For some passengers, the scariest thing that could happen when we fly would be to get sucked out of the window of the plane. So, it stands to reason that seeing a hole in the airplane window would scare those people quite a bit. Afterall, aviation is serious business and there’s no way the FAA would allow anything to compromise safety. Right? Fortunately, the FAA confirmed that the small hole located at the bottom of the window is safe. But, what’s it for?
It’s actually very simple, as the aircraft climbs higher in altitude, the pressure in the cabin changes, causing stress on the structure of the aircraft. The airframe is designed to control these pressures— and the little hole in the window is a part of it.
Aircraft windows have three panes. The first is intended to control outside pressure in to fight against the outside pressure, the second pane is the one with the “bleed hole”, and the third pane is a “non-structural barrier protecting the other two from passenger damage. The bleed hole stabilizes air pressure between the panes and the passenger cabin to maintain cabin stability and safety. The purpose of the three panes is safety, with each one acting as a failsafe for the other.
The little bleed hole helps against fog and frost too. When you look out the window, you might notice that the bleed hole might be surrounded by ice or moisture. This is because the hole is releasing moisture, which prevents the windows from fogging up or frosting over during flight. This obviously can be very important in the pilot’s cabin, but it’s also great for passengers who like to look out the window and see the scenery below
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