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ManchesterMAN
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Why Missing Windows?

Tue Mar 02, 2004 1:51 am

A question sparked by recent flight aboard a VS 346 LHR-IAD (trip report to follow) where one pax wasn't too happy about his window seat not having a window: Why do aircraft manufacturers build their planes with windows missing at various points along the fuselage? The A346 is one exampe with the second row of the rear cabin missing a window and also an area over the wing. The 757 is another example in the forward wing area:


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Is it just to p*ss tavellers off or maybe to keep seat guru in business? In the two quoted examples the missing windows aren't even in places where you would maybe expect to find a bathroom or galley. Is it for structural reasons. Just wondered??????

John
Flown: A300,A319,A320,A321,A330,A340.A380,717,727,737,747,757,767,777,DC9,DC10,MD11,MD80,F100,F50,ERJ,E190,CRJ,BAe146,Da
 
Greg
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RE: Why Missing Windows?

Tue Mar 02, 2004 1:53 am

Air conditioning risers, venilation ducting, etc....
 
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Starlionblue
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RE: Why Missing Windows?

Tue Mar 02, 2004 1:55 am

Don't tell Mr. O'Leary, or Ryanair will have no windows in a couple of years.
"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots." - John Ringo
 
ushermittwoch
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RE: Why Missing Windows?

Tue Mar 02, 2004 2:17 am

Very true Starlion!

I am surprised that they even ordered windows considering the high price of all the components involved and all the "cleaning" involved.
 Smile/happy/getting dizzy

For the Delta 757, the whole front section of the plane is First Class. So there is extra space for all the commodities of the "elite" passengers.
Where have all the tri-jets gone...
 
MAS777
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RE: Why Missing Windows?

Tue Mar 02, 2004 2:29 am

Many questions have been raised before about this - no one seems to have been able to answer them apart from the above already mentioned (re-electrics, ducts, etc) but why do these 747s differ in their engineering layout (look at the rear cabin 5 windows from the end) when they are otherwise essentially identical?


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petazulu
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RE: Why Missing Windows?

Tue Mar 02, 2004 3:22 am

I notice this mostly happens around the wing area. Maybe it is needed to firmly attach the wings to the fuselage? I'd rather have the additional supports- than a bloody window!

It's what I have assumed all of these years anyways...
 
myk
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RE: Why Missing Windows?

Tue Mar 02, 2004 3:25 am

True story :

Last year, I travelled on a lot of airlines, i always made a reservation for a window seat to enjoy the outsidelook. I ALWAYS had a window seat WITHOUT a window !!!!

 
FlySSC
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RE: Why Missing Windows?

Tue Mar 02, 2004 3:33 am

Ryanair 's planes WILL always have windows in the future... you will just have to pay 1 extra Euro to be able to open the cover...for 15minutes (only) !  Nuts
 
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Starlionblue
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RE: Why Missing Windows?

Tue Mar 02, 2004 3:39 am

This reminds me of that great Foxtrot comic strip. Roger has boarded the plane:

"P/A system on the plane: Today's feature film will be 'Alive', about a football team that survives a harrowing plane crash in the Andes... Earplugs and blindfolds are $10...

Roger: "You guys are getting good."

"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots." - John Ringo
 
zrb2
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RE: Why Missing Windows?

Tue Mar 02, 2004 3:40 am

I was booked on a 757 last year and thought i had a window seat until i sat down and realized it was a blank wall. I was none too happy. Now I check the following website when I book in advance to make sure I avoid the "windowless" window seats.

http://www.seatguru.com/home.shtml
 
airbazar
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RE: Why Missing Windows?

Tue Mar 02, 2004 3:53 am

I just think is really unfair to charge the same price for a seat whether it's a window, isle or middle seat, when it's pretty obvious no one in their right mind would actually chose a middle seat.
I wonder how much business airlines lose from people chosing a different airline when they realize the only seat left is a middle seat.
 
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Starlionblue
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RE: Why Missing Windows?

Tue Mar 02, 2004 3:55 am

Maybe so, but imagine the complications from changing the system.

Besides, if I fly with my wife, I'd rather sit in the window with her in the center, not with someone between us!
"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots." - John Ringo
 
airsicknessbag
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RE: Why Missing Windows?

Tue Mar 02, 2004 3:56 am


When the engine has an uncontained failure and sends shrapnel flying around, it´s better to not have a window there.

