Aircraft SPD




  • Daylighting control
  • Enjoy view with variable tint
  • Control glare instantly
  • Cooler and quieter cabin
  • Privacy on demand
  • Eliminate shades
  • Control by passengers or crew
  • Programmable automated light-control
  • Modern design options
  • Low maintenance
  • Save weight and increase cabin space
  • Protect interiors
Visible Light Transmittance: As low as 99.96% light blockage
As high as 80% light transmission
UV rejection: As high as 99.9% (full-time), protection up to 400 nm
Solar Control: Dark state: As high as 95% heat blockage
Clear state: As high as 57% heat transmission
Intermediate States: Infinitely tunable
Switching Speed: 1-3 seconds
Switching Uniformity: Completely uniform – no blotchiness or iris effects
Maximum Power Draw: As low as 0.06 watts/sq.ft
Size: Length: No limitation
Width: Up to 1.8 meters
Shapes: Any
Substrates: Chemically strengthened glass
Composite glass
Bullet and hurricane resistant composites also available

Can SPD-Smart aircraft windows be installed on aircraft currently in-service, as an aftermarket upgrade?

Yes, any aircraft can be retrofitted with SPD-Smart windows. Just complete the “Project Inquiry Form” found in the main menu “Contact” section, to learn more about SPD-Smart aircraft products. Be sure to indicate your interest is in aftermarket installations.

On which windows can SPD-Smart aircraft windows be installed?

SPD-Smart dimmable windows can be installed on all cabin windows, including the Emergency Exit Window. Interior partitions, such as those dividing the cockpit and the cabin, also can be equipped with larger SPD-Smart aircraft window panels.

Will the use of SPD-Smart dimmable aircraft windows affect the aircraft electronics?

No. Contact Research Frontiers licensees for details.

Will SPD-Smart aircraft windows be dark as people enter or leave the aircraft, if power is not on?

No. Research Frontiers licensees offer systems that enable the SPD-Smart dimmable windows to be clear upon boarding, and remain clear upon disembarking.

Can the pilot override the SPD-Smart aircraft window’s settings?


Can I “tune” the SPD-Smart aircraft window’s tint to any level?

Yes. Using a switch similar to a light bulb “dimmer switch,” the tint of the SPD-Smart aircraft window can be precisely and infinitely tuned to any level. This is done instantly, which is in stark contrast to another type of smart window (“electrochromic” or “electrochromatic”), where the user is forced to choose among several pre-set levels.

Will SPD-Smart aircraft windows discolor from exposure to the sun?

No. The products offered by Research Frontiers licensees include optical interlayers that block more than 99.9% of UV light. This protects the SPD-Smart dimmable windows from discoloring – and also protects aircraft interiors’ materials from fading.

Can SPD-Smart aircraft windows provide complete privacy?

Yes. Research Frontiers licensees are currently offering products capable of providing complete privacy on-demand with the push of a button.

How fast do SPD-Smart aircraft windows switch from clear to dark and back?

A complete switching cycle of the SPD-Smart aircraft window, from fully clear to fully dark, and then back to fully dark, occurs in just a few seconds. This is in stark contrast to another type of smart window (“electrochromic” or “electrochromatic”), where a switching cycle can take several minutes.

How dark, and how clear, do SPD-Smart dimmable aircraft windows get?

SPD-Smart aircraft windows can achieve over 99.9% light blockage – almost all incoming visible light is blocked. The same window can be optically transparent – clearer than the average aircraft window. Adjustment of the voltage to an SPD-Smart aircraft window allows users to choose an infinite number of tinting levels between these points.

How do SPD-Smart dimmable aircraft cabin windows work?

SPD-Smart aircraft windows use SPD film enclosed between thin plastic layers. Within this film are microscopic particles. When no electrical voltage is present, the particles absorb light and block it from passing through the film. When an electrical voltage is applied, the particles align so that light can pass through. Adjusting the voltage to the film provides a range of transparencies (i.e. very dark to fully clear) where light transmission can be rapidly varied to any degree desired depending upon preference or pre-programmed requirements.

Why are SPD-Smart aircraft windows better than other types of window shades?

SPD-Smart cabin windows have no moving parts, reducing maintenance costs and downtime. They block more than 99.9% of harmful UV light, protecting the interior from fading. They default to their darkest possible state when the aircraft is on the ground, maximizing heat rejection and keeping interiors cooler. Operators have total light-control in their cabin, which increases passenger comfort and satisfaction. SPD-Smart products are fabricated by laminating film between substrates, which act as noise barriers, keeping cabins quieter.

What makes SPD-Smart aircraft products unique?

SPD-Smart dimmable window products offered by Research Frontiers licensees are the only “smart windows” to offer instant switching, an extremely dark state, and unlimited “tuning” between clear and dark. In 2001, they became the world’s first dimmable aircraft windows. These windows are still in service, validating the superior durability of SPD-Smart aviation products over any other shading system. To this day, they remain the only dimmable window to receive certification under FAA Supplemental Type Certificate (STC). In 2008, they became the first dimmable windows to fly on a commercial airline – and are now on all Qantas Airlines Airbus A380s.

What are some of the benefits of SPD-Smart aircraft products?

Aircraft products using SPD technology provide significant benefits to passengers and operators, including:

  • Variable shading from clear to over 99.9% light blockage
  • Instant response time
  • Heat rejection maximized when aircraft parked on ramp
  • Control at each window, or cabin-wide master control for crew
  • 99.9% UV blockage to protect interiors
  • No moving parts
  • Lightweight substrates

What do SPD-Smart aircraft windows do?

SPD-Smart dimmable windows allow you to instantly regulate light, glare and heat entering your aircraft windows. You can control your dimmable windows from fully clear to very dark, and to any level of tint in between. You simply push a button to electrically tune the tint of your window.

What types of SPD-Smart aircraft products are offered today?

SPD-Smart aircraft products include cabin windows, partitions and cockpit visors.

Is there a more technical description of how SPD-Smart aircraft windows control light?

The SPD film layer in SPD-Smart aircraft windows could be called a “light valve.” In the film, droplets of liquid suspension are distributed. Light-absorbing microscopic particles are dispersed within the liquid suspension. The SPD emulsion is enclosed between two plastic substrates coated with a transparent conductive material. The particles are randomly oriented due to Brownian motion and absorb 99% – 99.9% of visible light hitting window. When an electrical voltage is applied, the particles align due to a field effect and light passes through the window. This gives users a range of transparency where light transmission can be rapidly varied depending upon the amount of voltage applied.

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