The Boeing 787 Dreamliner is generally accepted as the aircraft with the largest windows for passengers in the industry. While this may be currently true, other aircraft featured a more generous size for their viewing ports in the past.
When it comes to windows, bigger is better as far as I’m concerned. Not a lot beats peering out the window of your jetliner on a clear day or night watching the world go by.
Who Has The Largest Windows?
Passengers in the 1950s were truly spoiled, especially when they rocked up to the gate and found a Vickers Viscount waiting for them. The British turboprop sported elliptical windows that were 19 x 26 inches (48 x 66 centimetres), pretty impressive! Its larger brother, the fast Vickers Vanguard, also had the same ones.
A Trans-Australia Airlines (TAA) brochure introducing the Viscount has a piece specifically on the “Large Observation Windows”. The text immediately after the heading states, “The Viscount’s huge oval windows, the largest in any airliner, provide a clear view for every passenger.” Fun that this is still true so many years later.
Rounding Out The Top Six Are…
Windows on the Douglas DC-8 were 17.13 x 20.63in (43.5cm x 52.39cm), which win the title for jet airliners. These were spaced 40 inches apart to match the seat pitch of the day. Later on, their DC-10 and MD-11 had far smaller ones at 9.8 x 15.7in (24.89 x 39.88cm), which are actually slightly larger than the Boeing standard of the time.
The de Havilland Comet 1 featured similarly sized windows and comes third on the list. These were 19 x 17in (48.26 x 43.18cm) and are always referred to as the Comet’s square windows. Not quite, and they also had a tight radius curve at the corners, so not really square at all.
Fourth prize goes to the Dutch, with the Fokker F27 Friendship boasting windows that were 14.49 x 21.34 inches (26.8 x 54.2cm) in size. It’s nice to see turboprops included in the largest windows contest of course.
Next up is the Boeing 787 of course, with their 10.7 x 18.4in (27.18 x 46.74cm) electrically dimmable windows. The
And What About The Rest?
The Boeing 707 and Boeing 720 windows were 9 x 12.5 inches (22.86 x 31.75cm). It is interesting to note that the 707-120 and 720 had an option to have larger 10 x 14 inch (25.4 x 35.56cm) windows, which only American Airlines took advantage of.
For Boeing models that followed, the 10 x 14 size was standard. That means the Boeing 727, Boeing 737, Boeing 747, Boeing 757 and Boeing 767 are all the same size. Later aircraft, such as the Boeing 777, Boeing 767-400 and Boeing 747-8 have larger 10 x 15in (25.4 x 38.1cm) windows.
Over at Airbus, the A350 wins the prize for size (if you overlook the A220, which was designed by Bombardier), at 9.5 x 13.5 inches (24.13 x 34.29cm). These are larger than the standard 9 x 12.3 (22.86 x 31.24cm) windows on the Airbus A330 and Airbus A340 family.
Concorde, for those wondering, had some of the smallest windows in the sky. These were not much larger than the size of a standard Passport, measuring something like 7 x 4 inches (17.78 x 10.16cm), though it could be 6 x 4in, I was unable to find a decent source.
I think I’d rather like to fly on board a Vickers Viscount just to check out the view from the enormous windows, the most generous in the sky. Considering how passengers reportedly flocked to fly on the plane, I think everyone really enjoyed them.
One day I wish the world would standardise on measurements. It’s not fun having to convert all the imperial measurements so that most of the world will understand what I am on about. For that matter, someone would do a great service to put together scale drawings of all the various windows for easier comparison!
Have you ever noticed which plane has the largest windows on a flight before? Any corrections or additions to the info presented here? Thank you for reading and if you have any comments or questions, please leave them below.
Featured image via Destinations, Detours and Dreams.
Douglas DC-8 by Clint Groves on airlinefan.com via Wikimedia Commons.
Air France Comet 1A via BBC News.
East-West Fokker Friendship by Daniel Tanner on Airliners.net via Wikimedia Commons.
Aer Lingus Viscount by Ralf Manteufel on AB Pic via Wikimedia Commons.
A330/340/350/787 comparison diagram via Quora.
787/777X/A350/A330 comparison via Reddit.
Concorde window and Passport by Chris McGinnis via Travel Skills.