PARIS, France — If you see one of the new jetliners cutting through the sky over the Paris Air Show, you may wonder how it got its sophisticated, high-technology windshields and windows. There is a good possibility they came from the PPG Aerospace facility in Huntsville.
With a number of hallmark transparency technologies to tout, this is the fullest meeting schedule at the Paris Air Show in a decade for Brent Wright, global director for PPG’s aerospace transparencies business. In addition, an Alabama delegation at the air show met with PPG officials on Monday about potential opportunities in the state.
PPG technologies being shown in Paris include Opticor advanced transparency material, which is the first new transparent plastic for aircraft windows approved by the Federal Aviation Administration in 50 years, and Alteos interactive window systems, which provide controllable dimmable shading for passenger-cabin windows. Several airframe manufacturers have expressed interest in Opticor advanced transparency material, Wright said, while there are others that plan to discuss new Alteos interactive window systems.
Passenger-cabin windows for the Gulfstream G650 business jet have Opticor advanced transparency material on the outboard surface to resist crazing and maintain optical clarity longer than stretched acrylic. The proprietary PPG plastic is laminated to stretched acrylic for added stiffness and assembled with an inboard coated glass panel that can be heated for antifogging. The G650 windows, which are aviation’s largest passenger-cabin windows, are made by PPG in Huntsville, and one is on display at PPG’s Paris Air Show exhibit.
Paris Air Show visitors also are able to experience Alteos interactive window systems at an exhibit that has lighting conditions similar to the inside of an aircraft cabin.
“For me the beauty of Alteos interactive window systems is that they not only bring a great aesthetic to an aircraft cabin, but they also save weight over conventional pull-down shades,” Wright said. “They perform superbly in blocking out light but also let passengers enjoy the view when they want, all in comfort. These dimmable window shades are the icing on the cake. They really set an aircraft interior apart.”
New business development and innovation efforts as well as product support for such technologies as Alteos interactive window systems and Opticor advanced transparency material are a focus in Huntsville. The Huntsville production facility — which employs about 800 people — conducts a large scope of work for a number of civil and military aircraft on transparency products that include windshields, windows, canopies, electrochromic shades and lenses.
“Customers come to PPG because of its long history and breadth of transparency experience supporting all aircraft sectors,” Wright said. “We have in Huntsville a highly capable workforce, with our engineering, commercial and manufacturing teams supported by the Huntsville area’s great business-friendly environment and educated population.”
Below is a series of photos of the PPG exhibit displaying the dimmable windows.