SpeckSpot
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Emirates looking to Windowless planes [BBC]

Wed Jun 06, 2018 5:53 pm

In the news:

https://www.bbc.com/news/business-44383220

Emirates is trying out new tech, and suggesting that planes without windows would be more efficient by saving some structural weight. Eventually all windows could be replaced with outside cameras and inside screens. Disadvantages are poor public acceptance and risks for worsening emergency procedures which need to be overcome.

There are many aspects to this, and I thought it merits a little discussion on this forum.
 
JoKeR
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Re: Emirates looking to Windowless planes [BBC]

Wed Jun 06, 2018 5:57 pm

I know of at least 5-6 people that would never ever step onboard such a flying tube due to claustrophobia and anxiety issues associated with flying. A window IS their glimmer that helps them get through a flight without losing their marbles completely.
 
aviationaware
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Re: Emirates looking to Windowless planes [BBC]

Wed Jun 06, 2018 5:57 pm

I will always chose a real window if given the choice. I think it's one of the stupidest ideas ever. Introducing artificial windows where there can be no real ones, okay. But replacing real windows with screens is beyond dumb.
 
bob75013
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Re: Emirates looking to Windowless planes [BBC]

Wed Jun 06, 2018 6:06 pm

Vertigo anyone? Your head says the plane is moving, but your eyes say no. I agree. I wouldn;t get on a windowless plane.
 
MartijnNL
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Re: Emirates looking to Windowless planes [BBC]

Wed Jun 06, 2018 6:15 pm

I already avoid the 787 for its windows, I will stay away from windowless aircraft as well.

What about all those passengers that currently have no desire to look outside and close the window shades as soon as they can? Will they be forced to look at screens with projected images of the outside world? That would be funny.
 
cschleic
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Re: Emirates looking to Windowless planes [BBC]

Wed Jun 06, 2018 6:16 pm

From a safety standpoint, I've seen several flight attendants telling passengers, while giving exit row passengers pre-departure instructions, to look outside first before opening the exit. While cameras could be used, what if the power (battery or otherwise) doesn't work? Analog is best in some cases.
 
tomcat
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Re: Emirates looking to Windowless planes [BBC]

Wed Jun 06, 2018 6:27 pm

If the pilots could do their job without windows, the flight deck might be relocated somewhere else (in the belly?) and the space currently occupied by the flight deck could be turned into a new premium cabin space offering a unique panoramic view. This would make the pilot job less attractive though.

Regarding the current passenger windows, we already spend a significant part of some flights without being able to enjoy them, especially on long haul flights. We are very often required to close the window blinders when it's too sunny or right after the first meal service. Also, when you sit over or close to the wing, the view through the window is not great either. Trading a window for a higher resolution screen and cameras covering 360° might be acceptable, especially if it helps to keep flying cheap.
 
tomcat
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Re: Emirates looking to Windowless planes [BBC]

Wed Jun 06, 2018 6:30 pm

cschleic wrote:
From a safety standpoint, I've seen several flight attendants telling passengers, while giving exit row passengers pre-departure instructions, to look outside first before opening the exit. While cameras could be used, what if the power (battery or otherwise) doesn't work? Analog is best in some cases.


In the worst case, this would require to maintain a window on each door. The weight saving from removing all the other windows would still be significant.
Last edited by tomcat on Wed Jun 06, 2018 6:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.
 
MCHS
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Re: Emirates looking to Windowless planes [BBC]

Wed Jun 06, 2018 6:37 pm

I can see it now... It begins with just images of the outside, then someone figures out that they can advertise on them and make more money, so each scene has a pop up ad that you can remove if you pay a fee...

Please no. Please....
 
LAXdude1023
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Re: Emirates looking to Windowless planes [BBC]

Wed Jun 06, 2018 6:56 pm

I wouldnt dream of getting on a windowless plane. I dont get motion sickness, but I might if I was in a situation like that.
"I dance and laugh among the rotten"
 
caribb
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Re: Emirates looking to Windowless planes [BBC]

Wed Jun 06, 2018 7:03 pm

MCHS wrote:
I can see it now... It begins with just images of the outside, then someone figures out that they can advertise on them and make more money, so each scene has a pop up ad that you can remove if you pay a fee...

Please no. Please....


