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Author Topic: Would you fly in an airplane with no windows?
Delta-V
Xboxing Day


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Suppose the in-flight entertainment system (LCD TV) in the seatback in front of you could display external views from various vantage points on the aircraft, and generally offer better views of things than just a window. Would you fly in an aircraft with no windows other than the ones on the exit and emergency exit doors (per FAA requirement)?

There's alot of weight that goes into reinforcing the skin around those lovely windows. The skin carries all the pressure load from the air in cabin, and the stress has to be distributed around the openings. If you could eliminate the windows, that would save an enormous amount of weight, making the aircraft stronger yet lighter and cheaper to operate.

So, would you?

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Eddylizard
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I'd travel in an aircraft with no windows with or without the camera feeds - what would be the problem? If you've got an aisle seat there's not much you can see anyway.

The camera feed would be cool though.

ETA I'd like to think the pilots still had windows though. [Big Grin]

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Amigone201
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My first thought upon reading this was of an airplane that had the usual row of window spaces down the fuselage, but no glass in them! (Hence, "an airplane with no windows")

But, in all seriousness, I don't know what I'd do. I guess I could ride it, if it were cheaper than regular flights, but there's definitely the claustrophobia factor; if planes had no windows, claustrophobic passengers would probably freak out.

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Class Bravo
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I'd probably get airsick, especially when we hit turbulence.
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snopes
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quote:
The skin carries all the pressure load from the air in cabin, and the stress has to be distributed around the openings.
Why don't they just make the skin out of transparent aluminum?

- snopes

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surfcitydogdad
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Right on, Snopes; someone has the formula for transparent aluminum, which Mr Scott left in the SF area a couple of decades ago when he ordered the fabrication of a huge piece of it to retrofit the cargo bay to carry two humpback whales in the Klingon ship.

It would indeed be odd to fly without windows, but the Starships Enterprise - all of them - have viewing screens, rather than windows, on the bridges - although there are windows elsewhere.

But, as Eddy points out, if you have an aisle seat on an airplane, you haven't much of a view, nor is there much to look at at night. But, I do enjoy a view, even just lights at night, or natural light coming into the cabin.

It would be a matter of getting used to it, but if the reduced manufacturing costs (if the premise is true) and fuel savings were passed on to the customers, we would be willing to adapt, as Amigone mentioned.

But, like Amigo and Bravo, I'm afraid I'd be both claustrophobic AND airsick! Thanks, Delta, as I'd never heard of such a thing (Delta knows a lot about aircraft).

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Nick Theodorakis
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I lost the thrill of looking out of the window years ago, and I'm not even that frequent of a flyer. I prefer the aisle seat these days anyway; it feels like there's more room.

Nick

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surfcitydogdad
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Amen, Nick. I don't like being crowded, either, especially for more than an hour. I don't think I could handle the six hour coast-to-coast or trans-Atlantic flights of my youth, and as much as I'd like to go to Oz or NZ, I don't see how I could stand the flight. Maybe with a stopover in Hawaii, but it's still a long trip from there.

With all the hassles since '01, I'm not even sure I want to fly again. I haven't since '93. If I travel anywhere between the Pacific Ocean (here) and the Rocky Mountains - I'll drive my Volvo for comfort and safety, or my Geo Prizm (Toyota Corolla) for fuel economy and fun.

Don't military personnel fly in windowless cargo aircraft a lot? How is that? Pretty awful, or not so bad (the windowless aspect)?

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Cervus
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I'd do it. One of the many reasons I hate flying is my fear of knowing I'm 7 miles up and only separated from death by a few inches. I never get a window seat and avoid looking out the windows because it makes me sick - except during landing. I hate seeing the ground go away on takeoff (that also makes me sick) but coming in low & slow on a landing can sometimes offer a nice view. But my "comfort zone" is only a few thousand feet, so when I'm in a plane that's flying at standard cruising altitude, I avoid the windows.

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Hero_Mike
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My typical procedure when flying is to get the window seat, close the shade, put on my noise-cancelling headphones, and start snoring. I rarely look out, because there is rarely anything to see. Most of the time the flights are at least partially at night. THere were only a few transatlantic flights where we could see interesting things, like ships at sea, or another airplane, but it'd be okay.

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Brillo Bee
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I would do it if it were significantly cheaper (maybe at least $75/flight), but only because my main objective when I fly is to get where I'm going as quickly, efficiently, comfortably, and inexpensively as possible.

That said, I really really enjoy looking out the window on cloudless days, and I don't think it will ever lose its magic for me. A gorgeous flight can transform an otherwise mundane travel day into a really pleasant experience. You may think it silly, but there are a few spectacular flights that I remember as fondly as I do, for example, some entire vacations.

And I don't think that seatback displays would fix it for me, even if the views were better. Might as well just show me a movie.

I would miss windows very much if they weren't there, but again, since pleasure is not my main reason for flying,* I wouldn't boycott windowless flights.

Bee

*And it's a good thing, too, with the state of airline service today!

