The airplane will be the first in general and business aviation with electrically dimmable window shades as standard equipment and only the second aircraft program to use the technology developed by PPG and Gentex.
The PPG-Gentex electrically dimmable shade system will be on display in the PPG exhibit booth (No. 1259) at the National Business Aviation Association’s annual trade show and convention in the Orange County Convention Center Monday through Wednesday, Oct. 6-8. The technology will be demonstrated in a full-size mockup of the new King Air 350i interior at the Hawker Beechcraft exhibit (No. 3235).
Electrochromic shades will replace the polarizing shades on the King Air 350i’s cabin windows to enhance passenger comfort, interior aesthetics and the aircraft’s operating efficiency, according to Tom Clark, general manager, PPG Aerospace – Transparencies. Passengers will be able to control visible light transmittance of a dimmable panel between the inboard dust cover and outboard structural cabin window system. The shades will be adjustable from a bright, clear state to a nearly opaque, dark state, or comfortable intermediate settings in between, Clark said.
“Having our electrically dimmable shades on the King Air 350i is a significant technological and aesthetic advancement for general aviation and an important milestone for PPG,” Clark added.
“The King Air has flown with PPG windshields since the first one took flight. We’re proud to be able to expand our capabilities for Hawker Beechcraft and have our electrochromic shades be part of the King Air 350i’s new cabin management system.”
The PPG-Gentex system includes the electrically dimmable panel and passenger interface control switch. The shades use Gentex’s proprietary electrochromic technology and PPG’s aviation transparency expertise.
Clark said PPG and Gentex will produce the electrochromic window shade systems in Zeeland, Mich., with deliveries to begin in 2009. Each King Air 350i will have 15 electrochromic dimmable window shades.
The PPG-Gentex electrochromic window shade system will have its commercial launch on the Boeing 787 Dreamliner when the aircraft debuts.
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 of aerospace sealants, coatings, and packaging and application systems.
Founded in 1974, Gentex Corporation (NASDAQ:GNTX) is an international company that provides high-quality products to the worldwide automotive industry, North American fire protection market, and the aerospace 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. Many of the mirrors are sold with advanced electronic features, and more than 96 percent of the Company’s revenues are derived from the sale of auto-dimming mirrors to nearly every major automaker in the world. For more information, visit www.gentex.com.
Pittsburgh-based PPG is a global supplier of paints, coatings, chemicals, optical products, specialty materials, glass and fiber glass. The company has more than 150 manufacturing facilities and equity affiliates and operates in more than 60 countries. PPG shares are traded on the New York Stock Exchange (symbol: PPG). For more information, visit www.ppg.com.