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What is the Airplane Window Hole for?

by John Webber

We have long espoused the benefits of booking the window seat, but spend enough time there, looking out of that more-or-less 9 by 12.5 inch quasi-rectangle, and you will begin to notice some things. How small the world looks from above. How the plane’s wings glide through the clouds.

And another thing? A Tiny Hole.

The hole isn’t just there for aesthetic disruption. Instead, the hole — tiny as it may be — helps keep passengers safe.

At a cruising altitude of 35,000 feet, the air pressure is so low that anyone would pass out if they were exposed to it, so a plane’s cabin must be pressurized to be much greater than the outside air, reports The Telegraph. Good for passengers, yes, but not so great for the plane, which needs a way to release some of the strain this puts on the aircraft.

Enter the tiny “bleed” or “breather” holes – which do just that.

Look closely at your window, and you will see that it is not just made up of one durable pane, but three panes. According to Mark Vanhoenacker, a British Airways pilot, the innermost pane is mostly to protect the second and third panes, which are “designed to contain this difference in pressure between the cabin and the sky.” The bleed hole, then, allows pressure to be balanced out between the cabin and gap between panes.

Another function of the airplane window hole? To release moisture and minimize the frost or condensation blocking your view. Now that’s good news for your Instagram feed.

“The world is a book, those who do not travel get to read only one page – go discover new sights and add more pages to your Book of Life.”  Happy Travels!    @wbbrjp / Phone   213 387-4345 / 3407 W 6th Street, Los Angeles CA

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