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’ 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 Aerospace is the aerospace products and services business of PPG Industries. PPG Aerospace – Transparencies is the world’s largest supplier of aircraft windshields, windows and canopies. PPG Aerospace – PRC-DeSoto is the leading global producer and distributor of aerospace coatings, sealants, and packaging and application systems.
About Gentex Corporation
Founded in 1974, Gentex Corporation (gentex.com) is an international company that provides high-quality products to the global automotive industry and North American fire protection market. Based in Zeeland, Mich., the Company develops, manufactures and markets interior and exterior automatic-dimming automotive rearview mirrors that utilize proprietary electrochromic technology to dim in proportion to the amount of headlight glare from trailing vehicle headlamps. More than half of the Company’s interior mirrors are sold with advanced electronic features, and more than 97 percent of the Company’s revenues are derived from the sale of auto-dimming mirrors to nearly every major automaker in the world. Gentex shares are traded on the Nasdaq Global Select Market (Symbol: GNTX).
PPG Industries’ vision is to continue to be the world’s leading coatings and specialty products company. Founded in 1883, the company serves customers in industrial, transportation, consumer products, and construction markets and aftermarkets. With headquarters in Pittsburgh, PPG (ppg.com) operates in more than 60 countries around the globe. Sales in 2009 were $12.2 billion. PPG shares are traded on the New York Stock Exchange (symbol: PPG).
Alteos is a trademark and Surface Seal is a registered trademark of PPG Industries Ohio, Inc.
Jean Verlich, JV Communications