Electronically-dimmable windows on offer for Boeing 777X
If you're tired of sliding the shades up and down on airplane windows, then you might want to fly on a Boeing 777X. This week, it was announced that some of the aircraft will forgo the shades for electronically-dimmable windows (EDWs).
Made by the Michigan-based Gentex Corporation, the windows incorporate a proprietary electrochromic gel that's sandwiched between two thin glass panels. When a low-voltage current is applied to that gel via a conductive coating on the glass, it responds by darkening. Once the current is removed, however, the gel returns to its default transparent state.
It's possible to remotely control all of a plane's windows from the cockpit, or they can be manually operated by individual passengers.
These latest EDWs are said to be a big improvement on Gentex's previous models, as they darken twice as fast, plus they get 100 times darker – at their maximum setting, they block 99.999 percent of visible light coming from outside. Thanks to a thin-film coating, they also block infrared and ultraviolet light, keeping passengers cool and free of harmful UV rays.
The windows will be offered to client airlines as an optional extra, so don't expect to see them on all 777X aircraft. They're currently being showcased at CES, in Las Vegas.
And as a side note, BAE Systems' IntelliCabin package also includes dimmable windows.