That´s the reason for "blind" windows at engine blade level.

Daniel Smile
 
mikeymike
Posts: 402
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RE: Why Missing Windows?

Tue Mar 02, 2004 4:07 am

Engineering layouts change from Customer to Customer based on configuration schemes both interior and shipside.

One example, the Thai 747 has a longitudinal galley that runs the entire length of the RH B-zone (between doors 2 and 3). The galley interfaces (ventilation, return, plumbing, electrical) do not all match existing/standard shipside locations. Also, interference with structure may drive the need for new vertical conduit locations to be created on different airlines configs.

Other monument physical locations such as partitions, lavs, closets, etc will force airlines to use blanking plates instead of having a window be exposed to the back side of a green colored primed honey-comb composite wall. When an airline installs a closet at a certain location, the airline will not install a sidewall, hence the need for blanking plates.

Finally, on some areas of the aircraft, there is just a blank half of sidewall adjacent to seat (no monument forcing a blanking plate). As people have previously mentioned, this is due to standard vertical conduit locations.
 
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Starlionblue
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RE: Why Missing Windows?

Tue Mar 02, 2004 4:21 am

And regarding lavs, I much prefer them with a window. Gimme the SAS MD-90 any day. It's just a little less like stepping into a dark portapotty.
"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots." - John Ringo
 
yow
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RE: Why Missing Windows?

Tue Mar 02, 2004 6:17 am

Lavs and galleys often result in no window. Although some airlines have the last row of seats, or a row someplace on the aircraft, windowless.
 
trident2e
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RE: Why Missing Windows?

Tue Mar 02, 2004 6:22 am

bmiBaby is the only airline I know of that tells you on its website which rows don't have windows (row 7 on the 737-300). Why can't all airlines do this?
 
yhmfan
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RE: Why Missing Windows?

Tue Mar 02, 2004 6:37 am

FLYSCC;
Ryanair 's planes WILL always have windows in the future... you will just have to pay 1 extra Euro to be able to open the cover...for 15minutes (only) !

I guess it would work IF they had window covers......

If at first you don't succeed, skydiving is not for you
 
RonE
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RE: Why Missing Windows?

Tue Mar 02, 2004 7:48 am

Zrb2,

Great website! It's a pity that they only have info on selected airlines. Is there a website that specifies more airlines and more aircraft?

I usually make it a habit, especially with an airline I fly with often, to scout the plane itself and take notice which seats are windowless.

For example, having made many trips on El-Al with their 762's and 738's I have noticed that rows 25 and 26 on the 762's are "windowless" and so is row 12 on the 738- but on the left side only. On the right there are windows.
Also on the 757 rows 7 and 11 are to be avoided.

I have also noticed that as a rule of thumb, for the 747 if you know what row the seating begins in economy, you can usually tell if you are assigned a "windowless" window seat. Some 747's begin the first section in economy ahead of the front edge of the wing- on those aircraft one should avoid the 7th row from the beginning- also the two or three rows just behind that row may be uncomfortable as one may have to stretch in order to view the window.
In the 747's that begin their seating in Y behind the front edge of the wing it is usually the 4th row from the front, but there are also 747's that have business class seats in half that section.... in short, you need to have an aircraft seating map of the aircraft you're flying with but at least with the 747, I can make a pretty good guess. Also, the emergency exit of the second section on the jumbo tends to be windowless- the plus side is you have lots of legroom there.
 
nycfuturepilot
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RE: Why Missing Windows?

Tue Mar 02, 2004 8:06 am

I was very upset about this on a recent flight to FLL on a CO 757. I sat in seat 10A which i thought would be perfect because its a window and its clost to the door but was very upset to find that i didnt have a window.
Father, Son, HOYA spirit
 
yhmfan
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RE: Why Missing Windows?

Tue Mar 02, 2004 8:16 am

Nycfuturepilot;

was very upset about this on a recent flight to FLL on a CO 757. I sat in seat 10A which I thought would be perfect because its a window and its clost to the door but was very upset to find that i didnt have a window.

Try the following website the next time you fly

http://www.seatguru.com

In case of your last trip, it does tell you that 10A is, in all likelihood, windowless


Sorry Zrb2, I did not see your post up there re Seatguru.com!!


[Edited 2004-03-02 00:21:04]
If at first you don't succeed, skydiving is not for you
 
WindowSeat
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RE: Why Missing Windows?

