Are windowless planes the future?

New technology could see windows replaced with OLED screens, but is it really a good idea?

Peter Iantorno October 30, 2014

A plane without any windows may sound like a step backwards in aviation, where travellers are packed into a small, dark tube and transported like cattle from A to B. However, if tech innovation company Centre for Process Innovation (CPI) are to be believed, the reality of windowless flying will be much brighter than you might think.

The idea is that the plane's windows would be removed and replaced with high-definition, flexible screens, which could be linked up to real-time video showing what's going on outside as the plane soars through the sky.

As well as being a pretty cool feature that would offer passengers unobstructed views of the sky without having to crane their necks through tiny portholes, the UK-based firm also claim that the tech will carry a whole host of other benefits too.

The company makes some extremely bold claims that planes fitted with their technology will be lighter, stronger, more fuel-efficient meaning they'd be cheaper to run, and they'd even offer more leg room. If they can deliver on all of that, we can see this idea really taking off... (pun intended).

Despite all the purported benefits, some onlookers have claimed that if the OLED screens were installed on planes, it would be only a matter of time before they started showing adverts instead of the calming visuals of the sky, leaving passengers with no choice but to be bombarded with annoying advertising for the duration of their flight.

But either way, CPI believes that the vision could become a reality in just 10 years, so the future of windowless flying could well be on the horizon, whether we like it or not.