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73 votes
Accepted

Has any passenger airliner ever offered forward-facing windows?

We could start with the Tupolev ANT-20 with its rather daring forward-facing passenger gallery. [edit - the prime seat right at the front in the gallery was for the navigator and his equipment.] ...
Party Ark's user avatar
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69 votes
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Why do helicopters have windows near the pedals?

These fall into a category known as vertical reference windows. They can be used for many purposes, but essentially, they allow us to gain a better spatial picture of the orientation of our aircraft, ...
Aaron Holmes's user avatar
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56 votes

Can cameras and LCD screens replace cabin windows?

Note that the windows are a safety feature: You need to see outside in case of emergency, e.g. to know which side of the plane is surrounded by flames, or how deep in the water you are. This is ...
yo''s user avatar
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48 votes
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Why are commercial aircraft windows typically oval instead of circular?

It's done mainly for the passengers' viewing benefit in making structural trade offs over total opening area. For a given area, a round window has less "meat" of fuselage structure between ...
John K's user avatar
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38 votes

What's the point of writing on a cockpit window?

If you use a grease pencil, it rubs off easily from glass So you can save paper, not have to look down or hunt for the info, it won't fall on the floor, and if it's written in the center of the ...
rbp's user avatar
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37 votes

Can cameras and LCD screens replace cabin windows?

Problem #1: What gets displayed on the screen? While I'm aware of Emirates' recent 'virtual windows,' there is a big problem with this idea in general: what should actually be displayed there depends ...
reirab's user avatar
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37 votes

Has any passenger airliner ever offered forward-facing windows?

Boeing 747 I'm a little surprised to not already see the Queen of the Skies here. If 'partially forward' counts, the first several windows on each side of the lower deck of the 747 are angled ...
reirab's user avatar
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37 votes

Why don't Airbus planes have perfectly smooth front sections?

It is not about Boeing versus Airbus, but rather about old versus new. Your representative image for Airbus is an A320, whose technological competitor by Boeing is the 777. Juxtaposing the two, we ...
Aditya Sharma's user avatar
34 votes
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Can cameras and LCD screens replace cabin windows?

Emirates Airlines have recently launched their new First Class with a similar concept. It is only available in First Class and I doubt it has much to do with the structural implications as of now, ...
mbglobetrotter's user avatar
34 votes

Has any passenger airliner ever offered forward-facing windows?

That would definitely be an appealing feature for passengers but the airframe of the A380 at its forehead is too curved to be able to fit a viewing area for passengers. Furthermore, the design and ...
Murey Tasroc's user avatar
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32 votes
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Why do flight attendants on the 787 lock the dimmable windows at different phases of the flight?

On long-haul flights, most passengers will want to sleep, often including when the aircraft is flying through daylight. It's especially common on East-West long-haul flights for lots of people to want ...
reirab's user avatar
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30 votes
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What is this yellow section around the cockpit window?

You're right. The aft no. 3 fixed window has a reusable retainer with 2 rows of fasteners- one for holding the window glass and another for attaching to the fuselage, as can be seen in this PPG ...
aeroalias's user avatar
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30 votes

Passenger window insert pops out mid-flight

Copied from https://thepointsguy.com/news/what-are-airplane-windows-made-of/: A cabin window consists of three panes: 1) an outer pane flush with the outside fuselage, 2) an inner pane — which has a ...
Eugene Styer's user avatar
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28 votes
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Why does the Boeing 787 have fewer cockpit windows?

It is because of the carbon fibre. This is the same reason that the 787 has bigger passenger windows. Here you can find a link explaining the polarized windows on the 787. Because of its higher ...
AirbusLover's user avatar
28 votes
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Why is a 737 Original speed-restricted below 10 kft with inoperative windscreen heating?

To reduce damage in case of a bird strike. The restriction is not only for the 737-100 and -200 models, the 737 NG QRH says: WINDOW HEAT OFF In flight: WINDOWS HEAT switch (affected window) ..... OFF ...
Bianfable's user avatar
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27 votes

Electrically heated windshields are mostly transparent, but their colors vary from light blue, yellow or light pink. Please explain

The heating element in cockpit windows is typically a thin film comprised of a transparent conducting oxide - indium tin oxide is common. In thin layers, it is transparent to the visible light ...
Aaron Holmes's user avatar
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27 votes
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Why were square windows a problem for the Comet, but not for the Super Constellation?

Image source The difference was in the cruise altitude of the two aeroplanes. The Super Connie was powered by piston engines and had a service ceiling of 25,700 ft, usually cruising at about 20,000ft ...
Koyovis's user avatar
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26 votes

Why are commercial aircraft windows typically oval instead of circular?

Speaking in ship terms (from which airplane structure has evolved), modern passenger airliners use longitudinal framing, which relies on a lot of small tightly spaced longitudinal members (stringers) ...
Therac's user avatar
  • 27.4k
25 votes

Has any passenger airliner ever offered forward-facing windows?

Another two examples from the Farman Aviation Works, purveyors of the world's ugliest aircraft. Unlike the ANT-20 (the gallery primarily for the navigator), the Caproni (never operational) and the ...
Party Ark's user avatar
  • 13.2k
23 votes

Why do helicopters have windows near the pedals?

I assume because being able to see straight down helps in an aircraft capable of vertical movement and landing, especially when flaring. That would suck to only be able to see up when you're moving ...
DKNguyen's user avatar
  • 644
22 votes

Why don't Airbus planes have perfectly smooth front sections?

The pinched-nose airplane has its (flat) frontmost windshield panels almost touching and raked back, which forces the vertical crease. The corresponding panels on the other airplane are farther apart, ...
Camille Goudeseune's user avatar
20 votes
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Why are several of the Tu-104’s cabin windows oddly positioned?

I found a cutaway diagram of the Tu-104B. It appears that, at least on this model, some of the seats in the middle were raised a bit to perhaps accommodate some engine parts (there appears to be a ...
Greg Hewgill's user avatar
  • 9,152
18 votes

Why does the Boeing 787 have fewer cockpit windows?

The rules on visibility from the cockpit have been updated. There are rules and regulations imposed on the view from the cockpit, for very good reasons - collision avoidance for instance. During ...
Koyovis's user avatar
  • 61.8k
18 votes

Why were square windows a problem for the Comet, but not for the Super Constellation?

There is a huge misconception here. The problem was NOT window shape in itself. It was errors in the calculations that determined the material and fastener requirements for the window frames and ...
John K's user avatar
  • 132k
16 votes

Why do flight attendants on the 787 lock the dimmable windows at different phases of the flight?

For takeoff and landing, @bianfable pointed out the answer. For longer flights across timezones, they set them to dark in order to not disturb passengers who would like to sleep. And yes, I ...
rbanffy's user avatar
  • 391
15 votes

Why did the design of the Boeing 247's cockpit windows change for some models?

From the Boeing 247 article (emphasis mine): The cockpit windshield of the first 247s was angled forward, instead of the conventional aft sweep. This was the design solution (similar to that adopted ...
Greg Hewgill's user avatar
  • 9,152
13 votes
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How frequently are airplane windows cleaned?

I clean them whenever they are dirty to the point of affecting ability to see traffic or cause distractions. Bugs, dust, and dirt can make it very difficult to spot traffic, birds, and obstructions, ...
Pugz's user avatar
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