The newest planes like the 787 or A350 have a different kind of cockpit windshields: enter image description here

Picture source

The A350 has "black" windshields: enter image description here Source

Does anybody know why are the windshields different?

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    $\begingroup$ Because they are coated to reflect nothing but infrared? From the inside they are transparent. $\endgroup$
    – mins
    Commented Apr 10, 2016 at 18:50
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    $\begingroup$ The pilots union has been demanding an "equipment allowance" for its members to pay for "personal equipment necessary to the profession", which turns out to be rather expensive but really cool looking sunglasses. This was cheaper. $\endgroup$ Commented Apr 11, 2016 at 0:43
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    $\begingroup$ On that 787 in the photo they actually look gold. Which makes me think of the gold windows on stealth aircraft as described in this answer but those are for radar reflection. $\endgroup$
    – TomMcW
    Commented Apr 11, 2016 at 1:01
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    $\begingroup$ Pretty much all glass can look black, if it's brighter outside than in, and the angle's right. $\endgroup$
    – jamesqf
    Commented Apr 11, 2016 at 5:22

2 Answers 2


The gold tint on the 787 window is a conductive coating for de-icing.

Dreamliner jet flight-deck crews will view the world through commercial aviation's largest windshields by PPG, kept clear of fog and ice with gold and indium-tin oxide heating systems. source

The A350 also has a windshield anti-ice system. It is referred to in this answer. One thing both aircraft have in common is that they use curved windshields. I'm not sure if that adds to the black look. But what does add to the black sunglasses look is that the window frames are painted black.

A350 windscreen Source

Btw: There's a thread on Airliners.net where most of them seem to despise the black window frames.

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    $\begingroup$ When did Zorro become an A350? $\endgroup$
    – Vikki
    Commented Jun 15, 2018 at 21:40

The only reference regarding A350 I could find is:

The A350 XWB is the first aircraft to "wear sunglasses," referring to this jetliner’s distinctive cockpit windows.

Although from the inside, the view appears to be normal. It could probably be adjustable because on this article, you can see normal transparent windows from outside.


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