Re: exit door latch

From:         stephen@genesis1.physics.YALE.EDU (Stephen B. Selipsky)
Organization: Yale University, Department of Computer Science, New Haven, CT
Date:         18 Sep 95 12:07:07 
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In article <airliners.1995.1461@ohare.Chicago.COM> Andrew Goldfinger
 <> writes:
> What gas is used to inflate [emergency evacuation] slides?
> If it is CO2, was it safe [after accidental in-flight deplyoment] to
> puncture the slide and release the gas into the cabin?  (This question
> arose in my mind since I am now reading "Lost Moon" by Lovell about Apollo
> 13, and they had a problem with a life vest inflating.  They were very
> careful to vent the CO2 into space rather than release it into the cabin).

Apollo 13's problem was their need to reoxygenate breathing air with
chemical packs, jury-rigged beyond normal capacity for the emergency.
In a pressurized airplane with fresh external air available, this isn't
a problem, you would just need to avoid excessive initial CO_2 concentration
(during the few minutes the cabin air takes to be recycled).

Expanded to cabin pressure, CO_2 volume is a couple of times the slide's
volume, which is a few percent of cabin volume... A few percent CO_2 in
breathing air isn't a big health problem, a few passengers might possibly
get dizzy for a few minutes.

Regards, -- Stephen Selipsky (Physicist not airplane expert!)