Re: 42,000 feet

Date:         18 Mar 97 03:14:50 
From:         amuir@twsu.campus.mci.net (Andrew Muir)
Organization: Nobody but me
References:   1
Followups:    1
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In article <airliners.1997.686@ohare.Chicago.COM>,
   Andrew Goldfinger <Andy.Goldfinger@jhuapl.edu> wrote:
>     I recently flew at 41,000 feet in a commercial airliner (actually FL
>410, I assume).  According to a friend, at around 42,000 feet free
>flowing oxygen is no longer adequate for maintenance of life, and
>pressure breathing is required.  Therefore, the emergency oxygen system
>(as an SWA flight attendent put it: "these are not party hats") on
>commercial aircraft would not be sufficient.  Does this limit the
>practical ceiling of commercial flights?  What is done for emergency
>oxygen on the Concord?

remember that the oxygen system is only meant as a temporary measure after
cabin decompression.  While free flowing oxygen may not be capable of
sustaining life at 42K' & above (I am no doctor and cannot dispute this
statement), you only have to keep the people alive long enough to dive down to
a level that will sustain life.  Now, how fast can you dive a concorde?

A. Muir