Exactly. This is what I fear too.
 
texl1649
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Re: Emirates looking to Windowless planes [BBC]

Wed Jun 06, 2018 7:04 pm

It would make P2F conversions a lot cheaper/easier. With carbon frames, I've wondered if this, in conjunction with wider/easier loading doors, might make pax/cargo switches a lot easier overall. Isn't EK the worlds largest freight carrier, btw?
 
dtw2hyd
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Re: Emirates looking to Windowless planes [BBC]

Wed Jun 06, 2018 7:07 pm

If they ever go windowless they can automate cabin service, Rails or vacuum tubes installed in walls can deliver food and drinks to passengers. Should be possible at least on A380. They can get rid of most their cabin crew.
 
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ER757
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Re: Emirates looking to Windowless planes [BBC]

Wed Jun 06, 2018 7:09 pm

I flew in a C-141, we didn't have windows since it's primarily a cargo plane. Had no problem with vertigo/motion sickness etc. If there were screens depicting the outside it would be a better experience than the one I had, so yeah, I could see this.
 
alan3
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Re: Emirates looking to Windowless planes [BBC]

Wed Jun 06, 2018 7:11 pm

Absolutely would be a deal breaker for me. I would never fly them, no matter how fancy or realistic their visual displays. God forbid this would ever become industry wide.
 
continental004
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Re: Emirates looking to Windowless planes [BBC]

Wed Jun 06, 2018 7:12 pm

Helllllllllllll nooooooooooooo
 
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Jayafe
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Re: Emirates looking to Windowless planes [BBC]

Wed Jun 06, 2018 7:12 pm

dtw2hyd wrote:
If they ever go windowless they can automate cabin service, Rails or vacuum tubes installed in walls can deliver food and drinks to passengers. Should be possible at least on A380. They can get rid of most their cabin crew.


Cabin crew has a lot more tasks than serving you an espresso. Security and all that boring stuff, you know...
 
alan3
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Re: Emirates looking to Windowless planes [BBC]

Wed Jun 06, 2018 7:14 pm

MartijnNL wrote:
I already avoid the 787 for its windows, I will stay away from windowless aircraft as well.

What about all those passengers that currently have no desire to look outside and close the window shades as soon as they can? Will they be forced to look at screens with projected images of the outside world? That would be funny.


Surprised to hear someone who wouldn't like windowless planes doesn't like the 787.

For me, 787 is best of both worlds....it has windows but you don't have to choose between fully closed or glaring blinding sun. With a modest tint, it won't fillt he cabin with light.

During daytime long-haul flights, looky-loos who want to see the mountains, end up blinding the entire cabin when they open the shades. With the 787 you can just apply a modest tint and see outside without filling the cabin with brightness.
 
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Stitch
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Re: Emirates looking to Windowless planes [BBC]

Wed Jun 06, 2018 7:23 pm

I would imagine the IFE system needed to deliver an image to a high-definition monitor inside the fuselage would cost and weigh more than the current windows. Plus it would be far more maintenance-intensive.

That being said, this is not a new idea. Boeing looked into projecting images onto the inside cabin during the original 777 development and Airbus and BMW showed a concept where the upper crown of the A350 could show images of the sky.
 
gunnerman
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Re: Emirates looking to Windowless planes [BBC]

Wed Jun 06, 2018 7:26 pm

This isn't new as I read of such a proposal many years ago. I haven't got a problem with no windows, most of my travel is long-haul and half the time there's nothing to see outside. I would want airlines to pass on the savings to passengers - but I'm being optimistic.
 
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HoboJoe
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Re: Emirates looking to Windowless planes [BBC] - its called CARGO

Wed Jun 06, 2018 7:32 pm

SpeckSpot wrote:
In the news:

https://www.bbc.com/news/business-44383220

Emirates is trying out new tech, and suggesting that planes without windows would be more efficient by saving some structural weight. Eventually all windows could be replaced with outside cameras and inside screens. Disadvantages are poor public acceptance and risks for worsening emergency procedures which need to be overcome.

There are many aspects to this, and I thought it merits a little discussion on this forum.
 
MartijnNL
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Joined: Sun Jan 01, 2017 11:44 am

Re: Emirates looking to Windowless planes [BBC]

Wed Jun 06, 2018 7:33 pm

The problem with the 787 windows is the crew locking them at the darkest setting while I want to look outside.

People who complain about blinding the entire cabin during daytime longhaul flights should use sleeping masks. Or turn their screens brighter if the want to watch a movie. They don't have more rights than people who wish to look outside.

On my recent KLM daytime Amsterdam - San Francisco flight most window blinds in economy class stayed open the entire flight. And luckily nobody complained about that. Many passengers enjoyed the views of frozen Canada. Most business class passengers however were glued to their screens for hours on end.
 
