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The ultimate question, window or aisle, may soon be irrelevant for those traveling on Emirates. The Dubai-based airline was the first to introduce virtual windows on its aircraft, but the feature was reserved for its incredible new first-class suite. Now, Emirates President Sir Tim Clark is considering installing the virtual windows on every aircraft, eliminating passenger windows all together.
“The quality of the imagery is so good, it’s better than with the natural eye,” Clark told the BBC.
The virtual windows are installed onboard Emirates’ Boeing 777-300ER in its new first-class suites situated in the middle of the aircraft. They’re the same size and shape of normal windows and use a high resolution camera and screen that makes the view near-real. TPG‘s Zach Honig said he found the windows to “offer even greater clarity” than actual windows.
Clark wants Emirates’ aircraft to drop windows for safety and monetary reasons.
“Now you have one fuselage which has no structural weaknesses because of windows,” he said. “The aircraft are lighter, the aircraft could fly faster, they’ll burn far less fuel and fly higher.”
Although an aviation safety expert Professor Graham Braithwaite of Cranfield University said that a lack of windows could cause serious issues safety issues especially in the event of an emergency evacuation.
“Flight attendants would need to check outside the aircraft in an emergency, for example for fire, before opening a door and commencing an evacuation – and anything that needed power to do this may not be easy to get certified by an aviation safety regulator,” he added.
Windows can cause safety issues too, considering a woman was recently killed after nearly being sucked out of a window on a Southwest flight. Claustrophobia, and the fact that passengers are just plain used to regular windows, might mean airlines stray away from the cause.
H/T: the BBC
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