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B727 And B737 Cockpit Window Question  
User currently offlineBirdwatching From Germany, joined Sep 2003, 3808 posts, RR: 51
Posted (10 years 9 months 6 days 3 hours ago) and read 5038 times:

Can anybody tell me what these tiny overhead windows in B727 and B737 cockpit are for?
I have asked a lot of people, and they all don't seem to know.


A Lufthansa FA told me that they were used way back in the 60s to navigate by the stars when flying over the ocean,
a United Captain said he doesn't know,
and a Ladeco (Chile) Pilot told me all he knows is that he buys an "El Mercurio" newspaper each morning and tapes it into that tiny window because of the burning Atacama desert sun.

As I know, A.net is the ultimate knowledge place for questions like this, so I will try my luck...

Thanks a lot!

Sören aka Birdwatching


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All the things you probably hate about travelling are warm reminders that I'm home
20 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineB747skipper From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 1, posted (10 years 9 months 6 days 3 hours ago) and read 4991 times:

The official designation of these windows by Boeing is "eyebrow" windows...
They are common to the 707, 720, 727 and 737...
Originally deemed "necessary" (to look for traffic) in the early 707 days...
They continued installing them on later model airplanes...
After the 737, windshields were enlarged, and airplanes no longer have them.
A larger type of "eyebrow" windows is found on DC-8 and DC-9s...
xxx
Happy contrails  Smile
(s) Skipper


User currently offlinePl4nekr4zy From United States of America, joined Aug 2003, 465 posts, RR: 3
Reply 2, posted (10 years 9 months 6 days 2 hours ago) and read 4935 times:

At some point, Boeing began building 717s without the eyebrow windows.


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I have heard they also might omit them on future 737s.



"Don't forget to bring a towel!"
User currently offlineL-188 From United States of America, joined Jul 1999, 29791 posts, RR: 58
Reply 3, posted (10 years 9 months 6 days 1 hour ago) and read 4894 times:

Basicly the eyebrow windows are then to increase the pilots visibility in a turn, Supposedly they allow him to see the airspace the aircraft is turing into during a steep turn.


OBAMA-WORST PRESIDENT EVER....Even SKOORB would be better.
User currently offlineCanadianNorth From Canada, joined Aug 2002, 3389 posts, RR: 9
Reply 4, posted (10 years 9 months 6 days ago) and read 4831 times:

I donno why there there, but i think there cool... But most of the above reasons make alot of sence

CanadianNorth



What could possibly go wrong?
User currently offlineGreg From United Kingdom, joined May 2005, 0 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (10 years 9 months 5 days 15 hours ago) and read 4771 times:

Boeing is looking at discontinuing them since they provide no benefit to pilots anymore (a la 717).
I think it's more of a "cost-of-retooling-to-eliminate-them" equation. It's likely cheaper to keep them in production than redesign, retool, etc..

There isn't a certification issue, is there? Anyone?


User currently offlineMD11Engineer From Germany, joined Oct 2003, 13967 posts, RR: 63
Reply 6, posted (10 years 9 months 2 days 11 hours ago) and read 4654 times:

The FA who told you about astro navigation has been b/s you. Back in the old 707 day they used a periscope type octant for navigation, which was installed in a small hole in the top of the fuselage besides the FE position, just in front of the cockpit door. Of course, back then (in the early 60´s) they still had a navigator occupying the aft l/h jump seat. His instrument were on the l/h side. Older planes, like the DC-6 had an astrodome, a big perspex bubble in the roof.

Rgds,

Jan


User currently offlineFDXmech From United States of America, joined Mar 2000, 3251 posts, RR: 35
Reply 7, posted (10 years 9 months 2 days 11 hours ago) and read 4631 times:

Not to ntpick but I think the official designation is L4 & L5 or R4 & R5 windows.


You're only as good as your last departure.
User currently offlineSkydrolBoy From Canada, joined Sep 2003, 341 posts, RR: 2
Reply 8, posted (10 years 9 months 2 days 8 hours ago) and read 4541 times:

The eyebrow windows on 707, 720, 727, 737, and DC-9's were used for navigation, buy using a sextant, back in the sixties. I actually have a sextant removed from one of my companys 727's sitting on my fireplace mantle, most airlines removed the sextants and stopped using the windows about the sametime the removed the navigator from the flight crew. One of the reasons that Boeing and Mcdonnell-Douglas did not remove the windows on the newer 37's and MD80 series airplanes was that the windows made the a/c recognizable and that pilots were used to having the windows there.

User currently offlineB747skipper From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 9, posted (10 years 9 months 2 days 7 hours ago) and read 4493 times:

Eyebrow windows have HOTHING TO DO with navigation...
End of comments... please do not volunteer erroneous information.
(s) Skipper


User currently offlineSN-A330 From Belgium, joined Aug 2001, 1129 posts, RR: 9
Reply 10, posted (10 years 9 months 2 days 7 hours ago) and read 4458 times:

These windows were installed to have a better view when the a/c takes a sharp turn. In fact, you can almost look 'down' from them or at least see the runway when turning.

regards, SN-A330



I would rather be flying...
User currently offlineMxCtrlr From United States of America, joined Nov 2001, 2485 posts, RR: 35
Reply 11, posted (10 years 9 months 2 days 7 hours ago) and read 4403 times:

The eyebrow windows, as B747skipper mentioned, have NOTHING to do with navigation and were rendered useless by TCAS and TCAS II. They were for enhancedd visibility for the pilots. Look on older jetliners like some of the original 707's and even some older 747's and you will find a sextant mount in the cockpit ceiling, just aft of the F/E's station (where the old navigator would sit). That is where the sextant would be placed for navigation sightings. On some aircraft, that has been relabeled as "Smoke Evacuation".

