Back to Squawk list
  • 27

Emirates Looks to Windowless Planes

Emirates Airline has unveiled a new first class suite on board its latest aircraft that features virtual windows. Instead of being able to see directly outside, passengers view images projected in from outside the aircraft using fibre-optic cameras. ( More...

Sort type: [Top] [Newest]

David Vega 27
It could work until all passengers see a window that reads, :( Your PC ran into a problem and needs to restart...
AWAAlum 4
Uh oh - no windows, remember? lol
AWAAlum 3
a down vote? oh for gosh sakes where's your sense of humor !
Jesse Carroll 2
However, my Apple works just fine. Don't need know stinking Windows!
soon to be followed by advertising. Sorry but that idea sucks.
"soon"? You are optimistic. I bet "immediately." Also expect an "enhanced viewing surcharge."
although I understand the principle of making aircraft lighter,i much prefer the option of looking out at the stars,or that beautiful mountain range,or even the clouds,than a "virtual reality" projection..years ago (50's and 60's vintage) there was a tv show called "the twilight zone",a bit of fantasy,a bit of reality and a bit of science of their more memorable shows was that of a man (played by a young William shatner)looking out the window of a passenger plane,(not a jet) who saw some kind of strange "creature" chewing on the one believed him and when the plane landed, they took him away in a straight jacket,only to find damage to the wing ! it was entertaining,and this virtual window" idea reminded me of that!
Duane Mader 5
Gremlins. Malfunctions on airplanes are caused by gremlins. The Twilight Zone was the first time one was caught on film.
WhiteKnight77 2
I remember that particular episode and it was also remade as a part of the Twilight Zone movie (though this time, it was in a jet airliner).
Tom Winsemius 3
You should see The Simpsons remake with Bart playing the William Shatner part while on a bus ride to school. Epic, but I guess you had to have seen the first ones to even realize the parody.
Yes, John Lithgow was in the remade version. I still remember the evil looking demon on the wing. :D
Jeffrey Bue 2
That is one of my favorite Twilight episodes.... it wasn't until years later (yes... I'm old) after the Star Trek series came out that I realized the dude on the plane was Captain Kirk!

[This poster has been suspended.]

Wayne Farmer 1
Back in the late 1970's they were already doing that. Well, not people, but birds. :)
Jeroen Stroes 10
Never never i should accept that.
ian mcdonell 9
no -never
Kobe Hunte 16
I would rather see out an actual window than look at a screen.

Sorry Emirates, bad idea.
Highflyer1950 15
Inherently not the worst idea in the world. We used to deadhead in the downstairs lounge in the L1011, There were also only 14 seats but the backlit colourful murals on the sidewalls were interesting. I’m not sure a boatload of pax could stand it for a long trip without going nuts and there’s enough of that going on already. Windows in the emergency exits and all doors might satisfy the gov officials. I’d much rather have bigger washrooms with a sink that holds more than 2 ounces of water.
David Searls 5
I would call this an awful idea even if I wasn't a passenger who has flown millions of miles sitting, on purpose, in window seats.
Paul McGowan 4
What a thought. :O
Zuri Smith 4
The vast majority of self loading cargo will hate this
sparkie624 7
I can see this now... Seat 1A window deferred, since it would be an NEF item it could be deferred for 120 to 160 Days...

