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The Black Cockpit Windows Of The A350  
User currently offline14ccKemiskt From Sweden, joined Nov 2010, 72 posts, RR: 0
Posted (1 year 10 months 3 days 9 hours ago) and read 16328 times:

I don't seem to find anything on this topic on the entire Internet, so I'll try to start it here.

What is the deal with the black cockpit windows of the Airbus A350? All official renderings that has been published, regardless of airline livery, are showing the posts between the cockpit windows painted black - giving the A350 a distinct different look than any other twin engined airplane of its size. And as we've seen from the first plane assembled, the posts are not made of any specific black material that cannot be painted.

Now, i figure that the reason behind this specific design detail is to distinguish the model from all similar looking planes out there but some questions do arise. Mainly, will the airlines have any say in this? If Airbus refuses to deliver any A350 without the "sunglasses", could the operator re-paint the posts between the windows if they like? Or will they have to sign an agreement with Airbus where they promise not to remove the model "distinguisher"?

Flying a A350 will probably be something that the airlines wants to highlight, which gives them few reasons to remove the black cockpit, at least in the early years. But what will happen later on? And, on the other hand: What prohibits any airline from painting the window posts black on any other airplane model, say a A330, to mimic the A350 and thereby pretending to have a cooler plane than they actually do?

Someone here who has insight (or opinions) in this minor, but nevertheless interesting, topic?

34 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineAesma From France, joined Nov 2009, 6920 posts, RR: 12
Reply 1, posted (1 year 10 months 3 days 8 hours ago) and read 16172 times:

The A350 XWB had only 4 windows at first, with two huge ones wrapping around the cockpit, that made it look different. Later a more usual design came about (in part because customers were worried changing a window would be very expensive) so they used this trick to keep the look.


New Technology is the name we give to stuff that doesn't work yet. Douglas Adams
User currently onlinescbriml From United Kingdom, joined Jul 2003, 12868 posts, RR: 46
Reply 2, posted (1 year 10 months 3 days 8 hours ago) and read 16146 times:
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The windows aren't really black - look at photos of the real plane rather than computer renditions.


Time flies like an arrow, but fruit flies like a banana! #44cHAMpion
User currently offline14ccKemiskt From Sweden, joined Nov 2010, 72 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (1 year 10 months 3 days 8 hours ago) and read 16085 times:

Quoting scbriml (Reply 2):
The windows aren't really black - look at photos of the real plane rather than computer renditions

No, of course the windows themselves are normal. I'm referring to the space between the windows.

http://www.a350xwb.com/fileadmin/templates/a350xwb/assets/img/a350xwb-3d.png


User currently offlinesawtooth From Ireland, joined Jan 2007, 614 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (1 year 10 months 3 days 8 hours ago) and read 15937 times:

It's about the only thing differentiating the 350 visually, hides a rather ugly nose (also nothing like the renderings) and gives the plane some character. Probably just a marketing device but hope they stick with it for the house livery at least.

User currently offlineTriniA340 From Trinidad and Tobago, joined Nov 2005, 109 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (1 year 10 months 3 days 8 hours ago) and read 15718 times:

It seems every single Airbus rendering & display model of the A350 (house, as well as customers' liveries) show the black cockpit window framing. Maybe it's what they're going with for the flight test/display aircraft. I think it adds some beauty to it and reduces the 'bespectacled' look of the plane. Hopefully, all A350s will be painted so!  


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User currently offline3rdGen From Bahrain, joined Jul 2011, 243 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (1 year 10 months 2 days 16 hours ago) and read 14944 times:

Maybe it has something to do with reflections? If you take a look at a lot of older planes from the 60s and 70s you'll notice black anti-reflective paint being used on the section just below the cockpit windows.



