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Aircraft Windows and Windshields Their Construction and Use

On a standard passenger aircraft, the windows and windshields are designed to withstand a great amount of force throughout a flight while retaining high integrity. As compared to standard glass pane windows that serve many buildings and automobiles, the materials that are used for the construction of aircraft windows consist of various special polymers and plastics to provide high strength. Furthermore, multiple layers of protection may also be present to ensure complete safety.

As stated beforehand, the materials used to construct aircraft windows are not the types of glass that are often seen in other applications. This is due to the fact that glass cannot meet the extreme pressure requirements needed for high altitude flight, and thus would shatter or be damaged very quickly. Instead, a very durable and stretched acrylic is used in layers to provide ample protection to pilots and crew members.

When assembling the windows of the aircraft, several layers are implemented in order to provide a means of protection from the outside temperature and pressure. As the most inner pane, the scratch pane sits on the side of the passenger and ensures that they cannot scratch window surfaces. As a more protective addition to the assembly, the scratch pane does not serve any structural use outside of deterring passenger damage. Behind the scratch pane is the inner pane, that of which contains a small hole located at its bottom center. As the last layer of the window assembly, an outer plane separates the atmosphere from the middle window.

While the little hole present on the middle pane may seem detrimental to the assembly, it is actually extremely important for safety. As aircraft ascend to higher elevations, the amount of pressure exerting on the aircraft lessens. With pressure always maintained at around 6,000 feet internally for the comfort of passengers, a higher amount of pressure is stored inside which seeks to escape through the fuselage and windows. By having a small hole placed at each window, a small amount of pressure can escape to the pocket between panes to equalize pressure. As this process is slow, it can ensure that the load of pressure is taken off of the aircraft very gradually.

As compared to the windows present in the fuselage, the aircraft windshield is constructed from a glass-faced acrylic placed in layers with urethane between. With a thickness of one to three inches, the aircraft windshield ensures the protection of pilots while providing them with sight. As the aircraft may be piloted through diverse weather patterns and temperatures, anti-fog systems and anti-ice systems are implemented to maintain clear vision as much as possible.

To mitigate the collection of moisture and prevent freezing, many aircraft windshields are provided with a coating of indium tin oxide. As a conductive material that can transfer heat, such oils are used to keep pilot vision as clear as possible during colder and icy conditions. Additionally, windshield wiper arms and motors can work together to wipe away moisture as it collects on the windshield due to rainy weather or mist.

As bird strikes are always a possibility that pilots may face, aircraft windshields are specifically designed to withstand such penetration at the speeds they normally travel at. As such, an aircraft windshield may be able to take on a strike from a four-pound object at 340 knots while maintaining structural integrity. Serving as a requirement by United States federal regulations, such strength requirements ensure the safety of the pilot and all aboard the aircraft during each flight operation.

With robust aircraft window and windshield assemblies, flights can be conducted safely and with ease. At NSN Gamut, we can help you secure competitive pricing on windshield fasteners, beading windshield parts, windshield wiper arms, window parts, and much more. As a leader among aerospace part distributors, we ensure that each and every item has been sourced from top global manufacturers that we trust. Additionally, all items are thoroughly tested for quality assurance and ship alongside their qualifying certifications or manufacturing trace documents. If you find particular items from our inventory that you wish to procure, we invite you to begin the process today by filling out and submitting an Instant RFQ form as provided through our website. Once received, a member of our staff will reach out to you in 15 minutes or less with a personalized quote based on your individual needs.


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