No Thanks... I do like the idea of windows, even though a windowless plane may be safer due to flying Derbies... IE SWA woman Sucked out.... Piedmont Dash 8 in MDW, Prop hit bird on take off, goes through window.. Hits PSU and falls on woman's lap.... That one really did not hit the news, but friends I worked with sent me pics. Even with all of that in mind... I still like the windows.
mwlong 7
One of the reasons, I am told, that the cabin lights are on during take offs and landings is so in an emergency, the first responders can see inside the plane. They can figure out how best to help from viewing what is going on inside when they arrive. With windowless airliners this will be impossible. I don't see the safety people going for this at all.
Larry Toler 9
Actually, the main cabin lights are supposed to be off during take off and landing. In case if an emergency we can see the situation outside before we evacuate pax. Pax and crew off first and ASAP.
Highflyer1950 4
Trust me in an emergency with the cabin filling with smoke, 1st responders won’t see anything inside assuming they can even get to a window. Larry’s correct in that F/A’s or pax can see out and see if it is safe to open and exit the plane. Looking outside is nice but traditionally only on take off or landing. I would love to see a seat back display (or Ipad connection) showing a forward view from a tail mounted camera and a moving map feature.
BaronG58 1
Larry & Highflyer you're so right . It is all about seeing. Turning the lights off, especially at night help the pax eyes (pupils) adjust to low light conditions. In the event of a emergency all eyes are good to go. Seconds count.
Didn't they have something similar in the 1970's - I remember the nose cameras in United and/or American DC-10s; also remember a flight on a Japan Air Lines 747 with an outside camera view.
Yeah, the view was cool, although once AA 191 crashed at ORD in 1979, I think the day of nose cameras also died. As I recall, the DC-10 camera was located on the nose wheel assembly, while the camera on L-1011's was positioned above the captain's head looking out the window. The nose wheel view was great for just a moment, but my memory was the camera did not move to correct for the plane's angle of descent / ascent.
Bill Christy 3
take away the windows and no point in flying for me.
Joseph Berman 3
Emirates needs to just STOP what they are doing with their virtual windows and projecting images of the flight. Like I said, JUST STOP IT! I would NEVER get on an airplane for transport in the civilian world and be stuck in a windowless tube. Modern technology is good, but don't go there on modern day transports. I think enough changes are already in play and being developed, that we don't need to be playing with windows, how about improved service and bigger seats rather than squeezing every cent out of a Seat Mile and causing unpleasant flying conditions for the other 95% that travel in coach. Emirates, STOP IT, no matter how much money you think you have. I'm sure the traveling public would agree, and if they implemented this, I'm sure that your aircraft would be flying around nearly empty. I won't be held in "plane jail", as it's bad enough already!
JB/ Miami FL
Maybe the future of air travel is the airline gasses you upon take-off, so you sleep soundly in your obscenely tiny seat upright until 30 minutes before landing when they wake you with a shot of real fresh air, thereby saving the need to feed you or have you use the lav on that 12 hour flight. Just think,they could reduce the number of crew on board (saving weight), replace the galley with more tine seats (more revenue), and adopt auto-pilot flying, thereby removing the need for two pilots.
crk112 3
To recap... airlines are cramming more people into planes the same size, shoving the seats ever-closer together, taking away free drinks and peanuts, killing our dogs in the overhead bins, giving away our seats and having us forcefully removed from them, ignoring medical emergencies instead of diverting....

And now they're taking away our windows too.

Sardine cans don't have windows either.
ian mcdonell 4
Seriously - WHY??????????
joel wiley 5
Remember what the Russians use do do with the Politburo pics when members became unpersons, or the wzard of Oz behind the curtain? This opens the gate for editing the 'view' and what you percieve in real time.
sparkie624 4
The article said to reduce weight (even though it seems the video screen, Fiber, camera's would be heavier than a window) and they said being more stream lined it would go faster... I personally do not think it would be much faster!
bentwing60 1
Because they can!!!!! Rhyme and Reason have escaped the forces of gravity, and we can't put that toothpaste beck in the tube.
No window, I will take a train for intra-continental traval instead and I won't accept to pass more than 6 hours in a place if I cannot see natural light!

Air traveling is unpleasant today, it's getting worst!

Please keep the windows!
Robert Graff 2
I'd like to see a smart window. A HUD overlay that could somehow show a map of what I'm looking at with adjustable levels of detail. I don't know how it would work given different window positions and passenger eye-levels, but I can dream.
AWAAlum 2
Personally, my eyes already have enough screen time without having more.

Oh, and: ""Everything that reduces weight on an aircraft is going to reduce fuel burn," he said." Hmm, then why doesn't adding more seats for even more pax adding even more weight seem to matter?

