When it comes to deciding whether you want to see out of your window on an aircraft, there are several different forms of technology that allow this. In addition to the traditional manual sliding window blinds that we are all used to, certain aircraft like the Boeing 787 feature dimmable windows. However, the focus of this article will be some of the cabins in which passengers can move their window blinds up and down at the touch of a button.
One aircraft whereby several different operators have fitted the plane with motorized window blinds is the Airbus A380. First class passengers on the superjumbo have the means to control the shades via a button when traveling with both Emirates and Qantas.
As you can see in the video above, the control panel for the motorized blind on Emirates is particularly ornate. According to SeatGuru, the examples of the A380 that have this premium cabin feature 14 first class suites. Simple Flying had the chance to tour one at the Dubai Airshow, and you can see the suite and its windows in the photograph below.
Meanwhile, Airframer reports that, in August 2008, Qantas became the first airline to use ATG’s Electric Window Shades in its first class cabin. The airline’s A380s also have 14 first class suites, and Airframer notes that these are served by 22 windows. The lucky passengers can control the shades via buttons both on their seats and on a sidewall panel.
As it happens, the A380 isn’t the only Airbus widebody jet that certain airlines have fitted with motorized window blinds. Indeed, you can also find these electro-mechanical shades on the European manufacturer’s A350, the factory for which Simple Flying recently had the chance to visit. You can see the A350’s motorized blinds in action in the video below.
Qatar Airways is one airline whose A350s feature such technology. Like Emirates’ and Qantas’ A380s, these are a feature of Qatar Airways’ premium cabins on the A350, namely business class and the famous QSuites. However, these may become something of a rarity, as Airbus plans for future A350 deliveries to have dimmable windows like the Boeing 787.
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Moving away from Airbus designs, you can also find motorized window blinds on certain Boeing aircraft. The US manufacturer’s 777 family is flown by several airlines that have chosen to use such technology. British Airways is one example, and you can see the blinds in action in the video below. Interestingly, one blind covers multiple first class windows.
Elsewhere in Europe, SWISS also offers this technology to passengers on its Boeing 777-300ER. The carrier’s promotional material for the aircraft explains that SWISS First features “electro-mechanical window shades, servicing all three windows of the seat area at the same time.” There are just eight first class suites on each of SWISS’s 12 Boeing 777-300ERs.
How many of these cabins have you traveled in? Do you have a particular favorite? Let us know your thoughts and experiences in the comments!