Traveling on a plane is enticing. We love to travel on it because of the convenience it offers than other means of transport. There are many things inside a plane that can intrigue us. One of those is the design of its window. Everyone would have seen it from inside or outside and would have given a thought on its shape. Why airplane windows are oval and not square that we generally see everywhere. 

Well, there is a reason for it. An airplane built on the vision of a human to let humans fly like a bird. However, this vision has turned out to be one of the greatest revolutions in the history of mankind in traveling. There has been a work of several decades that has made an airplane more efficient and safe today. We are well aware of the fact that technology improves on the verge of trial and error, and from learning from the accidents. 

Yes, we learn many things from accidents. Initially, planes used to have square-shaped windows because they used to fly at low altitudes having normal air pressure. Then as technology made huge leaps in airplanes they started flying at high speed.

History that replaced square with circular shaped windows

Also, as commercial air travel took off, airplanes started flying at higher altitudes. The air pressure in the upper atmosphere remains low and offers less drag to an airplane, which saves them money. However, this led to an accident in the year 1953 where two airplanes fell apart during flight and resulted in catastrophe.

After the investigation was done, it was concluded that the reason for the crash was the rectangle-shaped airplane windows. Nobody knew a particular shape of a window would have such a significant role to play in a plane‚Äôs safety. So Let’s find an answer to a question.

How did the rectangular-shaped window result in such an accident?

In the fuselage of an airplane, there can be any point that can become a weak spot while flying. A weak spot is a place that collapses first when a plane has to experience stress. This weak spot can result in a catastrophe when there is stress due to changes in the air pressure or due to any other factors.

A square window will have four potential weak spots at the corner. In any case, there was to be no weak spot in a plane. For this, the manufactures replaced the square windows with the round windows. 

However, a plane can have weak spots at any part of it which has corners. This is the reason why the fuselage is also of cylindrical shapes.

Weak spot in round window

There are no weak spot in a round window. A round window shape allows it to distribute evenly any stress caused by air pressure or other factors over its surface. This leaves no room for any weak spot on it. Thus, there is a complete elimination of a potential danger that can be caused by any window of an airplane.

Ekta Singh Chandel

Ekta Singh Chandel

Ekta Singh is an Aerospace Engineer. She likes to read and talk about books. She loves to write and aspires to be an author and an entrepreneur.
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