Or maybe they took their inspiration from him:


User currently offlineDavid L From United Kingdom, joined May 1999, 9541 posts, RR: 42
Reply 7, posted (1 year 10 months 2 days 14 hours ago) and read 14882 times:

Quoting 3rdGen (Reply 6):
Maybe it has something to do with reflections? If you take a look at a lot of older planes from the 60s and 70s you'll notice black anti-reflective paint being used on the section just below the cockpit windows.

I wouldn't have thought so. Essentially the same 737 nose has been flying around without the anti-glare panel for a few decades now. It probably seemed like a good idea at the time, became fashionable and was eventually dropped. I don't see how the external surfaces of the pillars could reflect sunlight into the pilots' eyes.

I'm more inclined to believe it's rendered that way at the moment just to look good. Sometimes these things look good from a distance but lose their appeal close up, e.g. at the gate.


User currently offlineDarksnowynight From United States of America, joined Jan 2012, 1412 posts, RR: 3
Reply 8, posted (1 year 10 months 1 day 23 hours ago) and read 14561 times:

Quoting David L (Reply 7):

I wouldn't have thought so. Essentially the same 737 nose has been flying around without the anti-glare panel for a few decades now.

No, that's still there. They just found a way to make the native livery colors anti-glare, so it isn't very obvious.

I think the 350 needs to keep the burgler glasses. I like that look for it (though personally I think it's a very good looking airplane any way they dress it up!).



Posting without Knowledge is simply Tolerated Vandalism... We are the Vandals.
User currently offlineDavid L From United Kingdom, joined May 1999, 9541 posts, RR: 42
Reply 9, posted (1 year 10 months 1 day 21 hours ago) and read 14510 times:

Quoting Darksnowynight (Reply 8):
No, that's still there

OK... essentially the same nose has been flying around without the black anti-glare panel for decades now. In any case, I'm still having difficulty seeing how glare from the outside of the pillars could find its way into the pilots eyes.


User currently offline14ccKemiskt From Sweden, joined Nov 2010, 72 posts, RR: 0
Reply 10, posted (1 year 10 months 1 day 7 hours ago) and read 14285 times:

Quoting Darksnowynight (Reply 8):

Well, yes. The A350 is after all a very plain looking airplane. The 787 at least has some details like the chevrons. The A350 has nothing. But the black cockpit actually makes it look rather cool.


User currently offlineJetlagged From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2005, 2577 posts, RR: 25
Reply 11, posted (1 year 10 months 1 day 7 hours ago) and read 14257 times:

It occurred to me that it may be due to what the frames are made of, rather than just a styling detail. In times past the window frames were usually left unpainted aluminium, as shown in the Western Airlines 737 photo. Now they tend to be painted the same as the fuselage. Maybe Airbus wanted to leave them as unpainted composite, i.e. black?

When I saw the thread title I thought of the "Heart of Gold" spaceship in the Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy. That had a very black cockpit finish, at least in the book IIRC. Maybe the A350 has an infinite improbability drive too?  



The glass isn't half empty, or half full, it's twice as big as it needs to be.
User currently offlineyeelep From United States of America, joined Apr 2011, 670 posts, RR: 0
Reply 12, posted (1 year 10 months 12 hours ago) and read 13982 times:

Quoting Jetlagged (Reply 11):
Maybe Airbus wanted to leave them as unpainted composite, i.e. black?

Isn't the nose section of the A-350 aluminum?


User currently offlineJetlagged From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2005, 2577 posts, RR: 25
Reply 13, posted (1 year 10 months 10 hours ago) and read 13927 times:

Quoting yeelep (Reply 12):
Isn't the nose section of the A-350 aluminum?

You're right, I should have checked before speculating. With so much composite in the structure, and with carbon fibre being black, I put 2 and 2 together and made 5. It was meant as suggested possible reason why, not a statement of a fact, but looking back it read like one.

On a separate issue, and being very pedantic, the designation is A350, not A-350.



