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Pros And Cons Of "Plugged" Windows  
User currently offlineAT From United States of America, joined Jul 2000, 1037 posts, RR: 0
Posted (8 years 10 months 1 week 6 days 23 hours ago) and read 4142 times:

A number of airlines have their windows "plugged" in regions of the aircraft where there is a galley, toilet or other non-seating areas, for example
in this picture, just forward of Door 2L.

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Photo © Nathan Zalcman



I wanted to ask, what are the benefits of doing so?
Does it affect the structure of the aircraft?
And are they permanent? Or can they be removed if the seating configuration changes and the windows are required?

20 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineB744F From Germany, joined Jan 2006, 0 posts, RR: 0
Reply 1, posted (8 years 10 months 1 week 6 days 23 hours ago) and read 4135 times:

Saves weight, mx costs, with the windows gone. No windows are required if a seat is put there

User currently offlineBigsmile From United Kingdom, joined Mar 2005, 168 posts, RR: 4
Reply 2, posted (8 years 10 months 1 week 6 days 23 hours ago) and read 4106 times:

These aren't permanent. They are fitted the same way the windows are fitted. They are just cosmetic blanks. There is no more structural benefit from these blanks when compared to the windows. They are fitted usually behind galleys, toilets etc so you don't see the back of it from outside, galley's, toilets etc are not the most attractive things when you get behind them. Sometimes you do see some blanks fitted with aerials attached.

[Edited 2005-10-24 21:53:57]

User currently offlineGARPD From UK - Scotland, joined Aug 2005, 2649 posts, RR: 4
Reply 3, posted (8 years 10 months 1 week 6 days 23 hours ago) and read 4100 times:

Quoting AT (Thread starter):
what are the benefits of doing so?

AFAIK, there is no real benefit. They just fill a gap where a window is not required, for example a toilet, a galley bulkhead etc.
Perhaps window plugs save a little weight, but I'd imagine it'd a negligable ammount in relation to the entire aircraft.

Quoting B744F (Reply 1):
Does it affect the structure of the aircraft?

Nope, think of them as windows made out a metal window. They are just as secure, perhaps even stronger.

Quoting AT (Thread starter):
And are they permanent

Most plugs can be removed if desired.



arpdesign.wordpress.com
User currently offlineCrosswind From United Kingdom, joined Nov 2000, 2598 posts, RR: 58
Reply 4, posted (8 years 10 months 1 week 6 days 23 hours ago) and read 4082 times:
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Quoting AT (Thread starter):
Or can they be removed if the seating configuration changes and the windows are required?

It's a fairly quick and simple process to plug and unplug a window - in very simple terms the glass window panel is replaced with a sheet metal plug and vice versa.

My airline recently reconfigured 2 ex-Vietnam Airlines B767s. The first window aft of Door 2L & R was already plugged due to a toilet being located on each side - during reconfiguration stowages were installed aft of the toilets on both sides of the cabin so the second window on each side aft of Door 2L & R was also plugged.

Before and After;

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Photo © Wu Shengpei
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Photo © Darren Wilson


Regards
CROSSWIND


User currently offlineTod From Denmark, joined Aug 2004, 1725 posts, RR: 3
Reply 5, posted (8 years 10 months 1 week 6 days 22 hours ago) and read 4005 times:

There are also locations that plugged because the main conditioned air ducting is routed there. For example, three locations on each side of a 747 forward of door three. IIRC, two on each side of 767 and one on each side of 737NG (old 737 using mulitple small ducts routed around the windows instead). For all practical purposes, these locations cannot be changed.

Tod


User currently offlineGARPD From UK - Scotland, joined Aug 2005, 2649 posts, RR: 4
Reply 6, posted (8 years 10 months 1 week 6 days 22 hours ago) and read 3994 times:

Quoting Tod (Reply 5):
There are also locations that plugged because the main conditioned air ducting is routed there. For example, three locations on each side of a 747 forward of door three. IIRC, two on each side of 767 and one on each side of 737NG (old 737 using mulitple small ducts routed around the windows instead). For all practical purposes, these locations cannot be changed.

Tod

I don't thinks these locations feature "plugged" windows. Rather, no window cutting at all. Simply clean sheet metal fuselage.



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User currently offlineTod From Denmark, joined Aug 2004, 1725 posts, RR: 3
Reply 7, posted (8 years 10 months 1 week 6 days 22 hours ago) and read 3959 times:

Quoting GARPD (Reply 6):
I don't thinks these locations feature "plugged" windows. Rather, no window cutting at all. Simply clean sheet metal fuselage.

That's correct, good clarification. Thanks.

Tod


User currently offlineAeroWeanie From United States of America, joined Dec 2004, 1608 posts, RR: 52
Reply 8, posted (8 years 10 months 1 week 6 days 17 hours ago) and read 3791 times:
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Take a look here: http://www.liteair.com/

User currently offlineHAWK21M From India, joined Jan 2001, 31679 posts, RR: 56
Reply 9, posted (8 years 10 months 1 week 6 days 10 hours ago) and read 3678 times:



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Photo © Charles Falk


Normally Blanked Window Plugs are replaced like Windows.Why put a window where its not needed.
regds
MEL



Think of the brighter side!
User currently offlineJeffry747 From United States of America, joined Jun 2005, 963 posts, RR: 2
Reply 10, posted (8 years 10 months 1 week 6 days 8 hours ago) and read 3649 times:
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Let's not forget aircraft which have been converted from passenger to cargo configuration, which in some cases has the entire fuselage lined with window plugs.