Tue Mar 02, 2004 8:34 am


Nycfuturepilot,

were you not able to change seats?? As my screen name suggests, I would fight tooth and nail to get a seat with a window...lol

But in all honesty, this has happened to me once and from then on I make sure I request "window seat with a window" every time. I get chuckles from the check in agent, but better to specify than to be sorry.

cheers

I'm all in favour of keeping dangerous weapons out of the hands of fools. Let's start with keyboards.
 
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PA110
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RE: Why Missing Windows?

Tue Mar 02, 2004 9:02 am

I just think is really unfair to charge the same price for a seat whether it's a window, isle or middle seat, when it's pretty obvious no one in their right mind would actually chose a middle seat.
I wonder how much business airlines lose from people chosing a different airline when they realize the only seat left is a middle seat.


Airbazar, airlines sell transportation from point A to point B. They do not sell the physical seats. Someone is going to get a middle seat. Families traveling together are going to select the middle seat, along with the aisle and/or window in order to sit together.

Many airlines don't offer assigned seating, and those that arrive late get the middle seat. It is simply not feasible to base your ticket pricing on aisle/middle/window seats. The best airlines have been able to come up with is Front/Middle/Back... it's called First/Business/Economy. Live with it. Everyone else does.
Look, it's been swell, but the swelling's gone down.
 
WindowSeat
Posts: 1201
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RE: Why Missing Windows?

Tue Mar 02, 2004 9:08 am



If hotels can charge more for a room with a view, I don't see why airlines may not adopt the same practice. Frankly, I would be opposed to such a thing, but it is just food for thought. Better hope Mr. O'Leary is not listening.....

cheers

I'm all in favour of keeping dangerous weapons out of the hands of fools. Let's start with keyboards.
 
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PA110
Posts: 1986
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RE: Why Missing Windows?

Tue Mar 02, 2004 9:20 am

Airbazar, I recall someone actually trying to come up with a pricing scheme based on seat location on the aircraft. It was part of a study back in the 70's. Where it came undone was trying to match price with the customer preference. They found that when it came right down to it... the customer wanted the cheapest price. There weren't enough middle seats to suit demand! Go figure!
Look, it's been swell, but the swelling's gone down.
 
L-188
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RE: Why Missing Windows?

Tue Mar 02, 2004 12:31 pm

Apparently Antonov is very interested is suppling Ryanair with aircraft.



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OBAMA-WORST PRESIDENT EVER....Even SKOORB would be better.
 
SafetyDude
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RE: Why Missing Windows?

Tue Mar 02, 2004 12:49 pm

Are there any pictures of a Thai 747 galley? I was not able to find any...

 Smile
-Will
"She Flew For What We Stand For"
 
AirframeAS
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RE: Why Missing Windows?

Tue Mar 02, 2004 2:01 pm

there is an airduct that runs from the air return grille in the middle of the cabin up to the air vent spacers on the very top of the ceiling thats the reason for the space between the window. Just ask any A&P who works checks and they'll tell you the same. The smaller 737s (-200, -300, -500, -600, and -700) have one on each side of the aircraft. The larger 737s (-400, -800 and -900) have two on each side of the aircraft. Those get inspected through every heavy C or D check.

When the engine has an uncontained failure and sends shrapnel flying around, it´s better to not have a window there.

That´s the reason for "blind" windows at engine blade level.


This is not even true. Again, theres an airduct behind those walls. Look at any BMM and you'll see. Trust me, I know cuz Ive been there at AS working on this stuff as a Technician Helper in the interiors department.


[Edited 2004-03-02 06:04:34]
A Safe Flight Begins With Quality Maintenance On The Ground.
 
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asuflyer05
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RE: Why Missing Windows?

Tue Mar 02, 2004 2:16 pm

"Many airlines don't offer assigned seating, and those that arrive late get the middle seat. It is simply not feasible to base your ticket pricing on aisle/middle/window seats. The best airlines have been able to come up with is Front/Middle/Back... it's called First/Business/Economy. Live with it. Everyone else does."

If you are Elite on Continental and pay full-fare you are guaranteed no middle-seat.

"No Middle Seat Guarantee: When flying Continental on an unrestricted Y class ticket, all OnePass members will receive a window or aisle seat in Economy Class every time. Continental will automatically reward OnePass members with 1,000 OnePass bonus miles if they do receive a middle seat."

http://www.continental.com/onepass/elite/services.asp
 
Joule
Posts: 157
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RE: Why Missing Windows?

