Why Do All Airplane Windows Have Tiny Holes?


Those teeny tiny holes scare most of us who don’t know what they are for. Well, here we are again at the service of humanity: They are, in fact, for your safety. But how do they protect us? Let’s see.

As most of you already know, as the plane reach higher elevations, the air outside becomes thinner, containing less oxygen and pressure.


Planes are designed in a way to keep the pressure inside the plane on a safe level.

Therefore, there is a huge difference between the pressure levels inside and outside the plane.


And because of that huge difference, airplane windows are extremely important. We’ll see why in a minute.

A standard airplane window contains 3 panes.


The pane on the outside is responsible for protecting you from the pressure difference.

And this famous tiny hole is on the middle pane.


These tiny window holes are actually called 'bleed holes', and what they actually do is reducing the pressure on the middle pane, so only the outer pane takes the force of the cabin pressure - and it experiences that pressure more gradually during flight.

Marlowe Moncur, director of technology at GKN Aerospace explains the subject:


"The purpose of the small bleed hole in the [middle] pane is to allow pressure to equilibrate between the passenger cabin and the air gap between the panes, so that the cabin pressure during flight is applied to only the outer pane,"

So it means that if the outer pane somehow was broken, we'd still have the middle pane to protect us from the lack of air pressure outside.


In sum, those holes are for your safety.

It also helps keep the window panes from fogging up


While this tiny hole plays an important role in keeping us safe, they also allow us to stare out into the clouds...

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