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Author Topic: Would you fly in an airplane with no windows?
Singing in the Drizzle
Jingle Bell Hock


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quote:
Originally posted by Delta-V:

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.

Talking with some of my coworker that have worked on the inseat video systems. Because of all the safty regulations the monitor it self is closer to 2 pounds, but that is a guess on there part. They definetly agree its more than a pound. The seat back also has to have extra structure to support the monitor and this also have to meet safty requiremts. The controler under the seat for each monitor weight a little over a half pound and again there is structer that is added to hold it in place.
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Ganzfeld
Let There Be PCs on Earth


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The resolution of the screens would never satisfy me. The only thing I like about flying is the view.

About the motion sickness, it can't be that much of a problem because on a wide-body plane most of the people can't see anything. Are all the people with motion sickness really able to get window seats?

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Towknie
We Three Blings


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If it would shut the pilot up every time we go over the grand canyon while I'm sleeping, I'm all for it!

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Class Bravo
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quote:
Originally posted by Ganzfeld:
About the motion sickness, it can't be that much of a problem because on a wide-body plane most of the people can't see anything. Are all the people with motion sickness really able to get window seats?

I think for most people there would be a difference between sitting in a non-window seat in a plane that did have windows vs. being in a plane that didn't have windows. Even if you are prone to motion sickness and you are sitting in the middle of a widebody aircraft, it's still possible to look to either side and see through a window to see what kind of attitude the plane is in, i.e. if your body felt like the plane was turning right then you could look over to your right or left and verify that the plane is indeed turning, even if you're not sitting right next to the window. In a plane (or any vehicle for that matter) without windows I think people would run into problems when their body became confused about what was going on and they would be unable to look outside and see what's going on.

I'm a private pilot with just shy of 1000 hours and I can say that I have no problems with airsickness when I'm flying myself and I can look around at what's going on. However, when I was doing my instrument training and I had to fly "under the hood" (wearing a special hat so that I could only see my instruments and I couldn't see outside the window) I tended to run into problems.

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quiltsbypam
Happy Holly Days


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No. No, no, no. I hate flying to begin with. But no windows? I would have to be heavily sedated. Heavily. And then rolled onto the plane on a stretcher.

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Rhiandmoi
Ding Dong! Merrily on High Definition TV


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I don't have bad claustrophobia (for example I lasted 8 hours in a middle seat!) but for me it has nothing to do with window or no window, but having my own personal space. So if getting rid of windows could mean that I could have 3 more inches of space I am for it.

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Monza305
I'll Be Home for After Christmas Sales


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There is no way I could fly without windows. I'm one of those dorks who get motion sickness. If the plane turns, I start getting real dizzy. The only way I feel better is if I can look out the window. On some flights the plane feels like it is flying all the time with the nose up at a 45 deg. angle. On flights like those I am looking out the window almost the whole way. If I don't, then it's spew city.

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Ganzfeld
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quote:
Originally posted by Class Bravo:
Even if you are prone to motion sickness and you are sitting in the middle of a widebody aircraft, it's still possible to look to either side and see through a window to see what kind of attitude the plane is in, i.e. if your body felt like the plane was turning right then you could look over to your right or left and verify that the plane is indeed turning, even if you're not sitting right next to the window. I

Sorry, I don't buy this. From most of the seats the best you can see is a blue blur. In any case, on every long flight I've been on the windows are completely closed for many many hours. Even when there is turbulence, I've never seen any of the terrible effects of motion sickness you describe. I'm not saying it doesn't happen but I doubt it makes any big difference whether or not there are windows on the plane. There is a slight psychological effect, I'm sure, but people will overcome that as easily as they overcome the idea of flying at 10,000 meters.
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Class Bravo
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Eh, granted it won't have that effect on everyone, but it's what I have experienced. FWIW, I have actually flown on planes that don't have windows (KC-135) and I ran into more problems than when I've been sitting in the middle of a widebody aircraft that did have windows. Everyone's mileage will vary.
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WildaBeast
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quote:
Originally posted by Delta-V:
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.

I just thought of something that reminded me of this thread. When an aircraft manufacturer builds a variant of an airliner intended to be used as a freighter, like the Boeing 777F, do they leave out these structrual reinforcements around where the windows would have been on the passenger version, or would the costs of making that design change outweigh the reduction in weight?

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Singing in the Drizzle
Jingle Bell Hock


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Figuring out the stress on a panel with out windows is much easier that with. It also takes very little design work to make the change. Without have to done much work on a frieghter. I would guess most of the cost is the cargo doors and floors.

Whatever weight saving from there being no windows is made up in extra cargo. So any extra cost for the design change is made up by to proffits from the extra cargo carried. Also the airplane compaines like Boeing and Airbus spread to cost of something like this over a resonable number of airplane they expect to sell over a number of years.

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Delta-V
Xboxing Day


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quote:
Originally posted by WildaBeast:
I just thought of something that reminded me of this thread. When an aircraft manufacturer builds a variant of an airliner intended to be used as a freighter, like the Boeing 777F, do they leave out these structrual reinforcements around where the windows would have been on the passenger version, or would the costs of making that design change outweigh the reduction in weight?

The heavy window forgings are left out unless it's a convertable, then the windows are cut out and plugs used. Otherwise, there's some window structure there instead of replacing it with stringers (longitudinal supports). Minor weight penalty, but nothing compared to the forgings.

