Gentex Corporation, a supplier of electronically dimmable windows (EDWs) for the aerospace industry, announced today at CES 2019 that its latest generation of dimmable aircraft windows will be offered as optional content on the forthcoming Boeing 777X.
EDWs are an electrochromic-based sunlight and heat control system that eliminates the need for window shades in the cabin and can reduce the load on air-conditioning systems. EDWs use an electrochromic gel sandwiched between two thin glass panels that darken or lighten in response to electricity – whether activated from the personal control fitted under the window or a crew panel. A low-voltage electric current is passed through conductive coatings and across the glass panels to induce an electrochemical reaction in the gel that causes it to darken. Removing the voltage allows the gel to return to its natural, transparent state.
Gentex EDWs already feature on the 787 Dreamliner, but the 777X program will be the first to utilize the company’s latest EDW technology, capable of eliminating more than 99.999% of the visible light at twice the darkening speed of previous windows. The 777X system will be designed with centralized control, allowing flight crew to set specific lighting scenarios for day or night time flight without reaching over passengers to open or close the mechanical shades.
According to Gentex, the EDWs will feature high-speed transition between clear and dark, a new ultra-dark low-end transmission, a thin-film coating for elimination of harmful IR and UV light, and low maintenance and operation costs.
“With careful design and collaboration with Boeing, our teams have developed a robust EDW system that easily integrates to the airframe for optimal control, aesthetics, performance, and reliability,” said Steve Downing, Gentex president and CEO.