How The Magical Windows in Boeing's 787 Dreamliner Work

Illustration for article titled How The Magical Windows in Boeing's 787 Dreamliner Work

Boeing's new 787 Dreamliner has the best airplane windows ever. It ditches that small window with a pull-down plastic shade and replaces it with a larger, dimming window that can be adjusted to let in various amounts of light.


The windows are a dreamy 19 inches tall and 65% larger than the standard airplane windows so you'll get to see a lot more of your surroundings. And did I mention they dim?

The dimming effect is the result of an electrified gel sandwiched between two thin pieces of glass. As the electric current increases, the gel darkens and as it drops, the gel lightens. The system is brilliant in its simplicity.

Each passenger in the coveted window seat will have control over their window. They're also networked together so flight personnel can control the windows, too. Attendants can adjust each window, adjust windows in an entire section of the plane or adjust them for the entire plane.

These new dimming windows are just the beginning for Boeing and its research partners PPG Aerospace and Gentex Corporation. The trio hopes to add other features to the windows like automation that would brighten your portal during take off and dim it at night. [Boeing]

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Window seats are coveted by masochists who love the exquisite pain that you can only get by jamming yourself next to a curved wall that leaves no room for your lower extremities. I'm getting excited just thinking about it.