The glass isn't half empty, or half full, it's twice as big as it needs to be.
User currently offlineORDfan From United States of America, joined Jun 2007, 378 posts, RR: 0
Reply 14, posted (8 months 2 weeks 11 hours ago) and read 9610 times:

A few months since this has been posted, and it doesn't appear to be answered. I have been thinking recently as well: are the black window frames going to be a "permanent" feature of all future A350s, or will they be painted over in their respective carriers' liveries, accordingly?

I actually think the A350 nose is quite nice, but the black paint around the cockpit doesn't really do it any favors.


User currently offlinecelestar From Singapore, joined Jul 2001, 410 posts, RR: 0
Reply 15, posted (8 months 1 week 3 days 12 hours ago) and read 9002 times:

Hi Guys, as a plane lover, do you not think the A350 nose and head gives the same look like the German night interceptor HE 219 Owl? Maybe I gave too much beer today!
Anyway, I do like the A350 instead of the 787 for its squat looking short landing gear look.


User currently offlineVimanav From India, joined Jul 2003, 1524 posts, RR: 14
Reply 16, posted (8 months 1 week 3 days 10 hours ago) and read 8926 times:

Quoting celestar (Reply 15):
Hi Guys, as a plane lover, do you not think the A350 nose and head gives the same look like the German night interceptor HE 219 Owl? Maybe I gave too much beer today!

No. But a big yes on the beer   

brgds//Vimanav



Sarfaroshi kii tamannaa ab hamaare dil mein hai, Dekhnaa hai zor kitnaa baazu-e-qaatil mein hai
User currently offlineMax Q From United States of America, joined May 2001, 4778 posts, RR: 19
Reply 17, posted (8 months 4 days 23 hours ago) and read 8010 times:

For some reason I think this looks great.


The Prototype L1011 had the same black window frames and it looked outstanding, I think some operators may have kept them that way as well.



The best contribution to safety is a competent Pilot.
User currently offlinemusang From United Kingdom, joined Apr 2001, 872 posts, RR: 7
Reply 18, posted (8 months 4 days 13 hours ago) and read 7827 times:

Black cockpit surrounds enhanced most Dornier 228s as well, whose 1960s Do-28 cockpit windows didn't quite fit with the stylish redesign of the rest of the airframe.

Regards - musang


User currently offlineKarelXWB From Netherlands, joined Jul 2012, 13070 posts, RR: 35
Reply 19, posted (8 months 4 days 12 hours ago) and read 7807 times:

Quoting ORDfan (Reply 14):
A few months since this has been posted, and it doesn't appear to be answered. I have been thinking recently as well: are the black window frames going to be a "permanent" feature of all future A350s, or will they be painted over in their respective carriers' liveries, accordingly?

As far as I know, it's a cosmetic feature only. So it's up to each customer to decide.



Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity. And I'm not sure about the universe.
User currently offlineboeing764 From Canada, joined Apr 2001, 298 posts, RR: 0
Reply 20, posted (3 months 3 weeks 2 hours ago) and read 5368 times:

That black window outline is on the Qatar Airways A350s.
http://www.usatoday.com/story/todayi...-airways-airbus-a350-xwb/14727949/
I don't like it!



From Dr. King's America to Nelson Mandela's Africa, the journey of equality moves on.
User currently offlineTWA772LR From United States of America, joined Nov 2011, 2432 posts, RR: 1
Reply 21, posted (3 months 3 weeks 1 hour ago) and read 5351 times:

Am I the only one that thinks the A350 looks like a racoon?


Go coogs! \n//
User currently offlinechimborazo From United Kingdom, joined Sep 2011, 73 posts, RR: 0
Reply 22, posted (3 months 3 weeks 1 hour ago) and read 5343 times:

Looks like the space shuttle.

User currently offlinetravelavnut From Netherlands, joined May 2010, 1666 posts, RR: 7
Reply 23, posted (3 months 2 weeks 6 days 23 hours ago) and read 5273 times:

Quoting TWA772LR (Reply 21):

Am I the only one that thinks the A350 looks like a racoon?

