PPG Aerospace Delivers First Shipset of Electrochromic Shades for Boeing 787

The shades are the first of their kind for commercial aircraft passenger cabins and will enhance passenger comfort while affording operating efficiencies.


HUNTSVILLE, Ala., Oct. 3, 2007 – PPG Industries’ (NYSE: PPG) aerospace business has delivered its first shipset of electrochromic shades for passenger-cabin windows of the Boeing 787. The shades will be assembled with the inboard dust cover and outboard cabin window system for installation in flight-test aircraft.

The shades are the first of their kind for commercial aircraft passenger cabins and will enhance passenger comfort while affording operating efficiencies, according to Mark Cancilla, PPG global director for commercial transparencies. They replace traditional pull-down opaque shades and combine electrochromic technology from Gentex Corp. and PPG’s expertise in applying metallic coatings to thin glass substrates, he said.

“This is a significant milestone as we move toward full production rates to meet Boeing’s requirements for its advanced-technology aircraft,” Cancilla said. “PPG glass coatings experts developed techniques for transferring Gentex’s successful electrochromic technology for automotive mirrors to the larger glass panels used in the cabin-window shades.”

The shades will be produced on equipment jointly funded by PPG and Gentex at Gentex’s Zeeland, Mich., facility, and they will be shipped to PPG’s Seattle application support center for final assembly and delivery.

PPG expects to complete certification testing of the shades in November and to deliver the first shipset of production parts by January, Cancilla said. Each configuration of the 787 has about 100 passenger-cabin and door windows that will use the electrochromic shade.

PPG Aerospace is the aerospace products and services business of PPG Industries, and the sole source to Boeing for cockpit windows on the Boeing 737, 767 and 777 airplanes. PPG Aerospace – Transparencies is the world’s largest supplier of aircraft windshields, windows and canopies. PPG Aerospace – PRC-DeSoto is the leading global producer of aerospace sealants, coatings, and packaging and application systems.

About Gentex Corporation

Founded in 1974, Gentex Corporation (NASDAQ:GNTX) is an international company that provides high-quality electro-optic products to the worldwide automotive industry and North American fire protection market. Based in Zeeland, Mich., the company develops, manufactures and markets interior and exterior automatic-dimming rearview mirrors that utilize proprietary electrochromic technology to dim in proportion to the amount of headlight glare from trailing vehicle headlamps. Many of the mirrors are sold with advanced electronic features, and approximately 96 percent of the company’s revenues are derived from the sales of auto-dimming mirrors to nearly every major automaker in the world.

About the Boeing 787 Dreamliner

The 787 is a family of super-efficient airplanes by Boeing that will provide passengers with a better flying experience. As the world's first mostly composite commercial airplane, it will use 20 percent less fuel per passenger than similarly sized airplanes, produce fewer carbon emissions, and have quieter takeoffs and landings. The airplanes will feature significant improvements in passenger amenities including cleaner air, larger windows, a lower cabin altitude and higher humidity. The first 787 is scheduled to enter passenger service in May 2008.

About PPG

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