**Update: 16/01/19 @ 22:14 UTC – A Boeing representative shared further details about the dimming technology; details below.**
Boeing is set to offer electronically dimmable windows (EDWs) on its upcoming 777X aircraft. This follows the plane manufacturer’s implementation of similar panels on its 787 Dreamliners.
Printed Electronics World reports that these electrochromic-based windows will be supplied by Gentex Corporation. This firm supplies EDWs for aerospace companies and it will now be offering its products as optional content for the 777X.
Why electrochromic technology?
This innovation is often referred to as smart glass for the way that it tints when light, voltage or heat hits it. The glass can switch between translucent and transparent depending on the environment around it
This is particularly useful on aircraft for the way sunlight can overwhelmingly shine through the windows of them while in the air. The change in tint can help counter the glare of the sun. Meanwhile, it will also help reduce passenger dependence on air conditioning.
EDWs can also be manually darkened or lightened by passengers to suit their preferences. Fliers have already been benefitting from these type of windows on 787 Dreamliners. Now, Boeing could be taking this technology further with the 777X.
The EDWs made by Gentex feature high-speed transition between clear and dark. Additionally, it will hold a new ultra-dark low-end transmission. There will also be a thin-film coating, which will help block harmful UV and IR rays. It will also reduce maintenance costs compared with standard window shades on aircraft.
It turns out, the sun is very bright! That’s why our latest version of dimmable aircraft windows darken to block 99.999% of visible light! #NBAA19 #dimmablewindows #aerospace #gentex pic.twitter.com/8yDyefYC63
— Gentex Corporation (@GentexCorp) 23 October 2019
Gentex president and chief executive officer Steve Downing spoke of how his company is aligning with Boeing to implement these cleverly-crafted windows.
“We’re proud to be a continued partner with Boeing as we look to expand and improve our dimmable glass product offerings,” Downing said as reported by Printed Electronics World.
“With careful design and collaboration with Boeing, our teams have developed a robust EDW system that easily integrates to the airframe for optimal control, aesthetics, performance, and reliability,”
Testing soon to begin
The 777X has been in production since 2017 and airlines are preparing to receive their first units. Lufthansa recently showed off its upcoming delivery, which it will receive this year as part of the Boeing 777X testing.
Altogether, the aircraft type is set to be a sleek model, especially if it will hold innovations such as these windows. We can expect to see the 777X to operate flights from next year.
Simple Flying reached out to Boeing for comment on the implementation of these dimmable windows. A spokesperson shared how his company is combining the best of its innovations for this project.
“The new 777X incorporates the best of the passenger preferred 777 and 787 Dreamliner families with new advances to deliver the flight experience of the future,” the spokesperson said.
“Just like the 787 Dreamliner, the 777X offers a more comfortable cabin altitude and humidity, a quieter cabin and soothing next-generation LED lighting.
“Windows on the 777X, with available dimming, are 30 percent larger and placed higher for more natural light and a view from every seat.”
What are your thoughts on this move? Let us know what you think in the comment section.