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Flight Cam for airline passengers
Here's an idea which may be of interest to airlines and aircraft designers. You know how when you're a passenger on an aeroplane it's nice to be able to look out of the window and see the amazing views you get flying in the sky, but you don't always get this because you're not always lucky enough to get a window seat? Well, how about having a forward facing camera connected up to one of the channels on the in-flight entertainment system on the headrest seat passenger screens?
This would mean that passengers on the plane would be able to see the best view out of the plane, the front-facing view, like that seen by the pilots! Technically, aircraft builders have put a lot of work into providing a view screen for each passenger (available on many aircraft), for showing various movies, and the extra hardware required for adding this extra channel of live videofeed would be a relatively small aeronautical investment. Cameras can be quite small these days, even for high resolution, and the apparatus could be flush-mounted to fit perfectly the aerodynamic shape of the aircraft.
There are plenty of channels of inflight entertainment, and there's always some to spare. I quite like to see the data (altitude, ground speed, latitude/longitude, outside temperature, etc) myself, but it's not everyone's cup'o'tea.
If flight cams are available at the right price and provide good value-for-money as I suspect they do, it may be practical to have one facing forward, and several others facing in other directions, for example a rear-view camera (excellent for take-off and also showing vapour trails in flight), a left/right view as per a good window seat, and a downward facing camera set at a good zoom so we can spot objects of interest under the flight path going past.
Watching CCTV has never been so much fun!
In comparison with different modes of transport, flying has the definite advantage when it comes to the quality of view of scenery. This in flight camera idea helps to make the most of this advantage.
The idea may also be practical even on railway trains where the luxury travel extends to having a rail equivalent of in-flight entertainment on passenger screens. The view out of the front (or back) of a train can be quite spectacular, and passengers have seldom got a chance to see it, except on the Docklands Light Railway and a few other exceptions.
Whether airlines and aircraft manufacturers will take up this idea is a thing we will see as time goes on. You can see it published at Zyra's website www.Zyra.org.uk . In the meantime, if you want a window seat on a plane, you should ask your travel company at the time you book your flight!