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keokuk
Deck the Malls


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I would personally be fine with flying in a windowless plane. That being said, I think I would avoid it because there would inevitably be someone on those flights who assumed they could handle it but would end up making a scene upon realizing that their own claustrophobia just a little bit too late.
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Jason Threadslayer
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Or they could switch to a carbon fibre fuselage like military aircraft use...

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WildaBeast
Let There Be PCs on Earth


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quote:
Originally posted by Jason Threadslayer:
Or they could switch to a carbon fibre fuselage like military aircraft use...

How much of the 787's fuselage will be carbon fiber?

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BoKu
Happy Xmas (Warranty Is Over)


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quote:
Originally posted by Jason Threadslayer:
Or they could switch to a carbon fibre fuselage like military aircraft use...

It is true that substantial parts of new military aircraft such as the C-17 and F-22 are made of carbon fiber. However, the majority of in-service military aircraft are made of conventional aluminum alloys and construction techniques.

In terms of percentage of structure by weight, the aircraft with the most carbon- and other high-tech composite fibers are gliders. Most modern competition sailplanes use carbon fiber for virtually all structural parts. Of course, there is some chromoly steel used for concentrated stresses, and some aramid (e.g. Kevlar(tm)) used where toughness is required.

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BoKu
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quote:
Originally posted by WildaBeast:
How much of the 787's fuselage will be carbon fiber?

Delta-V is probably more qualfied to say than I, but my guess is "most of it" - probably between 75% to 95% of the fuselage structure by mass.

This is probably a too-simplified way of expressing it, but I've found that when designing around composites they tend not to mix well with other materials. So you end up with things that are either mostly composites or that have very little composites.

ETA: It's actually pretty common to see airliners with aluminum fuselages and carbon composite tail surfaces, but it's not that commmon to mix materials within a major structure.

One aircraft I support with spares has a fuselage that is half composite and half aluminum, but that is sort of an exception, and the rationale for its design is driven more by microeconomics than by structural considerations.

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James G.
Xboxing Day


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Am I the only one thinking that cheaper flights would probably be a bad thing. Air travel is already too cheap (Depending on when I book it can be cheaper to fly home then take the train) and making flights cheaper will ultimately result in people taking more. (Thus cuttong out the benifits you made saving fuel) The saving could be used to improve the service on the flights (Free water even on budget for example). The customer would still benifit, but it wouldn't have the effect of causing further increases in air-travel.

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BoKu
Happy Xmas (Warranty Is Over)


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quote:
Originally posted by James G.:
Am I the only one thinking that cheaper flights would probably be a bad thing.

I agree with you, even though it exposes me as a hypocrite: I think that air travel should remain relatively exclusive, yet I still buy airline tickets primarily by price.

Wandering off-topic, I think it was Nevil Shute Norway who observed that any advance in aeronautics may be expressed in three ways: greater speed, greater safety, or lower cost.

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James G.
Xboxing Day


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quote:
Originally posted by BoKu:
quote:
Originally posted by James G.:
Am I the only one thinking that cheaper flights would probably be a bad thing.

I agree with you, even though it exposes me as a hypocrite: I think that air travel should remain relatively exclusive, yet I still buy airline tickets primarily by price.

Wandering off-topic, I think it was Nevil Shute Norway who observed that any advance in aeronautics may be expressed in three ways: greater speed, greater safety, or lower cost.

Oh, NFBSK. You've just made me realise that I'm probably moving circles in Hell. (See the Dante's Inferno Thread) And I though I had been free from hipocrasy recently.

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Silkenreindeer
Wassaleing


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I like the idea of cheaper airline tickets, as I live on a different continent than my family and can scarcely afford to see them at all. If airline tickets were substantially more expensive, you could change that to "never get to see them" - I wouldn't be able to afford to fly, and I can't take off the several weeks it'd take to make the round trip via cargo ship (which is pretty much the only other "cheap" way of getting from the UK to the US).

Ideally, though, for shorter distances it would be much better if more people would travel over land. Individual people travelling in individual cars is still fuel inefficient. In an ideal world, there'd be a well-run, practical public transport alternative that anyone could afford and that would be pleasant enough that people would want to go on.

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Delta-V
Xboxing Day


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quote:
Originally posted by BoKu:
quote:
Originally posted by WildaBeast:
How much of the 787's fuselage will be carbon fiber?

Delta-V is probably more qualfied to say than I, but my guess is "most of it" - probably between 75% to 95% of the fuselage structure by mass.

This is probably a too-simplified way of expressing it, but I've found that when designing around composites they tend not to mix well with other materials. So you end up with things that are either mostly composites or that have very little composites.

Aluminum and Graphite are galvanicly incompatible. The Al tends to corrode, esp in the presence of water, unless seperated by a layer of fiberglass. Ditto for steel. Ti works, tho. Titanium is the new Aluminum...

I don't know the exact composite percentage on the 787, but it's pretty high. The primary fuselage structure is almost all composite.

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"My neighbor asked why anyone would need a car that can go 190 mph. If the answer isn't obvious, and explaination won't help." - Csabe Csere

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RangerDog
Happy Xmas (Warranty Is Over)


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Let's see. I have many, many logged hours as a passenger in web seats in planes with no windows. Slept on enough cargo pallets to learn to enjoy it. C-130, C-141, C-5, C-17. Done JATO and pallet drops in C-130s. Pretty much was allowed to wander about the aircraft at will especially as a cargo courier. More recently, Operation Deny Flight allowed me the unique pleasure of trusting the aircrew with my life as he jockied the Herc and deployed countermeasures to avoid a SAM. I don't much like flying. The C-17 is freaking awesome, though.

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