Birdwatching
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B727 And B737 Cockpit Window Question

Sat Oct 25, 2003 10:17 am

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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Guest

RE: B727 And B737 Cockpit Window Question

Sat Oct 25, 2003 10:50 am

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
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pl4nekr4zy
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RE: B727 And B737 Cockpit Window Question

Sat Oct 25, 2003 11:14 am

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.
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L-188
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RE: B727 And B737 Cockpit Window Question

Sat Oct 25, 2003 1:05 pm

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.
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CanadianNorth
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RE: B727 And B737 Cockpit Window Question

Sat Oct 25, 2003 1:36 pm

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

CanadianNorth
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Greg
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RE: B727 And B737 Cockpit Window Question

Sat Oct 25, 2003 10:55 pm

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?
 
MD11Engineer
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RE: B727 And B737 Cockpit Window Question

Wed Oct 29, 2003 2:48 am

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
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FDXmech
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RE: B727 And B737 Cockpit Window Question

Wed Oct 29, 2003 2:53 am

Not to ntpick but I think the official designation is L4 & L5 or R4 & R5 windows.
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SkydrolBoy
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RE: B727 And B737 Cockpit Window Question

Wed Oct 29, 2003 6:01 am

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.
 
Guest

RE: B727 And B737 Cockpit Window Question

Wed Oct 29, 2003 6:11 am

Eyebrow windows have HOTHING TO DO with navigation...
End of comments... please do not volunteer erroneous information.
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SN-A330
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RE: B727 And B737 Cockpit Window Question

Wed Oct 29, 2003 6:19 am

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
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MxCtrlr
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RE: B727 And B737 Cockpit Window Question

Wed Oct 29, 2003 6:56 am

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)!

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iahcsr
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RE: B727 And B737 Cockpit Window Question

Wed Oct 29, 2003 7:09 am

I have yet to see any 737NG's without eyebrow windows .... 717s are another matter. "If it ain't broke ..... "
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SkydrolBoy
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RE: B727 And B737 Cockpit Window Question

Wed Oct 29, 2003 9:35 am

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.
 
N766UA
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RE: B727 And B737 Cockpit Window Question

Wed Oct 29, 2003 10:27 am

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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United1
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RE: B727 And B737 Cockpit Window Question

Wed Oct 29, 2003 10:41 am

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
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Guest

RE: Before Landing Check-list...

Wed Oct 29, 2003 11:01 am

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
 
MxCtrlr
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RE: B727 And B737 Cockpit Window Question

Wed Oct 29, 2003 1:15 pm

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
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timz
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Those Sextants/octants

Wed Oct 29, 2003 1:32 pm

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?
 
timz
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RE: Astro Thru Eyebrows

Wed Oct 29, 2003 11:40 pm

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.
 
MD11Engineer
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Eyebrow Windows

Sat Nov 01, 2003 6:38 am

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
Je Suis Charlie et je suis Ahmet aussi

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