Aerial phtographer needing advice from pilots


Hi everyone,
This might be an off topic for this forum but I’d really appreciate your advice. Simply…
I would love to know which part of an airliner is likely to have the cleanest windows?

I have passion for high altitude photography.
My interest started during my time living overseas and flying from Moscow to Bangkok. The scenery en route was simply breathtaking. I ended up spending 9 hrs peering out of my window with not a single minute looking at a film. I spend hours processing the photos and investigating the areas I capture.
I would be really grateful for your answers and any advice helping me get most out of my flights.
Next one is from LHR to Dubai.
Many thanks!! :slight_smile:


Try to be seated In front of the wings. It’s not the cleanliness of the windows but the heat from the engine exhaust that will distort your photos.


Thanks very much Jr. That’s great advice.
Is it also OK to have a the GPS on my Ipad switched on so that I can view progress of my flight and exact location? Or generally disallowed? I’m hoping to be able to use something like ‘Flight Aware’ to track where I am taking the phtographs.
Lastly and more curious…how often are planes windows cleaned?


I have found that a GPS doesn’t work inside a metal can. :slight_smile: besides, you need an internet connection for FA. Most commercial passenger aircraft now have seat back TV screens, and a route map is often available there. As far as frequency of window cleaning, I have no idea.


I keep my GPS enabled for almost every flight I board on. I am curious to see which runway does my plane take off and land, the flight time, height, speed. I do use GPS navigation software to see which region, country and etc. I am flying above at any particular moment. GPS is a passive transponder system, which does not send any radio signals at all. And there should be no problem.


Radio waves can travel through openings that are smaller than the wavelength of the wave. ADSB waves are actually about the same size of a plane window and will bounce off as if it there was solid metal.

This is the same principle that microwaves have a metal screen with small holes to prevent microwaves from escaping the enclosure. The microwave waves are bigger than the circles in the window and will bounces off the window as if it was solid metal.

GPS waves are about 5 inches. Which means they will go through metal openings which are larger.


When you take pictures with your cell phone, they can have the GPS geotag attached (based on your settings), so it’s easier later to pinpoint them.
Definitely the GPS works by the windows, not super precise because it uses only satellites on one side (triangulation is weaker), but works.
I am pre-downloadig maps on my phone (MapsWithMe) to see also in real time.
Now… if you have a cloud ceiling below, there goes away all your preparation. Summer is sometimes better.

PS: Example of summer - on Greenland southern coast.

Those unfortunately don’t have GPS coordinates. But this one does, try to find it:

Hint: It’s easier to use a software like Photo GPS Extract, you drag and drop the pic on the program and it generates a Google map location.