Re: Oxygen

Date:         12 May 99 02:48:50 
From:         Don Stauffer <>
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timma wrote:
> Can anyone tell me how we survive breathing oxygen above 12K in aircraft
> without oxygen masks??

The cabins are pressurized.  An air compressor compresses the air until it
has the same pressure as about 8000 ft altitude.  One will not die, BTW, at
12,000 feet from lack of oxygen, at least for the duration of an aircraft
flight, but for an unacclimatized person it is not very healthy.

An interesting problem- even with oxygen masks one cannot breath above about
45,000 feet.  When it was announced that the Concorde was going to be flying
at 60,000 feet, I wondered how in the world they could maintain a breathable
atmosphere if a cabin window blew.  Turns out the compressor for cabin
pressurization is so strong it can maintain a breathable cabin altitude even
with two windows gone!

Don Stauffer in Minneapolis