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HoboJoe
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Re: Emirates looking to Windowless planes [BBC]

Wed Jun 06, 2018 7:33 pm

Its called CARGO
 
dtw2hyd
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Re: Emirates looking to Windowless planes [BBC]

Wed Jun 06, 2018 7:35 pm

Jayafe wrote:
dtw2hyd wrote:
If they ever go windowless they can automate cabin service, Rails or vacuum tubes installed in walls can deliver food and drinks to passengers. Should be possible at least on A380. They can get rid of most their cabin crew.


Cabin crew has a lot more tasks than serving you an espresso. Security and all that boring stuff, you know...


I can rig each slide/raft to chant "Leave your bags, remove your shoes and jump".
 
alan3
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Re: Emirates looking to Windowless planes [BBC]

Wed Jun 06, 2018 7:37 pm

Stitch wrote:
That being said, this is not a new idea. Boeing looked into projecting images onto the inside cabin during the original 777 development and Airbus and BMW showed a concept where the upper crown of the A350 could show images of the sky.


True but aircraft manufacturers and designers often propose various ideas to aircraft design and seating. But in this case it is actively being promoted by real airline CEO and is already being put it into real world practice.
 
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MaRoFu
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Re: Emirates looking to Windowless planes [BBC]

Wed Jun 06, 2018 7:38 pm

I'm ok with a windowless plane as LONG as every door has a real window. Emergency exits and windows directly adjacent to them should be real too. If the electricity goes out and the screens stop working, real windows would be a major help.

And besides, does a double-screen/camera system full of complex wiring really weigh less compared to a simple window?
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alan3
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Re: Emirates looking to Windowless planes [BBC]

Wed Jun 06, 2018 7:38 pm

MartijnNL wrote:
The problem with the 787 windows is the crew locking them at the darkest setting while I want to look outside.

People who complain about blinding the entire cabin during daytime longhaul flights should use sleeping masks. Or turn their screens brighter if the want to watch a movie. They don't have more rights than people who wish to look outside.

On my recent KLM daytime Amsterdam - San Francisco flight most window blinds in economy class stayed open the entire flight. And luckily nobody complained about that. Many passengers enjoyed the views of frozen Canada. Most business class passengers however were glued to their screens for hours on end.


Actually I didn't know that the crew "locks" the 787 window shades at dark. I guess that would explain why I sometimes press mine like mad thinking it's gone faulty!
 
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NYPECO
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Re: Emirates looking to Windowless planes [BBC]

Wed Jun 06, 2018 7:39 pm

Oh dear, I hope not. If Emirates starts doing this, it won't be long before other airlines follow.
 
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Clipper101
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Re: Emirates looking to Windowless planes [BBC]

Wed Jun 06, 2018 7:41 pm

Very simple, why doesn't he just walk the talk & make a pet project out of it by converting one of his dedicated cargo B772F into same concept and see the results in terms of passenger acceptance and operational returns !
Last edited by Clipper101 on Wed Jun 06, 2018 7:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.
 
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Elshad
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Re: Emirates looking to Windowless planes [BBC]

Wed Jun 06, 2018 7:42 pm

Terrible idea. Whoever came up with it needs their head examined.
 
nikeherc
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Re: Emirates looking to Windowless planes [BBC]

Wed Jun 06, 2018 7:42 pm

Would cameras, screens and power sources really be lighter? There woul not be a need to maintain windows, but I can imagine a plane where some of the screens are on, some are blinking and some are dead. Attractive!
DC6 to 777 and most things in between
 
Turnhouse1
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Re: Emirates looking to Windowless planes [BBC]

Wed Jun 06, 2018 7:45 pm

Stitch wrote:
I would imagine the IFE system needed to deliver an image to a high-definition monitor inside the fuselage would cost and weigh more than the current windows. Plus it would be far more maintenance-intensive.

That being said, this is not a new idea. Boeing looked into projecting images onto the inside cabin during the original 777 development and Airbus and BMW showed a concept where the upper crown of the A350 could show images of the sky.


I think all (or if not a large and increasing number of) Emirates aircraft already have an IFE system which shows images from external cameras. In 3-4-3 economy, certainly the middle 4 and probably a some in the 3s aren't going to have a great view out of the window.
 
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PatrickZ80
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Re: Emirates looking to Windowless planes [BBC]

Wed Jun 06, 2018 7:47 pm

The idea of windowless aircraft isn't new, but it's never been done before because passengers don't want it. They want to be able to look outside. With those screens you don't know if it's real or video / computer animation that you're watching. Plus they might put the screens off in case something nasty is outside within view that some people actually want to see.
 
