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N1120A
Posts: 26927
Joined: Sun Dec 14, 2003 5:40 pm

RE: Could Windowless Passenger Airliners Be Done?

Tue Dec 10, 2013 11:24 am

Quoting cipango (Reply 1):
There is a reason why the window blind has to be up during take off and landing. Apparently it is so emergency services can see in after a crash.

That is required by very few carriers in the US. That said, it is absolutely safer, and not just so the paramedics can look in. It is also to allow those inside to see the fire.
 
ChinaClipper40
Posts: 202
Joined: Wed Aug 02, 2006 8:23 am

RE: Could Windowless Passenger Airliners Be Done?

Tue Dec 10, 2013 1:21 pm

Quoting tugger (Reply 14):

This makes no sense, if windows work to address motion sickness, so would video screen "windows". Windows "move wit the plane" as much as any video systems would.

With respect, you miss the point. Many people who suffer from motion sickness find that being able to visually fixate a stable distant point outside the aircraft (even if only a cloud formation) significantly mitigates motion sickness. This would not be possible with video screen "windows" since outside objects seen through such ersatz "windows" would appear to be moving as much as objects inside the aircraft.
 
DIJKKIJK
Posts: 1906
Joined: Sun Jul 27, 2003 11:03 pm

RE: Could Windowless Passenger Airliners Be Done?

Tue Dec 10, 2013 2:01 pm

Quoting DariusBieber (Thread starter):
We all know windows are aerospace engineers' worst nightmare. They are one of the main causes of stress fractures, so if we take those out the aircraft could be maintained for longer periods of time.

That hasn't been a problem since the introduction of the oval windows in the 1950s.

Quoting DariusBieber (Thread starter):
could a few cameras be placed throughout the outside of the aircraft to basically replace windows on aircraft?

why would anyone sacrifice a cheaper option in favour of a more expensive one?
 
PhilBy
Posts: 845
Joined: Tue Aug 06, 2013 11:44 am

RE: Could Windowless Passenger Airliners Be Done?

Tue Dec 10, 2013 2:12 pm

Quoting Stitch (Reply 28):
The primary reason why windows are kept is because they are far less expensive (in terms of weight cost, installation cost and maintenance) than a video projection system.

It would be cheaper and lighter to remove the windows and put thin film displays in their place. Not sure on the maintenance costs.
It would definitely increase barf bag usage and passenger discomfort. As the image would vibrate, bounce with the plane there would be no fixed reference.

Quoting SPQR (Reply 31):
That idea may not be too far off reality if research into transparent aluminum allowed it to take on the attributes needed for aircraft skin. The 'windows' would simply be portals in the interior panelling of whatever size the airline wanted and outside simply leave the portal area unpainted. Rectangle windows, egg shaped, triangle windows, all possible without having to worry about stress spots.

And passengers would so love to see whats holding them in the air, frames, stringers/longerons, bolts, rivets and all the other non-transparent bits. Even if someone reproduced a current ac structure in glass not much would be transparent due to the 3D structural features.
 
cloudboy
Posts: 1148
Joined: Mon Jan 26, 2004 12:38 pm

RE: Could Windowless Passenger Airliners Be Done?

Tue Dec 10, 2013 2:39 pm

What about Jet Lag and SAD? I know that I am not alone in that having all the window shades down and not being able to see the change of light during a flight severely affects Jet Lag. I have tried Daylight Lamps for my home, but that would be yet another complication and cost for an airline which can easily be solved by windows.
 
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Finn350
Posts: 1601
Joined: Tue Jul 09, 2013 4:57 am

RE: Could Windowless Passenger Airliners Be Done?

Tue Dec 10, 2013 2:50 pm

Airbus A400M has a full civil type certificate, so techinally it is an (almost) windowless civil airliner.
 
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Stitch
Posts: 27721
Joined: Wed Jul 06, 2005 4:26 am

RE: Could Windowless Passenger Airliners Be Done?

Tue Dec 10, 2013 3:02 pm

Quoting Finn350 (Reply 55):
Airbus A400M has a full civil type certificate, so techinally it is an (almost) windowless civil airliner.

As I would guess is any freighter based on a commercial airliner platform.  
 
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BaconButty
Posts: 935
Joined: Tue Aug 06, 2013 3:42 pm

RE: Could Windowless Passenger Airliners Be Done?

Tue Dec 10, 2013 3:24 pm

Quoting Philby (Reply 53):
And passengers would so love to see whats holding them in the air, frames, stringers/longerons, bolts, rivets and all the other non-transparent bits. Even if someone reproduced a current ac structure in glass not much would be transparent due to the 3D structural features.

You would still have interior panels (for insulation and cable runs etc) but the "windows" would be where the panelling and paint stopped. You already have gaps in the stringers for the window belt. Of course, the windows would be much larger since they could more or less span the width between frames.

Goes without saying it's dependent on being able to produce transparent carbon fibre panels - but it's something being worked towards.
 
solarflyer22
Posts: 1517
Joined: Wed Nov 25, 2009 7:07 pm

RE: Could Windowless Passenger Airliners Be Done?

Tue Dec 10, 2013 3:29 pm

I would say this is probable vs unlikely for several reasons. Its a lot like NASA space capsules where they simply hated installing windows before finally ceding to the Astronauts desire to simply look out and see whats going on. That experience was hugely beneficial but only applies to pilots. There were several disadvantages that play out with too many windows:

1) Cost of manufacture goes up. Esp pertinent since planes are built in the thousands
2) WEIGHT, yes windows, even plastic ones add weight. Its the reinforcement around the frame
3) Reduced maintenance and inspections of each window.

If we go to blended wing body designs, most passengers won't be near windows anyway. It might be a first/Bus class perk or something.

I have often though EADS/Boeing would reduce the number of windows if allowed. I don't think the fire/emergency crew issue isn't an surmountable issue and you'll continue to see windows on doors.
 
tommy1808
Posts: 14689
Joined: Thu Nov 21, 2013 3:24 pm

RE: Could Windowless Passenger Airliners Be Done?

Tue Dec 10, 2013 3:43 pm

Quoting BaconButty (Reply 57):
Goes without saying it's dependent on being able to produce transparent carbon fibre panels - but it's something being worked towards.

Or use aluminum oxynitride aka transparent aluminum. If it can take the stress.

Quoting solarflyer22 (Reply 58):
If we go to blended wing body designs, most passengers won't be near windows anyway. It might be a first/Bus class perk or something.

Puking passengers guaranteed. There would be much more motion in a blended wing design for the customers to deal with compared with todays aircraft. And as much as i like the smell of coffee, smelling it on an aircraft is usually not a good sign.

best regards
Thomas

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