Tue Mar 02, 2004 3:30 pm

KLM's 744 has a similar galley configuration as Thai's.

The galley pic is taken from front looking aft and clearly shows the longitudinal configuration. The shot from the outside shows the blanked-out windows where the galley's located.


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Starlionblue
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RE: Why Missing Windows?

Tue Mar 02, 2004 5:18 pm

The engine is required (certification) to contain any high-energy fragments. If you had to block of windows for that, what about props?
"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots." - John Ringo
 
je89_w
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RE: Why Missing Windows?

Tue Mar 02, 2004 5:44 pm

Garuda Indonesia also has the similar galley configuration, just like KL and TG:

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MD-90
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RE: Why Missing Windows?

Tue Mar 02, 2004 7:48 pm

Can anyone out there find a floorplan of KLM's 744s? I've seen one before, but I was looking at floorplans recently and I could not find one on KLM's website. Grrrrr....
 
ManchesterMAN
Topic Author
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RE: Why Missing Windows?

Tue Mar 02, 2004 9:01 pm

You can get a seating plan (if this is what you were after) of KL aircraft on their website http://www.klm.com under KLM services > Intercontinental > seat plans. Sorry can't link to it directly.
Flown: A300,A319,A320,A321,A330,A340.A380,717,727,737,747,757,767,777,DC9,DC10,MD11,MD80,F100,F50,ERJ,E190,CRJ,BAe146,Da
 
MAS777
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RE: Why Missing Windows?

Tue Mar 02, 2004 10:00 pm

Although the replies here have stated the obvious eg lavs, galleys - does anyone know why MAS 747-400s have two different window configurations at the rear of the aircraft - when having been on both types - there is no obvious cabin difference?
 
akelley728
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RE: Why Missing Windows?

Tue Mar 02, 2004 11:09 pm

MD-90:

Here is a link to KLM's floorplan:

http://www.klm.com/generic/bin/145_34642.pdf
 
airbazar
Posts: 10202
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RE: Why Missing Windows?

Tue Mar 02, 2004 11:48 pm

Just about every other industry charges you based on location. As someone said, hotels charge more for a room with a view, theaters have different prices for different areas. And airlines with their most complex pricing schemas should easily be able to factor in the seat location into their fares. Airlines do not just sell transportation from A to B. They sell "real estate". That is, the space on a metal tube.

In my case, when I travel with my wife we buy a window (for me) and aisle (for her), hoping that no one will pay for the middle seat between the two of us  Smile It often works, but when it doesn't I'm yet to meet someone who's unwilling to exchange their middle seat for one of ours.

Sometimes I wonder how many other couples adopt the same practice, and how much business the airlines lose because of it. Isn't that one of the features that make the 767 such a popular aircraft amongst frequent fliers? I know that personally if I have a choice of window/aisle seat on a different airline I'll take it even if the price is a bit higher.
 
AirframeAS
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RE: Why Missing Windows?

Wed Mar 03, 2004 12:47 am

QX has their window right next to a spinning fan so there is really no blockage from that. Keep in mind that its very very rare to see a fan blade go AWOL. Ive never heard of it happening and I dont think it ever will. When AS does a lube service on the fan blades, Ive seen how a pain in the butt it is to take them out one by one, lube them then put them back in one by one. This job takes about 1-2 days for ONE engine. My point is that the fan blades are securely fastened to the engine very well.

As for Airsickness bag's comment that I forgot to mention:
When the engine has an uncontained failure and sends shrapnel flying around, it´s better to not have a window there.

Engines SUCK in air in order to make the plane go forward. If shrapnel was flying around, more than likely that the engine will ingest it in the engine and spit it out even during an uncontained failure. The forward fan blade wheel would still be moving and sucking in air hence the direction the wheel itself is moving even if the engine is shut down. Having a blocked window space has nothing to do with this.
A Safe Flight Begins With Quality Maintenance On The Ground.
 
VC745D
Posts: 208
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RE: Why Missing Windows?

Wed Mar 03, 2004 1:17 am

Keep in mind that its very very rare to see a fan blade go AWOL. Ive never heard of it happening and I dont think it ever will.

