Why aren't air cabins pressurised to 1 atmosphere?

Date:         18 Apr 98 00:49:25 
From:         Olly Morgan <O.Morgan@ed.ac.uk-z>
Organization: Scottish Agricultural College
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I've a vague recollection of reading that aircraft cabins are
pressurised to 0.5 atmosphere.  Err, why is this?

Presumably it would be simple enough to hold it at 1 atmosphere in which
case all this ear ache stuff at takeoff/landing would be eliminated?

OK so where's the flaw in this?

Olly Morgan

email: O.Morgan@ed.ac.uk  (remove the -z from the