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Windows On The Way Out

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Dec 13, 2001
Boeing's 717 jets will soon lose their "eyebrow" windows above the cockpit. The decision to remove the glass was simply economic, and it probably won't stop with that model. The company is considering removing the eyebrow windows on the 737 as well. Gary Bartz, a senior engineer with Boeing, told the Wichita Eagle it would cost less for the company to build the airplanes without the windows, and it would also cost less to maintain the aircraft since the small windows are heated, like the main cockpit windshield. According to Bartz, the FAA had to agree to the change due to regulations regarding cockpit visibility. However, it was a simple matter on the 717 since the eyebrow windows were not used for FAA certification. It's all part of Boeing's effort to reduce the per-unit cost of producing an aircraft. Wonder if anyone's looked at all those wheels?
I have no doubt that a few pilots will miss the eyebrow windows but I can't recall ever using one for any other purpose than to store my checklist to block the sun. Except for my beloved 717 those cockpits get mighty hot on the ground. I say good riddance to the eyebrow windows.
I only used the eyebrow windows in a turn when doing left traffic (right seater here), but I think it's not gonna be a showstopper or anything as long as the other guy can call the runway for you.

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