I seem to remember that sometime in the '70s or '80s, a wing engine of a NA DC10 disintegrated, with a blade or other shrapnel piercing the cabin, killing a passenger.
 
Skymonster
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RE: Why Missing Windows?

Wed Mar 03, 2004 1:32 am

Keep in mind that its very very rare to see a fan blade go AWOL. Ive never heard of it happening and I dont think it ever will

Nope. There have been a number of cases of uncontained failure over the years - certainly a Delta MD-90 I recall, and the Sioux City accident was the result of an uncontained failure. Check these out for example, where there's been documented cases of uncontained failures of CF-6 engines:

http://www.mse.eng.ohio-state.edu/~daehn/198a_GEarticle.html
http://www.eltoroairport.org/issues/newark-060100.html

The sections with no windows are located directly in line with the fan, and are there to reduce the likelihood that an uncontained failure would cause damage to a window or in the worst case cabin depressurisation - windows are more likely to be damaged than skin. There may well be air conditioning risers in the same areas on some types, and it's a convenience that they can be routed in such locations and thus not need other window locations being blanked off. Engines that let go of blades may well spit hot end sections out of the back (if, repeat if, the casing contains them) but there's not much likelihood that a blade at the front would go all the way through and out the back.

Andy
There are old pilots and there are bold pilots, but there are no old bold pilots
 
VC745D
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RE: Why Missing Windows?

Wed Mar 03, 2004 1:51 am

From airsafe.com: 3 November 1973; National Airlines DC10; over New Mexico, USA: The aircraft had an uncontained failure of one of the wing mounted engines. A piece of the engine struck the fuselage and broke a passenger window. One of the 116 passengers was sucked out of the aircraft during a rapid decompression. The remains of the passenger were not found.
 
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Starlionblue
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RE: Why Missing Windows?

Wed Mar 03, 2004 2:15 am

The engine needs to contain a blade failure. The fuselage should not be involved in this operation, nor should the wing or the pylon.

DC-10 thing is unfortunate, but there will always be a freak occurences. Besides, that was over 30 years ago, in the dark ages when NW had DC-9s. Hang on...

[Edited 2004-03-02 18:17:09]
"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots." - John Ringo
 
Skymonster
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RE: Why Missing Windows?

Wed Mar 03, 2004 2:19 am

Starlionblue,

Engines are demonstrated capable of containing fan blade failure during certification, but that's not a 100% guarantee it won't happen, as proven by the CF-6 on the DC-10, as proven by various other accidents to MDs, 767s, etc. In such cases, the fuselage most definitely does come into it, whether it should do or not.

Andy
There are old pilots and there are bold pilots, but there are no old bold pilots
 
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Starlionblue
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RE: Why Missing Windows?

Wed Mar 03, 2004 2:25 am

Good point, but it doesn't seem to stop there being a window in that position. If nothing else, it seems pretty unlikely that a blade will come out at EXACTLY a 90 degree angle to the direction of thrust, considering the amount of metal between the inside of the engine and freedom.
"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots." - John Ringo
 
yhmfan
Posts: 579
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RE: Why Missing Windows?

Wed Mar 03, 2004 2:37 am

Let us assume that the engine did not contain the blade:
I don't think it makes any difference whether you have a thin sheet of aluminum or glass/plastic between you and the blade traveling at an extremely high velocity..... either way the blade will go through metal/glass/aluminum like hot knife through butter.
In my opinion, whatever the reason for no window, has nothing to do with safety.
If at first you don't succeed, skydiving is not for you
 
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Starlionblue
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RE: Why Missing Windows?

Wed Mar 03, 2004 4:44 am

Good point, but just because the blade is uncontained does not mean that none of the energy was taken up by the engine casing. So it will probably be going slower. For props, on the other hand....
"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots." - John Ringo
 
zak
Posts: 1926
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RE: Why Missing Windows?

Sat Mar 06, 2004 3:34 am

"The sections with no windows are located directly in line with the fan, and are there to reduce the likelihood that an uncontained failure would cause damage to a window or in the worst case cabin depressurisation - windows are more likely to be damaged than skin."

i seriously doubt that since the windows should actually be a stronger component then the normal fuselage skin.
if engine failure containment was such a problem that they actually thought about not having windows somewhere(which makes no sense i think as i stated before) they would do a 100x better job in having spectra lining on the inside of the engine covers. would do a 500x better job at only slight weight increase at a rather high price though.
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