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Jay Tea
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I love flying and could never tire of being above the clouds no matter how many times I see it, but if there were savings to be had i'd be happy enough to eshew that pleasure - could spend the money saved on gliding classes and enjoy bird's eye views at my leisure.

Besides, as has been said, if you're sat in the middle row of a 747 you see sweet Fanny Adams anyway [Wink]

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Little Pink Pill
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Delta, you haven't specified if the savings would actually be handed down to the passengers of that specific flight. Would it be a case where people would have to pay more for windowed flights, or would it lower the price for all flights? Would this mean passengers could take heavier luggage?

I would be Ok with the idea, but I wonder if anything else could be done inside the aircraft (besides the monitors) to help it feel more spacious, like the way mirrors are used in elevators. Obviously that wouldn't work, but something should be done to keep you from feeling like you're locked in a dingy cream tube.

On the other hand, it would eliminate the problem of that one person who always opens their window to view the sunrise while everyone else is still sleeping.

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Gibbie
Angels Wii Have Heard on High


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See I hate to fly but I want to see the ground. I want to know that we're still air born if and the ground is coming at me, I want to know that too. I also think that being in a plane with no windows at all would be horrible for my claustrophobia. Nope, I'll wait on the transparent aluminum thank you. [Smile]

Does anyone remember a couple of years ago a lab created a glass out of aluminium?

Gibbie

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pirateslife
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I'd do it, except then there'd be no plus in getting the (former) window seat. You'd just be in the seat where you have to crawl over two other people in order to get out to go pee, with no compensation for that trouble. So then I'd have to make my seatmates aware that I do have to pee quite often and if they don't want me crawling over them every hour, then they'd better yield me an aisle seat. [Smile]

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Singing in the Drizzle
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First thing that come is mind is that those LCD TV used in air planes are not that light. Remember that these TV have be made to the same safty standard everthing else inside the airplane does. A couple of months ago I was looking at the wieght of a 13" LCD TV to be mounted from the ceiling without a shroud, it was 12.5 lbs. It would not supprise me if the inseat TVs are 3 to 5 lbs each. Then there is all the extra wiring and cameras that are need and all adding weight. Its been a long time since I did any work on the windows and even that was not much at the time. If memory serves there is a .10 inch aluminum doubler around the opening and a cast aluminum frame that goes in the hole. I would guess 5 to 10 lbs extra wieght for each window. Seeing that there are many more seats than windows, I would say that having windows is a lot lighter than placing TVs in the back of every seat.

Now some airplane allready have TVs in the back of the seats. When you fly on those planes the extra cost is already figured in. So taking out the windows would cheapen those tickes by a few dollers. If like most airplanes in that they do not have in seat TVs, you would most likely see a increase in cost of a few dollers to fly.

As for the idea of removing the windows goes. I think most people would find some physiologic problems with not being able see out windows. We need to see that movement out side as well as the sun, clouds, sky and stars. I could fly without windows, but I much perfer to have them even if all I can is light or darkness out them.

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kch8021
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My ex was a career Army Reservist,one year the unit was sent to Honduras to build roads. They flew their, in a B52, no seats, no windows, and the unit's heavy equipment. They all sat on a bench like seat, pretty much like you see, sitting on at a foot ball game, or an attached folding chair. His biggest fear had nothing to do with no windows, he was afraid a piece of their equipment might break lose.

Kathy

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Roadie
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quote:
Originally posted by pirateslife:
I'd do it, except then there'd be no plus in getting the (former) window seat.

The only plus for me, currently, to get a window seat, is to have a wall of sorts to lean up against and sleep. This could only be made more comfy by removal of the windows. I'd petition for padded walls, too. [Smile]

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Troberg
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I would fly in one. However, they will never happen, since passengers even slightly prone to motion sickness will be prone to display that sickness in ways that are bad for business.

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mindy
I'm Dreaming of a White Sale


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I proboly would have an anxiety attack !! I have to look out the window I don't know why but it makes me feel better !! I get dizzy if i don't
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WildaBeast
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quote:
Originally posted by Class Bravo:
I'd probably get airsick, especially when we hit turbulence.

I didn't really put two and two together until just now, but the only time I've felt like I was very close to being airsick was when I was sitting in the inside aisle seat on a 767 and we went through turbulence during our decent. I hate to think how I would have felt if I was sitting towards the middle of an even wider plane.

That being said, I'm another passenger who just loves looking out the window during a flight. On a short flight from here to the Bay Area it's fascinating to see the landscape change from the very flat farmland of the Sacramento Valley to the Coastal Mountain Range. It's quite a sudden change. Seeing San Francisco from the air is also quite lovely. The geeky side of me also loves seeing the wing during our decent, and watching the flaps being lowered. If I ever get to fly on a 737-200, you can also see the thrust reversers on that aircraft deploy when you land. However, since I do tend to have to pee a lot I always try to get an aisle seat on long flights. Even then I always lean forward and try to at least get some sort of view. That's what I love about Embraer's regional jets -- if you get a seat on the left side of the plane you get both a window and aisle seat all in one. [Smile]

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zerocool
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One of the indonesian airlines already has cameras all over the outside of the plane, and then inside on the seatback LCD's you can flip through the different views. very cool! especially since you can look forward and directly down! But that plane had windows too.
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Spamamander in a pear tree
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Noooo way. No way in hell. It's bad enough that I know I can't simply get out of the airplane if I wanted to; not being able to even SEE out of the airplane... noooo way.

