Listen: Are Windowless Airplanes the Future of Flight?
"Today's episode was brought to you by the new Capital One saver card with which you can earn four percent cashback on dining and entertainment. That means four percent on checking out that new restaurant everyone's talking about and four percent on watching your team win at home. You'll also earn two percent cashback at grocery stores and one percent on all other purchases. Now when you go out you cash in what's in your wallet? Welcome to brain stuff from how stuff works. Hey, rain stuff Lauren vocal bomb here when commercial air travel. I started to catch on in the nineteen thirties. One of the big attractions for passengers was the chance to stare out the window at the landscape from startlingly, new perspective, high above it. Of course, many of us still like to gays out in wonder from those little portal's a survey by courts in two thousand fourteen found that more than half of Americans prefer having a window seat on an airline, though, people who fly more than once a year are more evenly split between window, and I'll seats that's why you may be surprised to learn that for decades aircraft designers have been contemplating planes with video screens instead of passenger windows back in the mid nineteen nineties. Nasa actually built and flew an experimental Boeing seven thirty-seven with a windowless cockpit equipped with digital and infrared cameras and video monitors and in two thousand fourteen the UK based center for process innovation unveiled design for a windowless airliner in which the entire interior. Of the cabin would be lined with thin. Flexible, high definition video screens that would provide lighting and entertainment as well. As a more expansive view of the outside, but concept has been put into practice. Lest April Dubai based airline Emirates debuted Boeing seven seventy seven's with enclosed private suites equipped with virtual windows to provide of you of outside from the middle of the plane. We spoke by Email with Jerome demar an emerets public relations official. He said the virtual windows were installed for first class suites located in the middle aisle as they are fully enclosed suites with floored ceiling doors, and passengers would not be able to view the windows on the sides of the aircraft. We asked him how they worked and he explained these virtual windows projected the view from outside the aircraft using real time camera technology, the cameras are placed in strategic locations to offer. Passengers a real time view outside the aircraft. The actual view is determined by which side of the aircraft the entrance to the suite is writer. Left that is the view that will appear in these centres suites. The cameras are high resolution devices, which offer a very clear wide view of the outside the virtual window provides a sharp, clear realistic view of what's outside anecdote. Passengers of told us, they prefer the view to that of real windows in a BBC news article emerets president, sir. Tim Clark was quoted about the future possibility of planes without windows. But Demere said that there are no current plans for a windowless airliner. However, at least one aircraft manufacturer does aim to go windowless on a smaller scale for the past several years, a privately owned, Boston based company, spike aerospace has been working to develop a spike s five twelve and eighteen passengers supersonic business jet packed with technology that will enable it to cut travel time significantly without excess you'll consumption or loud, sonic, booms. And we'll do all of that. Without passenger windows. The aircraft's design will include what spike airspace calls a multiplex digital cabin. Instead of gazing through the usual, small portal windows. Passengers will be able to watch a pair of twenty foot long. That's six meter digital video screens that will stretch the length of the cabin on either side of the aircraft. Multiple high definition cameras mounted on the exterior of the plane will provide four K video which computers in the aircraft was stitched together. Using special software developed by the company we spoke with spike airspace. President and chief executive officer, Victoria, who explained whatever image. You want to see can be displayed you can see left or right in front of the plane or behind it looking down or up into the sky. It's a more panoramic view than the very limited view that you can see out of a porthole window. Eliminating conventional acrylic glass windows from an aircraft could have other advantages as well, it would insulate the fuselage making it possible to reduce noise. From the engines, it would also strengthen the aircraft and make it safer. Some serious engineering goes into making those windows sturdy enough to withstand the stresses of flight and besides providing a more expansive view such a video system could also utilize geo location and display augmented reality data about the landscape that the plane is flying over or passengers might be able to choose from other content a display movies, for example, or PowerPoint presentation. The aircraft's pilots would still have a conventional window in the cockpit along with some of that advanced video technology Katori says that spike airspace has several more years of engineering to complete on their aircraft. And then has to go through the testing and certification process. He envisions delivering the first jet without conventional passenger windows in twenty twenty-five initially only corporate executives and people wealthy enough to afford a private jet would be able to experience. Airspaces windowless flights. But you expects that the innovative technology eventually will find its way into regular airliners as well. Today's episode was written by Patrick Jake, Hyder and produced by Tyler claim brain stuff is a production of iheartradio's how stuff works for more on this and lots of other panoramic, topics. Visit our home planet. How stuff works dot com. And for more podcasts for my heart radio. Visit the iheartradio app apple podcasts or wherever you listen to your favorite shows. Today's episode is brought to you by smart water twenty years ago. Smart water, reimagined, what water could be from thoughtful bottle designed to supporting smart people who are changing our world through fresh thinking. 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