In recent years, airplane windows have become a point of interest. Tragedies like in early 2018, when a Sichuan Airlines A319 cockpit window blew out at 30,000 feet, or when a Southwest 737 a window was struck by a piece of shrapnel and killed a passenger who was partly sucked out the window have caught public attention.
These events have raised many questions on the safety of aircraft windows parts and how changes can be made to improve it.
Airplanes and submarines are similar in structure, both are designed to withstand high pressure in otherwise inhospitable environments. Not only do airplanes have to maintain safety with harsh conditions at high altitudes, but there are obstacles they must consider as well, such as birds and other debris. Aircraft windows have strict guidelines that make them operational on the aircraft. This can be found on the FAA’s AC (advisory Circular) 25.775-1.
In short, this requirement puts the windows through stringent stress tests that would mimic the use on an aircraft 30,000 feet in the sky. These are vital to the confidence of the aircraft performing the way its intended and include bird tests, pressure tests, temperature tests, and chemical resistance. Bird strike tests are done with 4-pound bird and is travelling anywhere from 250-350 knots.
One of the world’s largest airplane window distributor is PPG. They developed a transparent material called the Opticore Advanced Transparency Material. This material is significantly stronger than prior window materials. It famously has the properties to withstand cracks and breaks at unbelievable levels. This amazing product can be shaped into many different applications and thicknesses and can be used in any need where transparency is needed in an aircraft.
Aircraft windows in the passenger section have two windows. The second acting as a backup. Many factors go into the safety and fastening of windows. In 1990 flight safety Australia said that the cause of a window blowout in the cockpit was due to unauthorized aircraft fasteners parts that were used to hold the window in place. Accidents like this and the ones from 2018 are terrifying, but the truth is that they’re so uncommon and rare that when they do happen, they’re immediately sensationalized.
For all of your aircraft window needs, visit ASAP Sourcing Solutions, owned and operated by ASAP Semiconductor, at www.asap-sourcingsolutions.com. ASAP will provide you with operational windows and other aircraft components fast, easy, and for a competitive price.