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Photo © Ryan C. Umphrey




C'mon Big B, FLY!
User currently offlineVC-10 From United Kingdom, joined Oct 1999, 3701 posts, RR: 34
Reply 11, posted (8 years 10 months 1 week 5 days 21 hours ago) and read 3532 times:
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Quoting GARPD (Reply 3):
Perhaps window plugs save a little weight, but I'd imagine it'd a negligable ammount in relation to the entire aircraft.

You have to look at the big picture, weight saved = fuel saved over the life of the a/c.

A company I once worked for did a calculation of how much extra fuel was burned in course of a year by an extra sugar bag.


User currently offlineLincoln From United States of America, joined Nov 2004, 3887 posts, RR: 8
Reply 12, posted (8 years 10 months 1 week 5 days 18 hours ago) and read 3495 times:

Forgive the layman for budging in here, but I beleive I read somewhere that window plugs require less MX than a real window. Is this correct?

Lincoln



CO Is My Airline of Choice || Baggage Claim is an airline's last chance to disappoint a customer || Next flts in profile
User currently offlineAviation From Australia, joined Dec 2004, 1143 posts, RR: 21
Reply 13, posted (8 years 10 months 1 week 5 days 18 hours ago) and read 3491 times:

I really dont think they are such a good idea.

Cheers,



Signed, Aaron Nicoli - Trans World Airlines Collector
User currently offline474218 From United States of America, joined Oct 2005, 6340 posts, RR: 9
Reply 14, posted (8 years 10 months 1 week 5 days 17 hours ago) and read 3484 times:

Quoting Aviation (Reply 13):
I really dont think they are such a good idea.

So I guess you think stretched acrylic is stronger than aluminum?


User currently offlineOzLAME From Australia, joined Feb 2005, 338 posts, RR: 0
Reply 15, posted (8 years 10 months 1 week 5 days 17 hours ago) and read 3480 times:

Quoting Lincoln (Reply 12):
Forgive the layman for budging in here, but I beleive I read somewhere that window plugs require less MX than a real window. Is this correct?

That is correct, which is why the eyebrow windows are disappearing from the cockpits of 737s.

Quoting Aviation (Reply 13):
I really dont think they are such a good idea.

Why not? I have been involved in converting small twin-engined a/c into freighters. We would often remove windows and install metal blanks. The metal can still be checked from the inside and there is no longer any need to get out the prism and check the window for cracks, or to polish out scratches. There is a huge difference in maintenance requirements; there are guys working at QANTAS who do nothing but change windows.



Monty Python's Flying Circus has nothing to do with aviation, except perhaps for Management personnel.
User currently offlineHAWK21M From India, joined Jan 2001, 31679 posts, RR: 56
Reply 16, posted (8 years 10 months 1 week 5 days 8 hours ago) and read 3432 times:

Quoting OzLAME (Reply 15):
That is correct, which is why the eyebrow windows are disappearing from the cockpits of 737s.

Also it contributes to a more silent cockpit too.
regds
MEL



Think of the brighter side!
User currently offlineWhiskeyflyer From Ireland, joined May 2002, 224 posts, RR: 0
Reply 17, posted (8 years 10 months 1 week 5 days 2 hours ago) and read 3403 times:

also metal plugs make washing and painting easier
you do not need to waste time ensuring no abrasive cleaners/stripper gets on the windows (masking windows prior to stripping/painting consummes a lot of manhours)

The MM specifies limits to scratches, nicks, abrasions (those little scratches) etc that a window may have (varies by aircraft type), if it exceeds limits, you replace the window (and hope the polishing shop can restore the windows within limits) Dusty climes and pollution result in abrasing of windows so best to put the metal in and keep your windows in stock for pax (boxes don't admire the view and they don't complain........... brings back happy memories of when I was a freight dog and left oil all over the ramp in our thrusty DC8-55F)


User currently offlineSkydrolBoy From Canada, joined Sep 2003, 341 posts, RR: 2
Reply 18, posted (8 years 10 months 1 week 4 days 22 hours ago) and read 3377 times:

Quoting HAWK21M (Reply 16):

Also it contributes to a more silent cockpit too.
regds
MEL

It's the Vortex Generators that they install infront of the windshield that makes for a quieter cockpit, not the removal of the windows. You can see them in the picture below just behind the radome.


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Photo © Jet City Aviation Photography



User currently offline727EMflyer From United States of America, joined Mar 2005, 547 posts, RR: 0
Reply 19, posted (8 years 10 months 1 week 4 days 16 hours ago) and read 3320 times:

Quoting VC-10 (Reply 11):
A company I once worked for did a calculation of how much extra fuel was burned in course of a year by an extra sugar bag.

So what was the verdict? I trust we're not talking a tsp sized packet for coffee...


User currently offlineHAWK21M From India, joined Jan 2001, 31679 posts, RR: 56
Reply 20, posted (8 years 10 months 1 week 4 days 15 hours ago) and read 3311 times:



Quoting SkydrolBoy (Reply 18):
It's the Vortex Generators that they install infront of the windshield that makes for a quieter cockpit, not the removal of the windows. You can see them in the picture below just behind the radome.

Agreed The VG do contribute to noise reduction,But I've heard that the Elimination of the Eyebrow Windows too add to the Silence.
http://www.airliners.net/discussions/tech_ops/read.main/112446/

regds
MEL



Think of the brighter side!
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