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The Qantas A350’s E-windows, controlled by the crew, can be adjusted to turn dark or bright

Qantas is set to revolutionize the flying experience on its non-stop flights from Sydney and Melbourne to London and New York by introducing advanced ‘e-glass’ technology. This innovation replaces traditional pull-down plastic window shades with electronically dimmable windows, similar to those found on the Boeing 787 Dreamliner.

The Airbus A350‘s “e-windows,” which are more advanced than those on the Dreamliner, are a more modern addition. The windows are made of two thin glass layers separated by a clear electrochromic gel. Passengers can control window tint at the touch of a button with this gel, which responds to an electric current by changing from clear to an “ultra-dark” setting.

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The e-windows on the A350 exhibit exceptional speed and responsiveness in contrast to the Dreamliner. In a test on Airbus’s Airspace Explore A350, a light touch on the built-in dimmer strip quickly turned the windows from clear to black. The windows could be smoothly adjusted to dim by holding down the button.

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Notable e-windows on the A350 offer a nearly full blackout experience with their ‘ultra-dark’ setting, which blocks out 99.99% of visible light. According to the window manufacturer Gentex, the A350 windows also prevent infrared waves, which raises the temperature inside the cabin.

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The cabin crew can control the windows collectively from the front of the plane, allowing for a coordinated adjustment that mimics the traditional approach of crew members walking through the cabin to manage window shades.

Qantas has planned to integrate these cutting-edge window technologies into its Project Sunrise A350s, which are scheduled to arrive in 2025. To minimize jet lag effects and help adjust circadian rhythms, LED lighting schemes throughout the cabin will allow for gentle transitions between colors and intensities that have been scientifically tested.

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