Singapore Air Show

PPG has it made in the shade

 - February 2, 2010, 6:01 PM

PPG Aerospace (Stand E83) is offering visitors live demos of its Alteos interactive window system, an electrochromic shade that replaces manual or electromechanical pull-down models. The system, just certified on the Hawker Beechcraft King Air 350i business aircraft, is to fly soon on the Boeing 787 airliner.

The Alteos windows are to be installed on the third flight-test Boeing 787, PPG global director for commercial transparencies Mark Cancilla told AIN. The Huntsville, Alabama-based company has delivered several shipsets to Boeing and is talking with Airbus about using them on the A350. Cancilla described the price as “four digits” in U.S. dollars per window, without naming a specific figure.

Lower Maintenance Costs
The cost, he said, is at least partly offset by lower maintenance costs since the system has no moving parts and is self-contained. The windows also reduce the cabin heat load thanks to reduced UV and IR transmission, thus making the cabin air conditioning more efficient.

For business aircraft, the price is “very competitive with electromechanical shades, which are heavy and complex,” Cancilla said. They rank high on the aircraft manufacturers’ warranty issue list, he added. PPG is talking to business jet makers Bombardier, Dassault, Embraer and Gulfstream.

The Alteos was certified on the King Air 350i twin turboprop last month. “The system integrates with the cabin management system,” Cancilla emphasized. For example, in movie mode, the lighting weakens while the windows darken. Shades can also be controlled via individual switches. Light transmittance varies between 70 percent (clear mode) and 0.1 percent (dark mode). In the latter case, the passenger can still see what’s going on outside.

Alteos windows use a layer of gel material between the exterior window and the interior dust cover. Each window consumes less than 0.2 Watts. In the dark position, it still needs residual power.