Re: 42,000 feet

Date:         20 Mar 97 02:34:55 
From:         katie@physics12.Berkeley.EDU (Katie Schwarz)
Organization: UC Berkeley
References:   1 2
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In article <airliners.1997.696@ohare.Chicago.COM>, Larry Stone <lstone@interserve.com> wrote:
>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?
>
>I can't speak about the oxygen aspects of it but I have been on commercial
>flights at FL430. Also, some business jets routinely cruise at FL450 to
>FL510.

I thought I'd seen a discussion (in this newsgroup?) that concluded that
the reason commercial airliners don't go above 41,000 feet is that it
wouldn't be economic to make the fuselage thick enough to handle the
pressurization.

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Katie Schwarz                  <*>               katie@physics.berkeley.edu