Have you ever stared out the window on an aeroplane and wondered why it’s round? Or is the view outside far more intriguing?
Well, as it turns out, there’s a very good – and scary – reason for the now-universal design.
According to The Telegraph, the oval’s origin lies in the story of the Havilland Comet, a passenger plane that carried hundreds of thousands of passengers between London and several global destinations each year.
The British-made vehicle was a marvel of aviation, save for one disastrous feature.
Two planes – one returning from Rome and one en route to Johannesburg – crashed and killed a total of 56 people, says the publication.
The cause? Structural stresses at the corners of square windows. According to The Telegraph, these corners experienced two to three times more pressure than anywhere else on the craft.
Since then, aircraft manufacturers have learned from this deadly mistake in design, using safer, oval-shaped windows.
So next time you’re gazing at the clouds through a curvy frame in the plane’s fuselage, remember that it’s part of the reason you’ll reach your destination in one piece!