One of the first things that you are bound to notice in a plane be it a Boeing 747 or a jet, is the shape of the windows and the natural light that it lets in; of course, low budget airlines tend to have smaller stuffy windows, but that’s another article altogether. You can choose any aircraft, and you are bound to come across various shaped windows except for right-angled ones. This is not to mean that all windows on any plane prefer to avoid right angles,
As hard as it may be to believe, the windows on the first commercial flight were not rectangular but a perfect square. And it soon led to disastrous results; the honor of hosting the first commercial flight goes to de Havilland DH 106 comet which flew the first commercial airliner sometime in 1949, and the plane in question was outfitted with perfectly square windows.
Even though we know about pressurization now, at that time, they did not and soon find out that as the plane reached a certain altitude, the windows in question developed cracks. And this was not a one-off incident; it took three such incidents between May 1953 and April 1954 before the airlines were grounded and a serious investigation into the same started. It was soon determined that the small cracks in the square windows soon led to a buildup of stress and pressure which later caused the plane to crash.
The square windows came with right angles which led to the buildup of stress and pressure; this had resulted in the accidents. It should be pointed out the early accidents in aviation industry served as a wakeup call to others and
Disaster in the Making
Before the fatal crashes took place, the de Havilland comet with the square windows flew HRH Elizabeth, Princess Margaret, and the queen mother to a special festival, while flying above 30,000 miles. It was just the luck of the draw that the plane did not crash, and soon after this, the airlines introduced new air routes to Rome, Milan, India, Tokyo, Colombo, and other locations. Inevitably, the high pressure and stress started building up around the square windows with the metal surrounding the same coming under intense pressure. This inevitably led to the plane crash, a disaster that could have been prevented had the airlines opted for windows, without the right angles in the windows.
Yes, quite a few air crashes have taken place ever since the comet incidents, but as pointed out earlier, these crashes serve as a textbook case for the entire aviation industry, telling them what not to do.
The Aviation Industry Today
Today, airplanes are faster, much more efficient than before and one of the reasons that the aviation industry was able to streamline their operations is on account of the fact that the whole industry managed to learn more about the flight, as a result of various accidents including the Comet incident. For example, the aviation industry has learned that metal becomes fatigued when exposed to pressurization and depressurization. And when the plane in question comes with the window with sharp right angles, this places severe pressure and strain on the metal parts adjoining the windows.
Yes, while the aviation industry did learn from the comet mishap and the importance of jet windows without right angles, it can still be difficult to strike a balance between aesthetics, passenger safety,
Doing away with right angles does not mean that all the windows are circular
Bombardier has designed their windows beautifully; they are large, elegantly shaped and come with rounded corners instead of sharp right angles. It should also be pointed out that more than a few airlines have started their own research into perfect windows
While the Gulfstream comes with great design and perfect oval-shaped windows, it has certainly managed to grab everyone’s attention with these windows. It should also be pointed out that Gulfstream may even offer passengers larger oval windows with Gulfstream 650.
It seems that airlines would do all they can to help make their flights more attractive by offering windows which tint from external lighting and can offer its passengers better protection from the sun. Honda Jet certainly seems to be marketing its self-tinting windows quite effectively.
Moreover, with these self-tinting windows, there is no need for any shutter or blind and thereby saving money for the airlines in the long run. And then, there are rumors doing the rounds of a
In the meantime, those looking to fly to Los Angeles, New York, and Texas by private jets can book their charter planes
As you can see, Jet windows do come with their own history, and they can certainly make your flight more pleasant. With Mercedes and Lufthansa backing up the idea, It remains to beseen if this idea will be a hit with the public as well. The current shape of the jet windows is long, rectangular and at times oval. But they certainly no longer come with the sharp, right angle, which can make them much attractive.