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FA9295
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Re: Emirates looking to Windowless planes [BBC]

Wed Jun 06, 2018 7:48 pm

MartijnNL wrote:
I already avoid the 787 for its windows, I will stay away from windowless aircraft as well.

But doesn't the 787 have larger windows than most widebody aircraft? If it's a window that you want than I don't think the 787 is the type of aircraft to stay away from.
 
Armodeen
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Re: Emirates looking to Windowless planes [BBC]

Wed Jun 06, 2018 7:56 pm

Or, as with a lot of middle eastern and Asian carriers, the FAs just set the windows to full dark and lock the pax out at the top of the climb, even on day flights!

alan3 wrote:
MartijnNL wrote:
I already avoid the 787 for its windows, I will stay away from windowless aircraft as well.

What about all those passengers that currently have no desire to look outside and close the window shades as soon as they can? Will they be forced to look at screens with projected images of the outside world? That would be funny.


Surprised to hear someone who wouldn't like windowless planes doesn't like the 787.

For me, 787 is best of both worlds....it has windows but you don't have to choose between fully closed or glaring blinding sun. With a modest tint, it won't fillt he cabin with light.

During daytime long-haul flights, looky-loos who want to see the mountains, end up blinding the entire cabin when they open the shades. With the 787 you can just apply a modest tint and see outside without filling the cabin with brightness.
 
MartijnNL
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Re: Emirates looking to Windowless planes [BBC]

Wed Jun 06, 2018 7:57 pm

PatrickZ80 wrote:
The idea of windowless aircraft isn't new, but it's never been done before...

There are quite a few military transport aircraft without windows in the cabin.

PatrickZ80 wrote:
... because passengers don't want it. They want to be able to look outside.

Many passengers I see don't want to look outside at all. For some reason they prefer to look at their screens.
 
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FA9295
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Re: Emirates looking to Windowless planes [BBC]

Wed Jun 06, 2018 7:58 pm

SpeckSpot wrote:
Give me a pilot's viewpoint, and PFD, and you can remove all the windows you want.

Well I think anyone on airliners.net would love to have a pilot's viewpoint while flying! ;)
 
SpeckSpot
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Re: Emirates looking to Windowless planes [BBC]

Wed Jun 06, 2018 7:59 pm

I would also choose windows over windowless, but for me, at the right price difference I would fly windowless. Even without a price difference, if you can give me enough camera viewpoints, I would take that. Just me. Give me a pilot's viewpoint, and PFD, and you can remove all the windows you want.

I may be wrong, but my understanding of it is that the windows themselves are not what makes the plane heavier, but the extra metal structure that needs to be put in because otherwise the windows would make the fuselage weaker.

As for screens, my own inclination is that I see no value to maintaining the illusion of looking outwards sideways. I would use the same old PTVs behind the seat in front of you, but make them hi-res, and give you a lot more camera viewpoints to choose from. If one is objective, it is ergonomically easier to watch something with your neck in neutral position (looking forward) rather than scrunching your neck to turn 90 degrees to the left or right.

The problem with trying to maintain the illusion of a sideways window is that then the window has to be smart enough to change what it displays based on the position of your head. If your head is aft of the window, the window should display the view slightly looking forward, and vice versa. If your head is high the window should display the ground. If your head is low the window should display the sky. And none of that accounts for the fact that the window can not fool your eyes into thinking you are looking at something very far away (based on the focal length of your eye lens), because the window is right there close to you. So I say, rather than trying something very difficult like this, just forget it. Use the PTV's in front of the passengers, and make it clear that it is a video from a camera feed.

And thus the argument goes away that the extra screens will be heavy, because we already have PTV's, at least for most long distance planes today.

But I do agree that it can be claustrophobic for some people and that would be a huge hurdle to overcome.
 
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Stitch
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Re: Emirates looking to Windowless planes [BBC]

Wed Jun 06, 2018 7:59 pm

alan3 wrote:
True but aircraft manufacturers and designers often propose various ideas to aircraft design and seating. But in this case it is actively being promoted by real airline CEO and is already being put it into real world practice.

Turnhouse1 wrote:
I think all (or if not a large and increasing number of) Emirates aircraft already have an IFE system which shows images from external cameras. In 3-4-3 economy, certainly the middle 4 and probably a some in the 3s aren't going to have a great view out of the window.