As the un-official nickname of the A350 on this forum is "The Racoon" I do not think so  



Live From Amsterdam!
User currently offlinestrfyr51 From United States of America, joined Apr 2012, 1398 posts, RR: 1
Reply 24, posted (3 months 2 weeks 6 days 20 hours ago) and read 5195 times:
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It's to reduce glare, you might also notice the black is a matte finish?

User currently offlineStarlionblue From Greenland, joined Feb 2004, 17168 posts, RR: 66
Reply 25, posted (3 months 2 weeks 6 days 17 hours ago) and read 5295 times:

Quoting travelavnut (Reply 23):

Quoting TWA772LR (Reply 21):

Am I the only one that thinks the A350 looks like a racoon?

As the un-official nickname of the A350 on this forum is "The Racoon" I do not think s

Let's hope this becomes "Rocket Raccoon".




"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots."
User currently offlineAirPacific747 From Denmark, joined May 2008, 2474 posts, RR: 24
Reply 26, posted (3 months 2 weeks 20 hours ago) and read 4193 times:

I thought (and hoped) they would have made it look like this:



With some hi-tech window technology that made them darker a-la 787 passenger windows.

Instead they come up with a much more bland design and regular windows just painted black around the edges.

Yawn.


User currently offlinePihero From France, joined Jan 2005, 4666 posts, RR: 77
Reply 27, posted (3 months 2 weeks 20 hours ago) and read 4268 times:
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I thought this place is Tech-ops, not *Polls and Prefs*.


Contrail designer
User currently offlineJetlagged From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2005, 2577 posts, RR: 25
Reply 28, posted (3 months 1 week 6 days 14 hours ago) and read 3906 times:

Quoting AirPacific747 (Reply 26):
With some hi-tech window technology that made them darker a-la 787 passenger windows.

Flightdeck windows are designed to be seen through clearly at all times, including at night. They also have to be heated. Why do you think Boeing didn't use that technology on the 787 flightdeck windows.

Quoting AirPacific747 (Reply 26):
Yawn.

Aircraft aren't primarily designed to be above your boredom threshold.

Quoting Pihero (Reply 27):
I thought this place is Tech-ops, not *Polls and Prefs*.

Indeed.



The glass isn't half empty, or half full, it's twice as big as it needs to be.
User currently offlineAirPacific747 From Denmark, joined May 2008, 2474 posts, RR: 24
Reply 29, posted (3 months 1 week 6 days 7 hours ago) and read 3771 times:

Quoting Jetlagged (Reply 28):
Flightdeck windows are designed to be seen through clearly at all times, including at night. They also have to be heated. Why do you think Boeing didn't use that technology on the 787 flightdeck windows.

I don't know if you've ever flown an airliner, but there are sunscreens to protect from the sunlight at 95% of the time, you could fly without any windows at all, so I don't understand your reasoning for not trying to implement it for the cockpit windows in the future?

Quoting Jetlagged (Reply 28):
Aircraft aren't primarily designed to be above your boredom threshold.

Luckily my opinion isn't primarily designed to automatically like everything that I see, which allows me to think and have my own opinions.

I hope for you that you are able to think independently too.

And by the way, why the rudeness? Is the A350 your aircraft? Do you get personally offended when someone criticises an aircraft, or maybe because you have a low self esteem?

[Edited 2014-09-05 17:21:55]

User currently offlineJetlagged From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2005, 2577 posts, RR: 25
Reply 30, posted (3 months 1 week 5 days 16 hours ago) and read 3559 times:

Quoting AirPacific747 (Reply 29):
I don't know if you've ever flown an airliner, but there are sunscreens to protect from the sunlight at 95% of the time, you could fly without any windows at all, so I don't understand your reasoning for not trying to implement it for the cockpit windows in the future?

