The title says it all.

On the 747, the cockpit is in the upper level and in the lower there's equipment (radar, avionics, etc.)

But on the A380, the cockpit is in the lower floor and there's no equipment in the upper floor. So I think it could be technically possible to place some front windows in order to get a pilot-like view.

I guess that would reduce the aerodynamic efficience of the aircraft, but maybe it could be compensated by higher prices on those exclusive view seats?

Has any aircraft like that ever existed or designed?

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    $\begingroup$ No doubt someone would buy it and just close the window shade... $\endgroup$
    – Ben
    Commented Oct 8, 2018 at 21:22
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    $\begingroup$ People would be freaking out all day watching aircraft on the same airway pass above and below only 1000 ft away, on precisely the same line thanks to GPS. When they are some way out, it looks like they are coming right at you. $\endgroup$
    – John K
    Commented Oct 8, 2018 at 23:16
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    $\begingroup$ @BruceWayne Minimium vertical separation 1000 feet, I would think so. I have seen planes cross the flight path of planes I have been on by not much more than that much, although the less parallel the paths are the less likely for a direct intercept. $\endgroup$
    – Michael
    Commented Oct 9, 2018 at 16:47
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    $\begingroup$ @BruceWayne yes that's what RVSM, Reduced Vertical Separation Minima, is about. Vertical separation of opposing tracks was reduced from 2000 to 1000 ft in RVSM airspace. Because GPS navigation places everybody exactly on the airway center line, there no random left/right distribution of tracks and opposing planes go straight over or straight under. $\endgroup$
    – John K
    Commented Oct 9, 2018 at 18:30
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    $\begingroup$ Certification requirements require that there be an exit path both in front of and behind a passenger seat, so any seats with a view cannot be occupied during takeoff and landing. (The Boeing 747 does not meet this safety requirement because it is grandfathered in.) This is why the areas in front of the forward stairwell are used as a lavatory or lounge. $\endgroup$
    – user71659
    Commented Oct 10, 2018 at 1:56

1 Answer 1


enter image description here

You'll need to zoom above 100% to read the legend, but up there it's not empty. There's the crew rest area (5), where the pilots rest for example, and it is easily accessible from the cockpit (see below for how it interacts with the upper deck).

There is also an electronics bay (29), and toilets (12).

Note that the cockpit is not on the main deck, it's between the main and upper decks, the mezzanine if you will.

Design-wise, the forehead is very sloped for aerodynamics, so to offer a forward-facing window view (if the area was empty), there will be an enormous unused legroom (for head clearance). The view also wouldn't allow seeing a big distance ahead and below, so it will be more like a skylight window, especially that airliners typically cruise with the nose pointing above the horizon. And with the area clear of walls and supporting structures, the plane will gain weight to strengthen the shell in that area.

For the secondary question see, 'Has any passenger airliner ever offered forward-facing windows?'

enter image description here

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    $\begingroup$ During the assembly line construction project an engineer said to me that they can do much more with the needed extra weight (windows plus aluminium structures) in other places that it is not worth it giving the passengers a view to the same clouds they could see it of the side windows $\endgroup$
    – PlasmaHH
    Commented Oct 9, 2018 at 6:45
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    $\begingroup$ The FCRC is not on the top floor on that diagram. It is directly behind the cockpit. On the top floor is 28, the "upper deck break-out zone". $\endgroup$
    – JdeBP
    Commented Oct 9, 2018 at 18:16

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