Research Frontiers SPD-Smart Electronic Aircraft Window Shades: They’re Fast, They’re Dark and They’re Here!

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SPD-Smart dimmable windows provide unprecedented level of darkness, fast switching speed, heat-blocking and other benefits demanded by aircraft OEMs and their customers.
WOODBURY, N.Y., July 9, 2012 – Research Frontiers Inc. (Nasdaq: REFR), the developer of SPD-Smart light-control technology, marks today’s opening of the 2012 Farnborough International Airshow by announcing the availability of new SPD-Smart electronically dimmable aircraft windows with an unprecedented combination of instant switching speed, and light-, noise- and heat-blocking capabilities.
Aircraft began to fly using SPD-Smart technology 11 years ago and are still in service, and during that time Research Frontiers and its licensees have developed and introduced several generations of dimmable windows. Each new product evolved to satisfy the demands of aircraft OEMs and their customers. The latest generation provides the aircraft industry’s only complete solution to managing in real-time the environmental challenges that outside conditions inflict on the cabin interior and passengers including light, glare, heat and noise.
Level of darkness: Solar radiation onboard aircraft is extreme, and requires a dimmable window that creates an environment dark enough for passengers to sleep, even during daylight hours. Research Frontiers licensees now offer SPD-Smart windows that can be set to block over 99.96% of incoming light – achieving cabin blackout conditions whenever desired – to meet the needs of OEMs and their customers.
Switching speed: Whenever a passenger wants relief from glare, SPD-Smart aircraft windows offer immediate response. Due to instant switching, an infinite number of light-transmission states can be selected by the passenger or flight crew, from clear to blackout, and any level of view-preserving tint in between.
A demonstration of the level of darkness and switching speed of SPD-Smart aircraft windows can be viewed in this video:
Heat-blocking: Aircraft cabins can become hot when the aircraft is parked because of solar heat streaming through windows. The result is an uncomfortably warm cabin upon boarding or the need to use jet fuel or auxiliary power units before boarding to cool down the cabin. SPD-Smart aircraft windows automatically switch to their maximum heat-blocking state, even when the aircraft is parked unpowered, and the cabin remains cool. Thermal insulation is important in automobiles as well, and Daimler has published data on its “Magic Sky Control” sunroof which uses SPD-SmartGlass technology on their new Mercedes-Benz SLK and SL models. Daimler’s independent tests show that 95% of incoming heat is rejected by their Magic Sky Control sunroof. This creates an 18ºF (10ºC) reduction in cabin temperature compared to conventional tinted glass, without using any energy to cool the vehicle.
Other performance benefits: Additional challenges stated by OEMs and their customers that have been successfully met by SPD-Smart dimmable aircraft windows include:
+ Noise-blocking: the ability to reduce the amount of noise transmitted through windows
+ Curved shapes: the ability to offer curved windows to meet interior design needs
+ Weight-reduction: the ability to fabricate dimmable windows using lightweight plastics
+ FAA certification: the ability to demonstrate full compliance with all FAA requirements
Joseph M. Harary, President and CEO of Research Frontiers noted: “Research Frontiers and our licensees have responded to the needs of OEMs and their customers with a new generation of electronically-dimmable window shades for aircraft that have the highest performing combination of benefits in the industry. With the touch of a button, SPD-Smart aircraft windows can be adjusted by passengers and flight crews to achieve complete darkening of the cabin. The products our licensees offer provide a level of darkness that is unachievable by the electrochromic (EC) dimmable windows currently used on the Boeing 787 and Hawker Beechcraft King Air 350i aircraft models. In addition, SPD-Smart windows give passengers precise tunability anywhere from clear to dark, and because the change is instant, they feel immediate relief from glare or heat. This level of control, and this immediate response to passenger needs, are not available in the electrochromic technology currently in use – those dimmable windows actually require a minute or two to switch, and only offer a very few limited pre-set levels of light control. We invite aircraft manufacturers and their customers to compare the SPD-Smart windows offered by our licensees to existing electrochromic and other window shades. The difference will be instantly apparent.”
SPD-Smart dimmable aircraft windows are now on 30 in-service models of aircraft, from business aircraft and helicopters to every Airbus A380 in Qantas Airway’s fleet delivered since their first A380 delivery in 2008. They have also been publicly demonstrated at all of the major aircraft industry trade shows by Research Frontiers licensees and by OEMs including Honda Aircraft Company (HondaJet), Bombardier (CSeries) and Hawker Beechcraft (Hawker 400XPr).
To learn more about SPD-Smart aircraft windows, and to be introduced to licensees of Research Frontiers, please contact:
Michael LaPointe
Vice President – Marketing
Research Frontiers Inc.
About Research Frontiers Inc.
Research Frontiers Inc. is the developer of SPD-Smart light-control technology which allows users to instantly, precisely and uniformly control the shading of glass or plastic, either manually or automatically. Having invested over $85 million to date to develop its technology, the Company has been granted 288 patents for its SPD technology and has pending patent applications that, if granted, would add approximately 250 additional patents. Research Frontiers has built an infrastructure of 39 licensed companies that collectively are capable of serving the growing global demand for smart glass products in automobiles, homes, buildings, aircraft and boats.
Note: From time to time Research Frontiers may issue forward-looking statements which involve risks and uncertainties. This press release contains forward-looking statements. Actual results could differ and are not guaranteed. Any forward-looking statements should be considered accordingly. “SPD-Smart”, “SmartGlass” and “SPD-SmartGlass” are trademarks of Research Frontiers Inc. “Magic Sky Control” and “Mercedes-Benz” are trademarks of Daimler AG.

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