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Airbus’ Windowless Cockpit that Will Show More

Airbus’ Windowless Cockpit that Will Show More

Windowless aircraft

The Windowless Aircraft

On the horizon is news about planes with windowless fuselages, and that is something that seems out of the ordinary, but still a digestible idea. So when you hear of planes that have windowless cockpits, you are bound to do a double take. Just imagine seeking a neat row of planes at the airport, all just made of glistening aluminum, from nose to tail. (With no windows at all.)

Challenging Convention

Pilots navigate an aircraft with a viewing screen

Regardless of the myriad thoughts of safety and quality control that must be whirling through your head, Airbus is of the opinion that this will be the face of the airlines in the years to come. In a new United States patent application, the European Union aircraft consortium has outlined its new cockpit design which will replace the conventional cockpit. This new design incorporates 3-Dimensional view screen instead of the standard windows that all aircraft use.
The cockpits were, of course, traditionally designed to be on the nose of an airplane to provide pilots with a very clear forward & downward view while taxiing and landing. All of this is useful, but, unfortunately, it wrecks the aerodynamics of the nose of the aircraft. Ideally, in order to perform at optimum aerodynamic levels, it should be lancet-shaped.

Windows- A Hindrance?

IXION windowless jet concept

As we have progressed into the future, the demand for travelling has increased immensely, forcing the aircraft manufacturers to build bigger and better designed aircraft to accommodate the needs of the travelers. And the nose of the aircraft keeps growing bigger and bigger to accommodate a crew rest area, the front landing gear and a larger radome which is the cover over the nose holding the radar antenna. Another key problem is that windows are not particularly the favorite features for aerospace engineers while they are designing these massive aircraft. Of course, passengers want to look out at the bank of clouds when the plane is in the air, and pilots need to have them to ensure that they don’t bang into any objects.

Cockpit relocated into the nose

But as far as the aircraft engineers opinions, they believe that the windows were nothing but a hindrance and an unnecessary feature in the fuselage that should be a perfect solid cylinder. The Comet airliner crashes that took place in the 1950’s was due to poor window-design, which were found to be a vulnerable point in the fuselage. Now, the latest patent that Airbus has filed shows a cockpit sans windows or one that has windows that provide only a partial view of what’s outside.

A Matter of Conditioning

Providing the required views is a display transmitted by lasers, back projection, OLED imaging systems and holograms – all of which receive inputs from cameras that installed outside the aircraft fuselage. These aircraft will also have an augmented reality that will be utilized to highlight navigation beacons, hazards, weather conditions and weather data.

Just My Opinion

At the moment, all of this and the concept of a windowless cockpit might seem truly crazy, but technology has a way of growing on people and Airbus might just be able to get people to accept this over time.

IXION Windowless Jet Concept

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