Kjet12 From United States of America, joined Mar 2001, 976 posts, RR: 7 Posted (11 years 6 months 4 weeks 7 hours ago) and read 6115 times:
I was wondering after looking at some cabin photos, why airlines don't put in skylights in the ceiling? Would it cause structural problems to the fuselage? Nowadays, it would be a cost factor, but could it be possible? Thanks for your help!
CitationJet From United States of America, joined Mar 2003, 2528 posts, RR: 3
Reply 1, posted (11 years 6 months 4 weeks 7 hours ago) and read 6065 times:
Sure, it would be possible, but I don't think anyone would look out them very much. The view would not be very exciting. Just blue sky or clouds, and not able to see the ground.
On large aircraft like the 747, the existing ceiling in the passenger cabin is not very close to the top of the aircraft. This is based on seeing inside the shuttle carrier 747 aircraft and seeing how tall the fuselage frames are when their is no interior in the airplane.
Boeing Flown: 701,702,703;717;720;721,722;731,732,733,734,735,737,738,739;741,742,743,744,747SP;752,753;762,763;772,773.
VC-10 From United Kingdom, joined Oct 1999, 3717 posts, RR: 33
Reply 4, posted (11 years 6 months 4 weeks 7 hours ago) and read 6021 times:
Any cut-out in the fuselage is a structural weak point so such a design would be increasing the risk if structural failure. If the designers had their way there would be no windows in the pax cabin of any aircraft.
Ted747 From Australia, joined Jul 2003, 195 posts, RR: 2
Reply 7, posted (11 years 6 months 4 weeks 6 hours ago) and read 5923 times:
A friend of mine crews first class on QF and there is a window in the toilet in the first class cabin on 747-400 - she says many people insist on the window being kept closed - wonder why at 39,000 FT ?? My wife recently flew 1st on BA from SIN - LHR must check is they had a window in 1st class??!!
Flybynight From Norway, joined Jul 2003, 1036 posts, RR: 2
Reply 8, posted (11 years 6 months 4 weeks 5 hours ago) and read 5873 times:
I think problems along the lines of the original Comet could become an issue with too many windows.
It's sort like body flex in a convertible. Drive, say, a convertible Mustang and then drive a hard top. You'll notice a lot more flex in the convertible. Also, due to the flex, convertible have more weight added to reinforce the lost structure. Same would probably hold true in planes.
But, it sure would be cool to look and maybe see a plane flying by.
DFWCapt From United States of America, joined Aug 2003, 33 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (11 years 6 months 4 weeks 5 hours ago) and read 5829 times:
You're right about the Comet I. Too many windows too close together...the thing unzipped like a cheap windbreaker.
The story of the Comet disasters and investigation is a fascinating look into the world of aeronautical engineering. I'm not familiar with any particularly good books about it...but I'll look.
By the way, the Jimmy Stewart motion picture "No Highway in the Sky" is loosely based on the Comet. It's the story of a fictitious revolutionary British airliner, the "Reindeer," which has an unfortunate tendency to lose its tail at cruise. Stewart plays the engineer who knows their's a problem but can't prove it. Great film.
Morecy From United States of America, joined May 2000, 216 posts, RR: 0
Reply 11, posted (11 years 6 months 4 weeks 4 hours ago) and read 5722 times:
I flew on a Vietnam Airlines TU-134 once and had no idea about the skylight until I visited the lavs. What a fantastic view of the tail and sky.
I was under the impression that the Comet problem was not due to the number of windows or their proximity, but the square shape and resulting right angles that were prone to stress. Windows on jets since this discovery are rounded off.
Exitrowaisle From United States of America, joined May 2000, 266 posts, RR: 0
Reply 12, posted (11 years 6 months 4 weeks 3 hours ago) and read 5679 times:
Morecy, you are correct...the Comet's fatal design flaw was its original square windows. After too many pressurization cycles, fatigue cracks formed at the corners. Once they became large enough, the plane's structural integrity was compromised, and the fuselage essentially blew apart from the pressurization in the cabin. I researched this in college for a paper.
Back to the original post, I doubt the benefit of a skylight (natural light, view of blue sky) would be worth the extra cost of installation and reinforcing the fuselage. Besides, as pointed out, there is a gap between the cabin ceiling and actual top of the plane, so you probably would have a tunnel effect. Also, is the flight attendant going to pull a shade over it for the movie?
As an interesting (to me) sidenote, in the early 70s, Boeing came up with an idea for a 747 lower deck lounge with a porthole in the FLOOR so people could look at the ground going by. No airline ever bought it though, since the lounge would use up valuable cargo space!
N863DA From United States of America, joined Sep 2004, 48 posts, RR: 5
Reply 20, posted (11 years 6 months 3 weeks 6 days 17 hours ago) and read 5391 times:
RE: DFWCapt and the film, "No Highway In the Sky"...
The book was written in 1948 - a year before the Comet first flew, and the film was made in 1951 - a year before G-ALYP made its first commercial flight.
The novel and film are both prophetic, but they were not based on Comet experiences, since they were written before the fact.
DFWCapt From United States of America, joined Aug 2003, 33 posts, RR: 0
Reply 21, posted (11 years 6 months 3 weeks 6 days 17 hours ago) and read 5350 times:
N863DA wrote: "RE: DFWCapt and the film, 'No Highway In the Sky'...
The book was written in 1948 - a year before the Comet first flew, and the film was made in 1951 - a year before G-ALYP made its first commercial flight."
I wasn't aware of that! Thanks for the correction.
That's really weird, then, because the stories are indeed quite similar...almost makes me wonder if the book was a product of someone's concerns about the new jet.
Vc10 From United Kingdom, joined Nov 2001, 1419 posts, RR: 15
Reply 22, posted (11 years 6 months 3 weeks 6 days 16 hours ago) and read 5269 times:
The original Lockheed Constellation had a window in the roof, it was called the astrodome and was used by the navigator to sight the stars. After this most long haul aircraft had a pressure seal mounting in the roof so that the navigator could use his periscope sextant to sight the stars. On the VC-10 aircraft there was a periscope mounting at the rear of the passenger cabin so the crew could view engines and tailplane during the flight. The only time I used it there was a line of passengers, who wanted to see the outside of the aircraft in flight, so perhaps a window that allows this might be popular
7E7 From Australia, joined Aug 2003, 159 posts, RR: 1
Reply 24, posted (11 years 6 months 3 weeks 6 days 16 hours ago) and read 5183 times:
There is one concern that no one has mentioned:
It is radiation!
Passengers/Crew are already under exposure of high levels of radiation (during day flights of course), and you would not want to increase that risk.
A proposition could be made to replace the current windows with polarized ones (or coated with polarizing layers), as this would also minimize the risk when looking outside. I suppose this is a very expensive proposition to implement.
Just like you have mentioned skylights, why wouldn't be floor windows :P
A good thing to have is additional cameras (with some degree of precision/quality) that show 'the above' views just like those current cameras that show you below.
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