windows. Instead of looking through actual windows, passengers in the first-class cabin of Emirates’ newest Boeing 777-300ER aircraft will view the outside via images projected by fiber-optic cameras outside the plane, reports digitaltrends. Think, virtual windows. The airline hopes to eventually roll out virtual windows in all sections of the plane, arguing that windowless planes are lighter, and thus burn less fuel, as well as more structurally sound. Not everyone is excited about the idea, however. One safety expert is concerned about safety issues.
"Flight attendants would need to check outside the aircraft in an emergency, for example for fire, before opening a door and commencing an evacuation,” one such expert tells the BBC. “Anything that needed power to do this may not be easy to get certified by an aviation safety regulator." The bigger problem might be passenger squeamishness about the concept. "An aircraft could be very claustrophobic and for many, air travel is anxiety inducing already,” observes the BBC expert. Other companies have been moving in the opposite direction, notes CNN. Boeing’s Dreamliner features large windows; Airbus introduced a cabin with transparent walls back in 2011, and jet manufacturer Embraer has an aircraft with large panoramic windows. Analyst Saj Ahmad points out what might be the most fundamental problem. "You can't beat what the naked eye sees." (Read more Emirates airline stories.)