Commercial Aircraft Without Windows: What Do You Think?

Discussion in 'General Discussion | Travel' started by Canarsie, Oct 4, 2011.  |  Print Topic

  1. Canarsie
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    Canarsie Gold Member

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    On a recent flight in the first class cabin, I sat in a window seat.

    The person seated next to me in the aisle seat was a nice guy and we had just enough conversation that it was not overbearing or annoying.

    He mentioned to me that he did not understand why aircraft manufacturers went out of their way to provide windows when it would be so much more cost effective not to do so. Just put solid sheets of material instead of cutting out openings — and there would probably be fuel savings as well.

    Well, do they not already have aircraft similar to that known to haul cargo?

    I did not like that idea. I like looking out of windows.

    Does anyone else share the philosophy of the potential benefits of windowless aircraft espoused by my seatmate?
     
  2. MSPeconomist
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    Windows can matter when an emergency evacuation is necessary, not only for the window exits but also for light during the daytime and to enable rescuers to look in from outside. Some carriers require that window shades be open for takeoff and landing.

    In addition to the safety consideration, I would feel claustrophobic in aircraft without windows. Even though I prefer aisle seats, I'm unhappy if I'm seated near a "missing" window on a plane.
     
  3. bjdriscoll

    bjdriscoll Silver Member

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    I like looking out of windows, too. I could foresee issues with a windowless plane for the general public. I could also see issues with planes having too many windows or planes with a glass skeleton (as was displayed via artists rendition for Airbus - http://www.tgdaily.com/hardware-fea...s-off-plane-of-the-future-and-its-transparent). In my opinion, both scenarios would freak people out. Most people. Some, like myself, may enjoy the latter option.

    But, to your question, no, I don't share that philosophy. If there is in fact any economical benefit to windowless aircraft, it would be diminished by the lack of ticket sales for that aircraft, as I, for one, would not fly on an aircraft where I can't see out. I have an issue with not being able to see out the front of the plane, but, maybe that's my need to be in charge personality.
     
  4. NYBanker
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    If it facilitated faster air travel (ie: back over the speed of sound), I'd gladly give up windows.
     
  5. Jimgotkp
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    Personally, I'd shoot myself if there were no windows.
     
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  6. Scottrick
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    It would be claustrophobic and even more boring, not to mention that it's nice to have some perception of the passage of time. I work in labs where there are no windows. Believe me, it's nice to have natural light, even if there's no view and the weather is as dreary as a Seattle winter.
     
  7. General_Flyer
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    I've got that sinking feeling again.. It'll feel like we're in a sub.. I don't like it..
     
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  8. Canarsie
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    I agree.

    I would rather feel like I was in a hoagie, a grinder, a hero or a po’ boy.

    I would also say that I would rather feel like I was on a beach if it were not for all of the sand which is there...
     
  9. General_Flyer
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    :D We can have it multiple ways you know.. :p

    But it does feel much more enclosed and the term "flying metal tube" is what those airliners would be..
     
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  10. Canarsie
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    Canarsie Gold Member

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    I know that no windows on the aircraft would only enhance the sheer enjoyment that the Dovster gets out of being a passenger in a long metal tube for 13 hours whenever he travels from Israel to the United States...
     
  11. General_Flyer
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    Yeah.. I'll take Airbus's next aircraft with panoramic windows any day! As long as there's a big enough curtain to keep the lights out.. ;)
     
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  12. milchap
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    How about replacing windows with cameras that see out?
     
  13. Gargoyle
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    ...and fiber optic tubes to bring in the natural light.
    Some fresh air vents could also be a pleasant option.
     
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  14. TRAVELSIG
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    I think there should be windows that open so we can get our own fresh air.
     
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  15. milchap
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    ....then reinforce the seat belts. :D
     
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  16. canucklehead
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    I would like a skyroof!!! :D

    Oddly enough, I tend to sleep well on flights, so the open windows tend to impede my sleep. I do like them open when we are taking off and landing - great views of the city!
     
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  17. MSPeconomist
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    Yeah, skylights would be fun, especially on wide body planes, even though there's usually no view up there. However, I can imagine the fights over who would control the "curtains" assuming that the windows are over the aisles so that they don't diminish overhead bin space.
     
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  18. viguera
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    You have to wonder though... it seems like a reasonable option and the only caveat would be cost. Imagine that instead of getting a real window you have an LCD or other reasonably priced, reasonably sized screen that you can turn on/off on demand.

    Now the question is, does the lack of windows actually make that much of a difference to offset the cost of outfitting a plane with all this extra gear and would it be enough for people to actually want to fly in it.
     
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  19. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    What extra gear? A webcam in the cockpit wired to the IFE. The screen is already in the seat in front of you.

    No, I would NOT like to fly on a plane without windows.
     
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  20. viguera
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    Well my idea wasn't just using the IFE in front, as that would defeat the purpose.

    I'm thinking you have a tube, and instead of a window you have a screen. And unless you want everyone to have the same view -- which would work but would be kind of lame -- you'd have multiple cameras that would pipe the outside world into the window/screens.

    The ideal solution would be one camera per row per side, but that might just not be feasible. :)
     
  21. Sweet Willie
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    +1

    I would guess that any savings the airlines would realize would not be passed onto me the consumer, so unless there is a jump in speed of the aircraft, I wouldn't be interested in a windowless plane.

    Personally there are a few key times where the window is a nice to have (basically take off & landing), other than that I don't care about it.
     
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  22. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    Yeah, I knew where you were going. Mine was the less utopian version of it :)
     
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  23. YULtide

    YULtide Gold Member

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    Like the nosecam on the Air China flight I took last year HKG-PEK. It provided a pretty cool perspective on taking off, and once in the air allowed a view of the ground below that simply wasn't possible through the windows.
     
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  24. NYBanker
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    The airline business isn't known for its excess profits and is usually quite competitive.

    Airfares have dropped in real terms over most of the last 20 years. As has service.
     
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  25. kaka
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    well i believe the window has a "safety" use in a plane ie. you can see out and know what's going on. perhaps we can deal with less windows but how is that to help!?!
     
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