The Strange Reason Why Aeroplane Windows Are Always Rounded

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Ever been sat on a plane and wondered ‘why oh why do plane windows buck the trend of being square?’ After all windows are usually square? So why are planes so special? 

Well there’s a super important reason why plane windows are rounded, one that keeps you safe every time you fly.

Basically if the windows were square it would cause stress to build up on the corners, which act as natural weak points.

Were the windows square the stress would build up to the point where the combination of air pressure and high speeds would cause the plane to literally break apart in the air.

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How do we know this?

Well unfortunately during the early days of aviation planes did have square windows, which was fine when planes flow relatively low and slow, but as they started getting quicker and higher they’d sometimes, well,  fall apart.

This happened twice in 1953 and 1954 forcing designers to use round windows.

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Round windows distribute this stress, reducing the likelihood of cracks.  Circular windows are also stronger than square ones and can survive the differences in pressure between the inside and outside of the aircraft.

So there you have it, the reason windows are circular, and it’s pretty freaking important!


Tom Percival

Tom Percival

More of a concept than a journalist, Tom Percival was forged in the bowels of Salford University from which he emerged grasping a Masters in journalism. Since then his rise has been described by himself as ‘meteoric’ rising to the esteemed rank of Social Editor at UNILAD as well as working at the BBC, Manchester Evening News, and ITV. He credits his success to three core techniques, name repetition, personality mirroring, and never breaking off a handshake.