What is better technology than a window you can see through reliably? Better certainly than one that dims and then can't be undimmed due to a malfunction. You criticised Airbus for not using 787 style pax window technology for the A350 flightdeck, but Boeing didn't use it either. Why do you think they didn't do so?

You could certainly have an aircraft without flightdeck windows. Several were drawn conceptually in the 1950s. Concorde was initially intended to only have side windows during supersonic flight. Strangely enough none of these windowless concepts made it to production because pilots like to have direct vision of the outside world.

Quoting AirPacific747 (Reply 29):
Luckily my opinion isn't primarily designed to automatically like everything that I see, which allows me to think and have my own opinions.

It's a shame you can't express those opinions in a more mature way than "yawn".

Quoting AirPacific747 (Reply 29):
And by the way, why the rudeness? Is the A350 your aircraft? Do you get personally offended when someone criticises an aircraft, or maybe because you have a low self esteem?

You're the one being rude and patronising. This is Tech Ops, not CivAv. Your comments suggesting I have low self esteem, lack of being able to think independently and questioning my knowledge of airliner flightdecks aren't at all insulting are they? They certainly weren't called for.

[Edited 2014-09-06 08:15:51]


The glass isn't half empty, or half full, it's twice as big as it needs to be.
User currently offlineAirPacific747 From Denmark, joined May 2008, 2474 posts, RR: 24
Reply 31, posted (3 months 1 week 5 days 9 hours ago) and read 3419 times:

Quoting Jetlagged (Reply 30):
What is better technology than a window you can see through reliably? Better certainly than one that dims and then can't be undimmed due to a malfunction. You criticised Airbus for not using 787 style pax window technology for the A350 flightdeck, but Boeing didn't use it either. Why do you think they didn't do so?

Why do you assume such a technology could not become reliable?

Quoting Jetlagged (Reply 30):
It's a shame you can't express those opinions in a more mature way than "yawn".

I can, I chose not to. Why can't you just stick to the topic instead?

Quoting Jetlagged (Reply 30):
You're the one being rude and patronising. This is Tech Ops, not CivAv. Your comments suggesting I have low self esteem, lack of being able to think independently and questioning my knowledge of airliner flightdecks aren't at all insulting are they? They certainly weren't called for.

Yes, I was being rude in the previous post because you were being rude in the post before that  


User currently offlineMax Q From United States of America, joined May 2001, 4778 posts, RR: 19
Reply 32, posted (3 months 1 week 4 days 21 hours ago) and read 3250 times:

Quoting Jetlagged (Reply 28):
Flightdeck windows are designed to be seen through clearly at all times, including at night. They also have to be heated. Why do you think Boeing didn't use that technology on the 787 flightdeck windows.

Its the frames that are dark, not the windows.



The black frames make the windows look much darker, although they may be tinted slightly the surrounding color magnifies the look significantly.



The best contribution to safety is a competent Pilot.
User currently offlineJetlagged From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2005, 2577 posts, RR: 25
Reply 33, posted (3 months 1 week 1 day 8 hours ago) and read 2560 times:

Quoting Max Q (Reply 32):
Its the frames that are dark, not the windows.

I know, I was respnding to AirPacific747's comment about the glass.



The glass isn't half empty, or half full, it's twice as big as it needs to be.
User currently offlineJetlagged From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2005, 2577 posts, RR: 25
Reply 34, posted (3 months 1 week 1 day 8 hours ago) and read 2561 times:

Quoting AirPacific747 (Reply 31):
Yes, I was being rude in the previous post because you were being rude in the post before that

Nothing I wrote was remotely as rude or personal as your admittedly deliberately insults.

All I said was:

Quoting Jetlagged (Reply 28):
Aircraft aren't primarily designed to be above your boredom threshold.

Sarcastic maybe but hardly rude.



The glass isn't half empty, or half full, it's twice as big as it needs to be.
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