Did I mention I'm a wee bit claustrophobic?

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Delta-V
Xboxing Day


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quote:
Originally posted by Little Pink Pill:
Delta, you haven't specified if the savings would actually be handed down to the passengers of that specific flight. Would it be a case where people would have to pay more for windowed flights, or would it lower the price for all flights? Would this mean passengers could take heavier luggage?

That's a question for the airlines. It's just kinda a 'what if' question. I imagine it would be kind of a budget airliner for budget airlines. I think it's likely that windowed flights would cost more (as would the handful of required window seats on windowless flights). And the luggage would likely have the same limits...the idea is fuel savings, not gross takeoff weight increase.

Singing's calculations...the actual screen weights, I think, half a pound. The wiring weighs considerably more, of course, and I don't have a good estimate of the numbers.

As for the transparent aluminum...there are alloys of aluminum oxide that are fairly transparent (Sapphires and rubies are mostly Al2O3, and 3M has a method of making it commercially), and Aluminium oxynitride, which is transparent. They both have the same problems as the current windows...they don't react like a standard aluminum. They're still a glass, hard but brittle, so you don't want them to carry much load (plus the failure mode is catastrophic). Since they don't have the same Young's modulus and thermal expansion, they create hardpoint stresses when attached to an aluminum skin.

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Jay Tea
The "Was on Sale" Song


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quote:
Originally posted by kch8021:
My ex was a career Army Reservist,one year the unit was sent to Honduras to build roads. They flew their, in a B52, no seats, no windows, and the unit's heavy equipment. They all sat on a bench like seat, pretty much like you see, sitting on at a foot ball game, or an attached folding chair. His biggest fear had nothing to do with no windows, he was afraid a piece of their equipment might break lose.

Kathy

Good point - i've flown in a few military types, including a Herc', a Tristar tanker and a VC10 tanker and there was nothing to look out of (where I was sat) on either flight, good old Rough As F*ck airlines [lol]

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Whaler on the Moon
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I wouldn't mind if it made flying cheaper. I enjoy looking out of the window, but i spend most of the time sleeping anyway. I'd still prefer the former window seat, so i'd have a place to rest my head against. And it's easier to turn my back a little and ignore everything else.

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candycane from strangers
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I've never been on a plane before, but I would actually prefer no windows. I've seen too many episodes of the Twilight Zone [Smile] . Also, I get freaked out knowing I'm up too high. Even on bridges I can't look down.

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Roadie
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quote:
Originally posted by candiru from strangers:
I've seen too many episodes of the Twilight Zone [Smile] .

Thanks for that. I have to go bleach my brain, now, Candy!

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candycane from strangers
Angels Wii Have Heard on High


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Sorry! [Smile]

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Hans Off
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quote:
Originally posted by kch8021:
My ex was a career Army Reservist,one year the unit was sent to Honduras to build roads. They flew their, in a B52....
Kathy

Eh? Are you sure about that?

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Griffin at the Maul
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quote:
Originally posted by snopes:
quote:
The skin carries all the pressure load from the air in cabin, and the stress has to be distributed around the openings.
Why don't they just make the skin out of transparent aluminum?

- snopes

Becasue you have not invented it yet.

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DaGuyWitBluGlasses
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quote:
Originally posted by Griffin 2020:
quote:
Originally posted by snopes:
Why don't they just make the skin out of transparent aluminum?

- snopes

Becasue you have not invented it yet. [/QB]
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aluminium_oxynitride
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Doug4.7
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It would be less of a problem on those wide body planes where there are so few window seats anyway. On long overnight flights, there is not a lot to see anyway (if you are over the wing, often all you can see is the wing). Also, those are BIG interiors, so the claustrophobia factor would be less. I would go for it.

However, I would NOT want to be on a regional 2 x 2 (or even 1x2 or 1x1) plane with no windows. That would give ME claustrophobia.

As for those 737s with the thrust reversers, I was sitting next to someone who saw that and totally panicked on landing (she thought the plane was coming apart). Note that it didn't help that the pilot really THUMPED the landing. Other than the fact I thought she was going to hurt someone (like me, the guy sitting next to her), it was really funny. She had really strong nails and a good set of lungs. [Eek!]

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serarose
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ohhh, nooo way. My claustrophobia kicks in even contemplating the option of being on an airplane with no windows to distract me.

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The important thing is not to stop questioning- Einstein

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Doug4.7
Angels Wii Have Heard on High


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Some of these modern "lifting body" designs have lots people with very few windows (think of people in rows of seats in the wings). If those planes were accepted, a windowless plane mightn ot be far behind...

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And now for something completely different...

Posts: 4164 | From: Alabama | Registered: Oct 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
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