On newer aircraft, such as the 737NG's, they have been removed to save on weight (triple-pane glass ain't light)!

MxCtrlr  Smile/happy/getting dizzy
Freight Dogs Anonymous - O.O.T.S.K.  Smokin cool



DAMN! This SUCKS! I just had to go to the next higher age bracket in my profile! :-(
User currently offlineIahcsr From United States of America, joined Jun 1999, 3400 posts, RR: 42
Reply 12, posted (10 years 9 months 2 days 6 hours ago) and read 4329 times:
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I have yet to see any 737NG's without eyebrow windows .... 717s are another matter. "If it ain't broke ..... "


Working very hard to Fly Right....
User currently offlineSkydrolBoy From Canada, joined Sep 2003, 341 posts, RR: 2
Reply 13, posted (10 years 9 months 2 days 4 hours ago) and read 4279 times:

B747skipper,

If like you say the eyebrow windows have nothing to do with navigation, then why have I personally removed several sextants and their mounts from the eyebrow windows from 727's.

MxCtrlr,

I think you need to go look at pictures of 737NG's, because everyone I've seen and or worked on has eyebrow windows. Also the windows were not rendered usless by TCAS and TCAS II, manufacturers began designing airplanes without eyebrow windows long before TCAS was thought of.


User currently offlineN766UA From United States of America, joined Jul 1999, 8193 posts, RR: 24
Reply 14, posted (10 years 9 months 2 days 3 hours ago) and read 4247 times:

They're used for visability in turns. Rather than crane your neck down, you just look through the eyebrows.

Also, there's not a single 737 out there minus her eyebrows. Dunno where you got that idea from.



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User currently offlineUnited1 From United States of America, joined Oct 2003, 5930 posts, RR: 9
Reply 15, posted (10 years 9 months 2 days 3 hours ago) and read 4223 times:

My Uncle complained when he started flying A/C that didn't have the "eye-brow" that it was one less place to put his newspaper at Smile I know they are for increased visibility but I'm not sure if pilots really used them all that much. There was a thread on this when Boeing stopped putting the windows in the 717, and if I remember properly it was to save weight.

Chuck



Semper Fi - PowerPoint makes us stupid.
User currently offlineB747skipper From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 16, posted (10 years 9 months 2 days 3 hours ago) and read 4176 times:

Dear Skydrolboy -
xxx
Sorry, but none of my 707, 727 had, and the 747 I presently fly never had any sextant mounts on the eyebrow windows... Possibly you confuse the sextant mounts with the toilets water and waste ports... Sextant mounts are located on the centerline of the cockpit ceiling, near the cockpit door...
xxx
I may have an advance case of senility... but I do believe that my statement will be verified by quite a few otherwise knowledgeable members... I see that our friend MxCtrlr already made a note to you, to that effect...
xxx
Happy contrails
(s) Skipper


User currently offlineMxCtrlr From United States of America, joined Nov 2001, 2485 posts, RR: 35
Reply 17, posted (10 years 9 months 2 days ago) and read 4127 times:

Skydrolboy,

then why have I personally removed several sextants and their mounts from the eyebrow windows from 727's

I'd really love to see a picture of an eyebrow window from a 727 with a sextant mount in it, because, in the 25+ years I've worked on 727's and 737's (and other aircraft) I have yet to see one with a sextant mount in it.

I think you need to go look at pictures of 737NG's, because everyone I've seen and or worked on has eyebrow windows.

As has every 737NG I've seen or worked on however, and I am unable to find it on Boeing Commercial Airplane's site right now, they did make mention that they were doing away with the eyebrow windows on future aircraft built.

Also the windows were not rendered usless by TCAS and TCAS II, manufacturers began designing airplanes without eyebrow windows long before TCAS was thought of.

Quite true in the litteral sense however, consider that we were talking about the B-727 & B-737 aircraft. In the case of those two aircraft, TCAS and TCAS II has made the need for the visibility provided by these two windows obsolete, so I stand by my previous statement in the context of this thread.

MxCtrlr  Smile/happy/getting dizzy
Freight Dogs Anonymous - O.O.T.S.K.  Smokin cool



DAMN! This SUCKS! I just had to go to the next higher age bracket in my profile! :-(
User currently offlineTimz From United States of America, joined Sep 1999, 6781 posts, RR: 7
Reply 18, posted (10 years 9 months 2 days ago) and read 4099 times:

Skydrolboy: you have to admit this image of the navigator hanging over the pilot's shoulder and squinting through a handheld sextant sounds pretty comical. I guess you agree Boeing didn't plan on 737s carrying navigators-- right? Or 727s, probably. Do you think the pilots handled the sextant themselves?

One obvious problem: to get a good astro fix you need to be able to see stars spaced around the horizon-- front and rear, left and right. Which you can't do thru an eyebrow?


User currently offlineTimz From United States of America, joined Sep 1999, 6781 posts, RR: 7
Reply 19, posted (10 years 9 months 1 day 14 hours ago) and read 4051 times:

Oops-- delete the "handheld" from the above.

Can anyone find a pic of a DC-6 or 749 Constellation or any later airliner with an astrodome? Seems to me none of them had one-- because they used periscopic sextants. They didn't have eyebrow windows, either.

Presumably Boeing designed the 707 to accommodate a periscopic sextant too, wouldn't you guess? Even though it had eyebrow windows.


User currently offlineMD11Engineer From Germany, joined Oct 2003, 13967 posts, RR: 63
Reply 20, posted (10 years 8 months 4 weeks 1 day 7 hours ago) and read 3963 times:

Years ago I´ve been working on a C-54 restauration project. This C-54 had the big perspex cupola just aft of the cockpit. Sorry, got no picture...

Jan


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