True, but at the moment EK offers it on a handful of inside suites in First Class that already have an IFE system inside the suite structure for the forward display. Scaling this up to an entire airframe and putting them inside the fuselage walls where they would be exposed to greater temperature variations and vibration (and likely subject to stricter certification rules) and be much harder for maintenance teams to get to them...
 
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Clipper101
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Re: Emirates looking to Windowless planes [BBC]

Wed Jun 06, 2018 8:01 pm

Armodeen wrote:
Or, as with a lot of middle eastern and Asian carriers, the FAs just set the windows to full dark and lock the pax out at the top of the climb, even on day flights!


Or, as with US carriers when they force you to put window shades down during aircraft taxi to gate.
 
MartijnNL
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Re: Emirates looking to Windowless planes [BBC]

Wed Jun 06, 2018 8:07 pm

FA9295 wrote:
But doesn't the 787 have larger windows than most widebody aircraft? If it's a window that you want than I don't think the 787 is the type of aircraft to stay away from.

Yes, that's true. The 787 windows are about the same size as the windows on the MD-11 were. But those didn't come with an annoying dimming system.

To be honest I don't think I have a real problem with dimmable windows. It's only crew locking it on the darkest setting for hours on end that would drive me mad. That ridiculous behaviour needs to stop.
 
SpeckSpot
Topic Author
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Re: Emirates looking to Windowless planes [BBC]

Wed Jun 06, 2018 8:18 pm

SpeckSpot wrote:
I would also choose windows over windowless, but for me, at the right price difference I would fly windowless. Even without a price difference, if you can give me enough camera viewpoints, I would take that. Just me. Give me a pilot's viewpoint, and PFD, and you can remove all the windows you want.


No, on second thoughts, I think planes should keep the windows. I could tolerate a windowless flight, but life is much better with windows. Having said that, there is nothing stopping the manufacturers/airlines from adding more camera views to the PTVs.
 
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OA940
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Re: Emirates looking to Windowless planes [BBC]

Wed Jun 06, 2018 8:40 pm

ha
A350/CSeries = bae
 
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Mortyman
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Re: Emirates looking to Windowless planes [BBC]

Wed Jun 06, 2018 9:05 pm

I. M guessing he wants to skip the windows to save weight, but how much difference is it between window and camera? Really don't see the point.
 
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NYPECO
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Re: Emirates looking to Windowless planes [BBC]

Wed Jun 06, 2018 9:14 pm

Mortyman wrote:
I. M guessing he wants to skip the windows to save weight, but how much difference is it between window and camera? Really don't see the point.


I'm guessing every seat won't have a unique camera. They would possibly group 5 or so rows with the same camera image.
 
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XLA2008
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Re: Emirates looking to Windowless planes [BBC]

Wed Jun 06, 2018 9:14 pm

Surprised this hasn’t come from Ryanair! Ssshhhh EK your giving FR ideas!
“For once you have tasted flight you will walk the earth with your eyes turned skywards, for there you have been and there you will long to return.“
 
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MSPSXMFLIER
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Re: Emirates looking to Windowless planes [BBC]

Wed Jun 06, 2018 9:28 pm

Wow, the folks at Emirates sure must have a lot of extra time on their hands to even be dwelling on this.....
 
L0VE2FLY
Posts: 980
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Re: Emirates looking to Windowless planes [BBC]

Wed Jun 06, 2018 9:31 pm

FA9295 wrote:
MartijnNL wrote:
I already avoid the 787 for its windows, I will stay away from windowless aircraft as well.

But doesn't the 787 have larger windows than most widebody aircraft? If it's a window that you want than I don't think the 787 is the type of aircraft to stay away from.


It absolutely is! I've been fortunate enough to avoid the 787 so far. What's the point of having a large window when you have zero control over it?! the 787's dimming windows allow the crew to override pax and dim the windows whenever they want, many airlines are abusing this feature and dimming all the windows on most flights. I'd take an ancient 767 over a brand new 787 any day.
 
winstonlegthigh
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Re: Emirates looking to Windowless planes [BBC]

Wed Jun 06, 2018 9:32 pm

This is an awful idea. I doubt it ever sees the light of day.
Never has gravity been so uplifting.
 
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Jayafe
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Re: Emirates looking to Windowless planes [BBC]

Wed Jun 06, 2018 9:37 pm

alan3 wrote:
Actually I didn't know that the crew "locks" the 787 window shades at dark. I guess that would explain why I sometimes press mine like mad thinking it's gone faulty!


You can't know, still a 50% odds that the window/blind is faulty anyway. It's a Dreamliner, anything can go wrong...

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