Aviation

Qantas banishes the window shutter

Hannah Edensor

Hannah Edensor

Whether you prefer your window shutters up or down, you’re almost certain to find yourself next to someone who prefers the opposite on any given flight, and then no one’s happy.

But thankfully for Qantas passengers, this will soon be a thing of the past once their newly ordered Dreamliners land at HQ.

Qantas has ordered eight new 787-9 Dreamliners, which will begin flying in December this year, and the windows in these planes will come sans shutters. So what’s replacing them?

“They’re electronically dimmable windows,” said Rachelle N. Ornan-Stone, a design researcher at The Boeing Company, per News Limited reports.

“There are five levels of darkness and at the darkest you can sleep very comfortably but you’re still able to look outside.”

The window darkness levels are controlled with a button that sits just underneath the window, and controls how much light comes into the cabin, but thankfully, the window seat passenger is not the only person controlling these windows.

“With one press of the button in the cabin control centre at the front, the flight attendants can control every window,” Dr Ornan-Stone added.

“It’s really important that everybody has the opportunity to have an uninterrupted sleep and not to have to worry about someone who wants to peek outside and fill the cabin with light. We wanted to make sure that sleep is guaranteed and that flight attendant’s have control.”

In addition to the snazzy new window features, the size is also changing, becoming larger and more accessible by passengers in any row.

“They are 25 per cent larger than our competitors,” Dr Ornan-Stone said, per News Limited.

“The windows are the first thing you’ll notice when you walk on board a Qantas plane. They’re not the only the largest and the widest but they’re also the best positioned of any aircraft window flying today and they were designed so that a middle seat passenger can look out the window without having to crane their neck.”

Qantas will operate its new Dreamliners between Melbourne to LAX flights as of December, while in March 2018, the planes will kick off on a Perth to London route.


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