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Travel Secret #1053: Why Aeroplane Windows Are Oval

Source: usattravel.files.wordpress.com

Everyone loves the window seat!  The beautiful views of a city during ascent and descent, the sight of clouds floating by, just staring out of into the distance can make a long flight much more interesting.

But have you ever wondered why the windows of the airplane are oval instead of the usual rectangular shape? Apparently,  the circular design was created after careful engineering considerations to ensure passenger safety.

In the 1950s, when jetliners became mainstream, the de Havilland Comet came into fashion. With a pressurised cabin, it was able to go higher and faster than other aircraft. However, in 1953 two planes fell apart in the air, killing 56 people in total.

The reason for the crashes? The square windows.

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Where there’s a corner, there’s a weak spot. Square windows, having four corners, have four potential weak spots, making them likely to crash under stress – such as air pressure.  By curving the window, the stress was distributed and the likelihood of it breaking was vastly reduced.

This video by YouTube channel Real Engineering explains in detail, the science behind rejection of square windows in planes.

 

 

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