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Why do airplane windows have a round frame instead of a square one?

Technology has come a long way over the years, including aerospace engineering. Now we can reach long distances much faster, the planes have more capacity and even different features in seats, security, food, and drinks. However, there is one mystery that is still unknown: why their windows are not square?

Why do airplane windows frame has no corners?

It really has nothing to do with design or looks, the oval shape is not only cute relative to the plane, but also functional in helping to distribute window pressure evenly, reducing the chance of it breaking or cracking with changes in air pressure.

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At some point, they were square until the 1950s, when airlines flew slower and lower. When the technology let airplanes to rose in altitude in order to save money on fuel and reach longer distances, a change was needed, they had to modify its window’s frames to withstand air pressure.

Between the years 1953 and 1954, some airplanes suffered accidents as a result of the austerity in their technology and the square windows. Three of Havilland Comets aircrafts exploded and fell into the sea from the pressure on the corners of the square windows, resulting in many casualties.

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Finally, the studies showed that the accidents were caused by the metal fatigue error originating in the corners of the windows. A corner is a weak point, each window had four that could burst under pressure at any moment. This is how they found the solution. With a round window the tension is distributed and the possibility of an accident in the aircraft is reduced.

So next time you get your window seat, thank those who designed those rounded windows.

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