HUNTSVILLE, Ala., June 2, 2010 – Air travelers onboard the new Beechcraft King Air 350i airplane are the first to experience the comfort, control and convenience of Alteos(TM) Interactive Window Systems by PPG Industries’ (NYSE:PPG) aerospace transparencies group using Gentex Corp. (NASDAQ:GNTX) technology. With Hawker Beechcraft Corp.’s receipt of Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) Type Certifications, the electrochromic dimmable systems for the passenger-cabin windows receive certification as well.
In addition, PPG supplies heated, all-glass windshields for the King Air 350i. Produced in Huntsville, the windshields have hydrophobic Surface Seal(R) coating to maintain visibility in rain conditions as a secondary rain-removal system.
“The King Air has flown with PPG windshields since the first one took flight, so it is especially significant for PPG to have Alteos Interactive Window Systems introduced to air travelers on the newest model, the King Air 350i airplane,” said Arthur Scott, PPG Aerospace global director, general aviation transparencies. “Hawker Beechcraft has raised the bar for passenger comfort and aircraft sophistication with the King Air 350i airplane, and Alteos window systems will contribute to its operation and the enjoyment of those who fly on it.”
Alteos window systems previously passed electrical, environmental and flammability testing to meet HBC and aeronautical industry standards, according to Scott. The dimmable window systems underwent qualification testing for temperature extremes, high humidity, altitude, vibration, crash safety, salt spray and high structural loading, he added. Electrical tests verified electromagnetic compatibility.
Environmental and electrical tests were conducted at a third-party accredited laboratory and witnessed by an FAA Designated Engineering Representative, while HBC performed flammability testing, Scott said.
Alteos window systems use proprietary electrochromic technology from Gentex. The dimmable window subassemblies and electronic controls are manufactured at Gentex’s Zeeland, Mich., headquarters facility and shipped to PPG Aerospace’s Dallas Application Support Center, in Grand Prairie, Texas, where they are incorporated into Alteos Interactive Window Systems. PPG then delivers the systems to HBC’s Wichita, Kan., aircraft assembly plant. Each King Air 350i airplane has 15 electrochromic windows, eliminating the need for conventional aircraft window shades. Electrochromics is the science of reversibly darkening materials using electricity.
“Gentex is very excited to provide our electrochromic window subassemblies to PPG for the Alteos brand window systems,” said Gentex Senior Vice President Enoch Jen. “The King Air 350i is the first general and business aviation aircraft to utilize electrochromic dimmable window systems as standard equipment.”
HBC selected Alteos window systems to replace polarizing shades on the King Air 350i’s cabin windows for enhanced passenger comfort, interior aesthetics and aircraft operating efficiency, according to Scott. Through the King Air 350i’s cabin management system, passengers control the visible light transmittance of a dimmable window subassembly between the inboard dust cover and outboard structural cabin window system. The windows are adjustable from clear to dark and three intermediate levels.
PPG has been honored for its ALTEOS interactive Window Systems that provide controllable dimmable shading for aircraft passenger-cabin windows.
The shades are the first of their kind for commercial aircraft passenger cabins and will enhance passenger comfort while affording operating efficiencies.
Paris Air Show visitors see working demonstration of ALTEOS window systems.
NBAA show visitors can see side-by-side examples of the neutral-silver solar-reflective and gold solar-reflective coatings at PPG Aerospace’s display booth 1881.