At CES 2020, Airbus initially revealed that it planned to introduce dimmable windows in its aircraft cabins, including on the Airbus A350. This is expected to be introduced on planes as of this year (2022), though it’s interesting to note that at least one airline customer isn’t interested in this technology.
Airbus will start offering dimmable windows
Airbus intends to start delivering Airbus A350s with a dimmable window feature in the near future. This was recently confirmed, though the launch customer for this new feature hasn’t yet been revealed.
This is part of an overall change to the aircraft manufacturer’s signature Airspace cabin design, and it will bring the Airbus A350 in line with the Boeing 787 in this regard, as the latter plane has long (controversially) offered dimmable windows.
The new window shade technology is designed by Gentex Corporation, which is a supplier of electronically dimmable windows for the aerospace industry. With these latest generation electrochromic windows, passengers will no longer have to manually push the window shade up or down, but rather can adjust their window shade setting by the push of a button.
Gentex states that this new technology will allow passengers to selectively darken the windows while still viewing scenery outside. These dimmers will eliminate the need for window shades, and also incorporate a heat control solution that blocks infra-red energy from entering the cabin from outside, lessening the dependence on air conditioning systems.
These latest generation windows will feature high-speed transition between clear and dark, and will also offer an ultra-dark low-end transmission. Compared to previous designs, the latest windows will darken twice as fast and become 100 times darker, eliminating 99.999% of visible light.
Airbus A350s will soon get dimmable windows
Lufthansa not interested in dimmable windows
It’s interesting to note that while the first Airbus jet with dimmable windows is expected to enter service in the coming months, Lufthansa reportedly isn’t interested in this feature. The airline has quite a few Airbus A350s on order, and has opted not to install dimmable windows on these planes.
As reported by aeroTELEGRAPH, a Lufthansa spokesperson says that this isn’t about cost savings, but rather is about the passenger experience, and the general downsides of this window technology.
There’s a lot to look forward to with Lufthansa’s upcoming Airbus A350s, as the ones delivered starting in 2023 are expected to feature Lufthansa’s new business class, and will also feature a new first class product.
Lufthansa won’t have dimmable windows on its A350s
My issue with Boeing 787 dimmable windows
Many people like the window shades on the 787 and find them to be cool, though personally I strongly dislike them (this is actually one of the reasons I prefer the A350 to the 787):
- Many times the crew will just “lock” the window setting on dark for the entire flight, meaning there’s no way you can look outside
- Even when in the darkest mode, I find that it’s still somewhat bright, and worst of all if you’re on the same side of …….