It's a terrible idea.
Each additional passenger generates revenue that more than makes up for the additional fuel burn they incur, so it's a net gain.
Really surprised to see such strong responses. Most people I see on planes are looking at their own phones or the IFE. Hardly anyone ever looks out of windows anymore.
I make a point of booking window seats, always. You have the privilege of gazing down upon the world from thousands of feet in the air for a few hours and it's breathtaking; Facebook is always going to be there later.
Jesse Carroll 1
Really, I must have a window seat so I can lean as close as I can to get away from the stinking 400# gorilla next to me. Pee before you fly and no drinks on plane ride!
Ramer 2
Unexpected Error: Please REBOOT WINDOWS
Taking away windows in order to reduce weight is a ploy to add more seats to increase revenue. It's all about the money, not safety!
Guess what , won't see ole Rick on it .
Larry Toler 4
I guess it's better than hitching a ride on a military cargo or tanker aircraft.
Joseph Berman 5
Larry, been there and done that for too many years, I like my windows, plus as a aircrew chief, it's a safety issue for civilian transport. Thank you for your service. Semper Fi! JB
WhiteKnight77 1
I had plenty of windows to look out of on our Phrogs. When it got warm out, we popped out the left gunner's door (it pays to remember to take the gasket off as well) and had a great view. The gunner's belt we wore ensured we wouldn't go too far, not that I or anyone else tested them that way. Sky Pigs, 141s and Buffs (C-5s) don't have many windows to look out.
Tom Winsemius 1
Why aren't they giving the passengers VR headsets? Different prices of course for different features and resolutions. They must be thinking of profit points here.
ian mcdonell 1
Fair call bentwing - I should know better
When I flew on Qatar, they make you close the windows panels when flying into Doha.
Alan Hume 2
They're probably bullet proof! Lol! That's why I don't fly Qatar!
toolguy105 1
The theory sounds good; the practicality is that as the aircraft ages how well will the system operate. As the plane ages I can foresee any number of the window viewers being inoperative. This would not be a cause for a maintenance delay or could it be fixed at just any overnight facility.
Paul Hurford 1
Yea Right - Until the Optics change to a BLUE SCREEN. That's a really DUMB idea. I always sit at a Window seat. Sometime for the view, other times to look at the wing configurations. Instead of making windowless aircraft - Fibre Optics should be available in the cockpit for the crew to see the state of all engines and airfoil structures, including the vertical stabilizer. It's generally the Cabin Crw that informs the Captain that an engine is smoking, or part of the wing has been damaged. Now that's a good idea.
Jeffrey Bue 1
I'm probably in the minority here... but I think this is a good idea.
Alan Haacke 1
Though the idea is pretty sound, there's just something inside me that yells out actual windows play critical parts in providing air access, and even a port to extradite young children in the event of an accident. Overall.... Hmmmm, no...bad idea. Cool tech, just a bad idea.
dcmeigs 1
I’m having a hard time believing properly fared windows contribute enough drag to offset the weight penalty of hundreds of displays. How about removing half the windows and let the passengers that want one have one.
Roger Peck 0
Great idea. A provided image array is better than the limited view out the window. Especially in first class: the variety of activities for the passenger really doesn't require a window to see out.
I'm probably one of the few, though.
Alan Hume -1
The cabin staff already control when you can and cannot have the window blind up, and more often than not they require them down so that sleep patterns are not disturbed by sunlight, so what's the difference here?
Thomas Grow -1
Another Isaac Asimov prediction about to be fulfilled. Look it up...
Leon Kay -1
Great idea. Now all the passengers can view images, not only those with window seats.


Don't have an account? Register now (free) for customized features, flight alerts, and more!
Did you know that FlightAware flight tracking is supported by advertising?
You can help us keep FlightAware free by allowing ads from We work hard to keep our advertising relevant and unobtrusive to create a great experience. It's quick and easy to whitelist ads on FlightAware or please consider our premium accounts.