Also referred to as a “bleed” or “breather hole”, those tiny holes at the bottom of the airplane windows parts actually have a purpose. Airplane windows are thicker and stronger than they may appear, and for a good reason.
In order to keep airplane cabins windows relatively comfortable, a pressurized atmosphere allows for proper breathing and comfortable temperature. What makes this possible while still being able to watch the skies around you is a three-layered window, made to equalize the low pressure outside and the high pressure inside.
Each layer of the window has a specific function to make the system work. The outside window, on the exterior of the plane, is 12mm thick. It serves as a protective layer to keep the outside air out, being the most structurally sound layer. The middle layer is 6mm thick and contains the bleed hole. This hole ensures balance between the high-pressure cabin and low-pressure atmosphere outside. The innermost layer, on the interior of the plane, is 4mm thick, and acts as the insulated barrier. Also known as the scratch pane, is a protective layer to prevent the passengers from feeling the cold temperature outside while the plane is at cruising altitudes.
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