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Airbus new patents take windows away from pilots

CINCINNATI (Derek Drake) -- Say goodbye to conventional cockpits in airplanes, and say hello to the flight deck of the Starship Enterprise... That is if Airbus follows through on some recent patents they've filed.

According to the recent patent filings for Airbus' cockpit-less aircraft, the large, sweeping windows in the front of aircraft are a real drag, aerodynamically speaking. These windows also require significant reinforcement for high altitude flying which adds to the weight of the aircraft.

But aside from aerodynamics and aircraft weight, it could add more space for passengers, especially those of the "first class" variety, who pay more for prime, front-cabin real estate.

Airbus 1

So what does Airbus suggest instead of the conventional, windowed cockpit? Their patent filings indicate the use of electronic view screens showing a feed of either onboard cameras or data-populated 3D renderings that would "immerse the pilot in a three-dimensional universe."

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The patents offer up two different ideas of where the pilots would sit, one keeping them in the nose of the plane, while another puts them above the fuselage in the vertical stabilizer (or vertical tail).

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Of course all of this relies on the cameras/computers remaining online. But with autopilot playing a major role in flying these days, one could hope there would be enough fallbacks in place in case a camera outage were to occur.

Airbus 4

It is important to note that this information and images are only patents, and very well could never come to fruition.

But the question remains... How would you, as a passenger, feel, knowing the pilot has no window to the outside? Do you trust technology enough!? Join the conversation on our Facebook page now!


H/T: Gizmodo

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