Whenever you get on a plane, do you clamour to sit next to a window to enjoy the view? Well according to a UK developer, those days could be soon over with aircraft windows potentially being replaced by super lightweight smartscreen panels.
The idea is the brainchild of the Centre for Process Innovation (CPI) in north-east England. They are proposing replacing all the windows of commercial airlines with screens extended the length of the cabin and broadcasting live pictures of the outside world thanks to exterior mounted cameras. Additionally, the smartscreens would be customisable and passengers could even surf the web on them.
One of the key reasons why the project has been developed is to save weight of modern-day aircraft and to therefore reduce fuel consumption. CPI suggests that 0.75 per cent of fuel is saved for ever one per cent reduction in the weight of a plane.
While discussing the idea, CPI’s Dr. Jon Helliwell said, “We had been speaking to people in aerospace and we understood that there was this need to take weight out of aircraft. “Follow the logical thought through. Let’s take all the windows out – that’s what they do in cargo aircraft – what are the passengers going to do? If you think about it, it’s only really the people that are sitting next to windows that will suffer.”
As for the screens, they would be constructed using organic light-emitting diodes which are actually flexible and can ultimately sit flush with the inside of the fuselage.
“What would be great would be to make devices based on OLEDs that are flexible,” said Helliwell. “We can make transistors that are flexible but if we can make OLEDs that are flexible, that gives us a lot of potential in the market because we can print OLEDs on to packaging, we can create flexible displays.”
[Via The Guardian]