We have seen that after an emergency landing when the airplane needs to be evacuated promptly, evacuation slides get deployed immediately. I am not sure if normal air is being inflated in those slides or do they use some other gas in them?


1 Answer 1


They are filled with carbon dioxide, oxygen and nitrogen. See here for reference.

From the linked article:

Slides inflate with an initial boost from a canister of compressed carbon dioxide and nitrogen. The canister provides only about one-third the volume needed to inflate the slides. The remaining volume is supplied by ambient air, channeled into the slides through aspirators.

When the inflation mechanism is triggered—by a lanyard pulled by the slide as it tumbles from its storage case—gas from the canister accelerates through the aspirators at high speed, creating a vacuum that sucks ambient air into the aspirators through louvers. When the slide is fully inflated, the louvers close.

  • 5
    $\begingroup$ In other words, they're filled with air. $\endgroup$
    – GdD
    Feb 12, 2015 at 9:49
  • 5
    $\begingroup$ @GdD: Mostly, but the initial compressed gas which provides the energy for filling is not air, but an oxygen-free mixture of carbon dioxide and nitrogen. $\endgroup$ Feb 12, 2015 at 10:09
  • $\begingroup$ The way ambient air gets sucked in by the compressed gas flow is called ventrui effect. $\endgroup$ Feb 12, 2015 at 18:43
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @JustinKiang ... almost: It's called Venturi effect, after Giovanni Battista Venturi. $\endgroup$ Feb 12, 2015 at 18:45

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