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Are Fighter Jet Cockpits Pressurized?  
User currently offlineMr Spaceman From Canada, joined Mar 2001, 2787 posts, RR: 9
Posted (12 years 11 months 1 week 2 days 12 hours ago) and read 15816 times:

Hi guys.

A while back, I was involved in a discussion in the Tech/Ops forum about a skydiver who was going to try to beat the world record for the longest "Freefall" from a weather balloon. The conversation was about the kind of equipment the skydiver would need, such as a High Altitude NASA spacesuit, etc, to protect against the extremely low pressure, low temperature, ultraviolet rays, and so on.

Fighter Jet pilots were mentioned in the many postings, regarding how their cockpits are fully pressurized, partially pressurized, or not pressurized at all.

This got me wondering. Of all the performance charts I have read on many types of fighter jets, I don't recall any stats about whether their cockpits were pressurized or not. My own feelings tell me that fighter pilots only wear G-suits to protect against High G forces. You don't see them wearing spacesuits like the pilots of High Altitude RECON aircraft like the SR-71, and U2.

So my question is...Are any of the aircraft listed below pressurized at all?

F-86 Sabre
T-33 Silver Star
F-4 Phantom
F-5 Tiger II
F-8 Crusader
A-4 Skyhawk
A-6 Intruder
AV-8 Harrier
A-7 Corsair II
F-100 Super Sabre
CF-100 Canuck
F-101 Voodoo
F-102 Delta Dagger
F-104 Starfighter
F-105 Thunderchief
F-106 Delta Dart
T-38 Tallon
F-111 Ardvarck
F-14 Tomcat
F-15 Eagle
F-16 Falcon
F-18 Hornet
F-20 Tigershark
A-10 Warthog
F-117 Night Hawk
F-22 Raptor
F-23 Black Widow

To name a few.

If there are any Fighter's that you would like to discuss that are not on this quick list, such as the Jaguar, Draggen, Viggen, Euro Fighter, Toronado, etc, please do.

Chris  Smile



"Just a minute while I re-invent myself"
10 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineLY744 From Canada, joined Feb 2001, 5536 posts, RR: 9
Reply 1, posted (12 years 11 months 1 week 2 days 11 hours ago) and read 15733 times:

Well, fighter pilots have those breathing masks, so I think that should be sufficient and not require a fully-presurrized cockpit, unless they are flying at high altitudes (above 60,000ft ) where a "space-suit" is required.
Hope it helps.

LY744.



Pacifism only works if EVERYBODY practices it
User currently offlineStaffan From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 2, posted (12 years 11 months 1 week 2 days 5 hours ago) and read 15717 times:

Gripen has a pressurized cockpit.

Regards,

Staffan


User currently offlineMr Spaceman From Canada, joined Mar 2001, 2787 posts, RR: 9
Reply 3, posted (12 years 11 months 1 week 12 hours ago) and read 15678 times:

Thanks for your replies guys.

> LY744, I understand that fighter pilots breath Forced 100% Oxygen. This enables them to inhale while surrounded by unpressurized air, as long as the mask is tightly fitted. I'm mostly curious about what keeps the pilot's "body" tissue, and blood from expanding at high altitude, if their cockpits are not pressurized. A fighter pilot's blood will actually start to "BOIL" if his body isn't pressurized at very high altitude.

Do most Fighter Pilots ever fly high enough to need a pressurized cockpit?

> Staffan, when you say that the Gripen is pressurized...do you mean FULLY? Also, are the Saab Draggen and Viggen fighter's pressurized? Regarding the Gripen, is the cockpit pressurized by using bleed air from it's engine, like the airliners do?

Chris  Smile








"Just a minute while I re-invent myself"
User currently offlineLY744 From Canada, joined Feb 2001, 5536 posts, RR: 9
Reply 4, posted (12 years 11 months 1 week 11 hours ago) and read 15656 times:

As I said, pilots who are going to fly at altitudes of over 60,000ft. (very high for a fighter pilot, a mission at such altitudes will almost always be a reconaissance mission) have to wear a "space-suit", which is fairly similar to what austronauts have to wear. Therefore, I assume that the human body can sustain the pressure difference without any special equipment under 60,000ft, or, that fighter jet cockpits are partially pressurized, but I think the first one is more likely. Many fighter jets (F-16, for example), can't even reach that kind of altitude, so it is not a concern for their pilots. The "space-suits" I'm talking about are the funny orange suits that you always see U-2 pilots wearing. It takes half an hour or so to put one on!

LY744.



Pacifism only works if EVERYBODY practices it
User currently offlineStaffan From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 5, posted (12 years 11 months 1 week 10 hours ago) and read 15656 times:

Chris, I'm not sure if it is fully pressurized, I don't think so. Yes, it takes bleed air from the engine.


User currently offlineMr Spaceman From Canada, joined Mar 2001, 2787 posts, RR: 9
Reply 6, posted (12 years 11 months 1 week 9 hours ago) and read 15654 times:

Hi guys. Thanks for your replies.

Like I said, I've never read info about cockpit pressurization in any performance charts of the Fighters that I listed below. That's why I'm curious.

I quickly typed up that list of fighters with the hopes that someone would come along and pick off which ones are pressurized and which are not. Maybe this will still happen...maybe it won't. What the heck eh! My girlfriend sure doesn't know the answers!

Thanks Again, for your help.

Chris  Smile




"Just a minute while I re-invent myself"
User currently offlineUSAFHummer From United States of America, joined May 2000, 10685 posts, RR: 52
Reply 7, posted (12 years 11 months 6 days 11 hours ago) and read 15641 times:

I believe that some fighters have slight pressurization in the cockpit to a maximum cabin altitude of 25,000 feet...I read that somewhere, and I cant remember where!!!!!!

Greg



Chief A.net college football stadium self-pic guru
User currently offlineMr Spaceman From Canada, joined Mar 2001, 2787 posts, RR: 9
Reply 8, posted (12 years 11 months 6 days 10 hours ago) and read 15636 times:

Hi USAFHummer. Thanks for your reply.

That's pretty interesting. It makes perfect sense to me to have the cockpit of a fighter pressurized to an altitude of only 25,000 ft when the aircraft is actually flying at say 50,000 ft. This lower ALT would definetly be easier on the pilots body, regarding it wanting to expand in very low pressure. Perhaps 25,000 ft is near the maximum ALT the human body can survive without medical problems acting up. If you think about it, people who climb to the summit of Mount Everest are over 29,000 ft high! Although they take many days to get there.

Perhaps 25,000 ft is the chosen cockpit pressure altitude limit (toward sea level presure), because of structural limitation of the canopy glass. A higher pressure differential might cause a canopy failure.

Some other questions: Does anyone know whether or not the Forced O2 flowing through the pilots mask is heated or not?

Also, does anyone know what type of class is used for a fighter jet canopy? By this I mean...are they made from special Plexi-Glass, that use special compounds, epoxy's, etc?

Chris  Smile



"Just a minute while I re-invent myself"
User currently offlineMr Spaceman From Canada, joined Mar 2001, 2787 posts, RR: 9
Reply 9, posted (12 years 11 months 5 days 9 hours ago) and read 15614 times:

Hi guys.

Well, it seems to me that this topic is pretty much...GOING...Going...going...almost gone!  Sad

Chris



"Just a minute while I re-invent myself"
User currently offlineStaffan From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 10, posted (12 years 11 months 5 days 6 hours ago) and read 15599 times:

Chris, yes, the canopys are usually made from special plexi compounds.



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