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Aerospace FAQ

What types of Smart aircraft products are offered?

We offer cabin windows and partitions known as iShades

What do iShade aircraft windows do?

Smart dimmable windows allow you to instantly regulate light, glare and heat entering your aircraft windows. You can control your dimmable windows from fully clear to very dark, and to any level of tint in between. You simply push a button to electrically tune the tint of your window.

What are some of the benefits of iShade aircraft products?

Aircraft products using SPD and APD technology provide significant benefits to passengers and operators, including:


  • Variable shading from clear to over 99.9% light blockage

  • Instant response time

  • Heat rejection maximized when aircraft parked on ramp

  • Control at each window, or cabin-wide master control for crew

  • 99.9% UV blockage to protect interiors

  • No moving parts

  • Lightweight substrates

What makes InspecTech's iShade aircraft products unique?

Smart dimmable window products offered by InspecTech are the only “smart windows” to offer instant switching, an extremely dark state, and unlimited “tuning” between clear and dark. In 2001, they became the world’s first dimmable aircraft windows. These windows are still in service, validating the superior durability of Smart aviation products over any other shading system. To this day, they remain the only dimmable window to receive certification under FAA Supplemental Type Certificate (STC). In 2008, they became the first dimmable windows to fly on a commercial airline – and are now on all Qantas Airlines Airbus A380s.

Why are iShades better than other types of window shades?

Smart cabin windows have no moving parts, reducing maintenance costs and downtime. They block more than 99.9% of harmful UV light, protecting the interior from fading. They default to their darkest possible state when the aircraft is on the ground, maximizing heat rejection and keeping interiors cooler. Operators have total light-control in their cabin, which increases passenger comfort and satisfaction. Smart products are fabricated by laminating film between substrates, which act as noise barriers, keeping cabins quieter.

How do iShade cabin windows work?

iShades use SPD and APD film enclosed between thin plastic layers. Within the film are microscopic particles. When no electrical voltage is present, the particles absorb light and block it from passing through the film. When an electrical voltage is applied, the particles align so that light can pass through. Adjusting the voltage to the film provides a range of transparencies (i.e. very dark to fully clear) where light transmission can be rapidly varied to any degree desired depending upon preference or pre-programmed requirements.

Is there a more technical description of how iShades control light?

The SPD film layer in Smart aircraft windows could be called a “light valve.” In the film, droplets of liquid suspension are distributed. Light-absorbing microscopic particles are dispersed within the liquid suspension. The SPD emulsion is enclosed between two plastic substrates coated with a transparent conductive material. The particles are randomly oriented due to Brownian motion and absorb 99% – 99.9% of visible light hitting window. When an electrical voltage is applied, the particles align due to a field effect and light passes through the window. This gives users a range of transparency where light transmission can be rapidly varied depending upon the amount of voltage applied.

How dark, and how clear, do iShades get?

InspecTech's iShades can achieve over 99.9% light blockage – almost all incoming visible light is blocked. The same window can be optically transparent – clearer than the average aircraft window. Adjustment of the voltage to a Smart aircraft window allows users to choose an infinite number of tinting levels between these points.

How fast do iShades switch from clear to dark and back?

A complete switching cycle of the iShades, from fully clear to fully dark, and then back to fully dark, occurs in just a few seconds. This is in stark contrast to another type of smart window (“electrochromic” or “electrochromatic”), where a switching cycle can take several minutes.

Can iShades provide complete privacy?

Yes. InspecTech offers the APD film technology capable of providing complete privacy on-demand with the push of a button.

Will iShades discolor from exposure to the sun?

No. The products offered by InspecTech include optical interlayers that block more than 99.9% of UV light. This protects the Smart dimmable windows from discoloring – and also protects aircraft interiors’ materials from fading.

Can I “tune” the iShades tint to any level?

Yes. Using a switch similar to a light bulb “dimmer switch,” the tint of the Smart aircraft window can be precisely and infinitely tuned to any level. This is done instantly, which is in stark contrast to another type of smart window (“electrochromic” or “electrochromatic”), where the user is forced to choose among several pre-set levels.

Can the pilot override the iShade settings?


Will iShades be dark as people enter or leave the aircraft, if power is not on?

No. InspecTech offer systems that enable the Smart dimmable windows to be clear upon boarding, and remain clear upon disembarking.

Will the use of iShades affect the aircraft electronics?

No. Contact InspecTech for details.

On which windows can iShades be installed?

Smart dimmable windows can be installed on all cabin windows, including the Emergency Exit Window. Interior partitions, such as those dividing the cockpit and the cabin, also can be equipped with larger Smart aircraft window panels.

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