Seeing all the coverage of Boeing’s 787 rollout for All Nippon Airways this weekend, one thing that stood out was just much how attention was paid to the windows of the new jetliner.
And with good reason: They’re noticeably larger than traditional airplane windows, and they have a unique dimming feature that can be controlled by pressing a button underneath.
So how do the windows work? A thin layer of gel is sandwiched between two pieces of glass. Applying an electrical current to the gel causes a chemical reaction that changes its opacity. Electrodes are placed on the sides of the windows, out of view of the passengers.
The windows are also networked together, for centralized control by the flight attendants.
See this story from Boeing’s archives for more details on the windows, and a behind-the-scenes video.