​Blue sky thinking – designers sought to create windowless aeroplanes

Engineering group the Centre for Process Innovation is looking to work with designers and the aerospace industry to realise windowless planes, which project the outside view onto the inside of a fuselage lined with flexible screens.

The commercial emphasis for the project is that less windows mean less weight, which in turn means less fuel, and potentially cheaper tickets.

Having windows on a plane means that the fuselage needs to be strengthened to support the, but having walls lined with flexible screens means there would be no need for this. The CPI finds that every 1 per cent weight reduction can lead to a fuel saving of 0.75 per cent.

The CPI says that passengers could be shown any view they wanted and that the screens would be made of organic light emitting diodes, which give out their own light when activated by electricity.

Currently such screens are found in mobile phones and televisions and are encased in flexible glass to protect them from moisture.

CPI is looking to make flexible screens featuring flexible OLEDs and is looking for design partners to take the idea forward.

The CPI is part of the High Value Manufacturing Catapult umbrella group, meaning it is one of several companies to receive government funding to drive manufacturing growth.

This in part means identifying industry challenges and finding ways to overcome them by engaging the design community. 

A spokeswoman for CPI says: “The windowless fuselage is a call to action in many ways to try and bring together designers, engineers and the key players in the aviation industry to make the concept a real possibility. The flight cabin of the future will happen but CPI will need to work with others to fully realise its potential.”

For more information about the project visit www.uk-cpi.com.

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