Window on the World – What Makes Aeroplane Windows so Special?
When you are off on your long awaited and much deserved holidays to sunnier climes, have you ever wondered what the little holes are in aeroplane windows? Or what they have to be made of in the first place to cope with the speed and the altitude? After all, they are not like the windows in your average house – double glazing Gloucester company https://www.firmfix.co.uk/ are great at putting windows into your home, but aeroplane windows are a completely different thing. Read on to find out more about what it is that keeps the very thin air high above the Earth separate from you as you are sitting in the aeroplane…
Many people wonder what the holes are in the aeroplane windows. If you have never noticed them before, have a look next time you are off abroad – they are tiny (about 2mm in size), and the reason they are there is very important. They stop the cabin from depressurising. As the plane climbs, the air pressure outside becomes much lower, due to being much higher up. As the difference in the pressure inside of the cabin compared to that outside gets larger the higher the plane goes, it puts a lot of physical stress on the windows. The windows are made up of there panes of very tough glass, and the hole is in the middle pane. The hole helps to stabilise the different air pressures, taking the stress off the windows. It also releases moisture from the gap to stop the windows from going foggy.
The reason for the windows being made of three panes of glass, is that in the unlikely event that the outer one was to shatter, the middle pane would easily be able to safely take the place of the outer window and keep the people inside the plane safe. Do you know the other safety design which is in place to keep the windows from shattering? The shape of the windows themselves. In the 1950’s engineers realised that the planes with square windows were much more likely to fall apart (and some did!) because the corners of the windows were much weaker points which made the windows much more prone to breaking – so the solution was to make the windows round resulting in no weak points in the windows at all! For some more detailed examples of how air accidents have changed plane designs, have a look here.
That will give you something to think about when you are off on your holidays – and will go a long way to help nervous flyers feel a lot better about aeroplane safety!