56 votes
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Are cargo holds pressurised these days?

Aircraft design has not changed that much in the last 10 years. In fact, most aircraft in production 10 years ago are still in production. The cargo holds in typical airliners are indeed pressurized. ...
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52 votes

Is the F-16 cockpit pressurized?

Yes, the cockpit of the F-16 is pressurized. However, there are two types of cabin pressurization: Isobaric Pressurisation: The system maintains a constant cabin pressure (usually between 2000 and ...
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  • 566
39 votes

Why is cabin pressure increased above ambient pressure on the ground?

Short answer The purpose of pre-pressurization is to avoid discomfort for passengers and crews during takeoff and landing. By storing air in the cabin before the aircraft rotation or landing, the ...
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  • 67.9k
34 votes
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Can you get sucked out of a hole in an aircraft?

Yes, it's real. Here's the official accident report on BA5390, which says: The commander had been partially sucked out of his windscreen aperture And: The two men tried to pull the commander ...
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  • 70.4k
33 votes
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How does an airliner deal with cabin altitude at an airport above 8000 ft?

Here is the text extracted from Boeing's 777 Flight Crew Operations Manual: In cabin altitude controller cruise mode, maximum cabin altitude is 8,000 feet. When the takeoff field elevation is higher ...
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  • 39.3k
33 votes

Can airliners take off, cruise and land while unpressurized?

There is no aircraft limitation on the 737 that requires pressurization to fly. Realistically, even on O2 the whole time, going very high could be unpleasant. I think the Air Force limit was FL 250 ...
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  • 42.1k
31 votes
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Why do airliners have "pressure bulkheads"?

What part aft of the bulkhead would leak pressure? That's a partial misunderstanding of what a bulkhead is there for. You could build the aft cone section to keep the pressure, but it would be a ...
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  • 31.6k
30 votes
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How does my Casio watch know the altitude in flight?

The pressure in the cabin does not remain the same. It decreases, but much more slowly, in such a manner that when the aircraft is at 37000 feet the pressure in the cockpit is the equivalent of 7000 ...
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  • 1,611
28 votes

Is it true that a soda can or a bag of chips will pop in a plane at high altitude?

Not likely. Consider how food products normally make it to you. Any competent US maker of soda or chips will design their product to be shipped on Interstate 70 or 80, via Sherman Summit (8650') ...
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26 votes

What is the purpose of the extremely high cabin altitudes in military aircraft?

Even the unmanned RQ-4 Global Hawk has a pressurized compartment. The low air density at altitude would not be sufficient to cool the electronics, so a pressurized electronics compartment had to be ...
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25 votes
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Why is an unpressurized takeoff performed?

Typically, the pressurization system is run by engine bleed air. Using that bleed air means you have less engine power available than is maximally available with the bleeds off. If you're on a runway ...
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  • 38.7k
23 votes

Why is air mixed with bypass air on the A/C of an aircraft?

In short Bypass bleed air is a fraction of the bleed air coming from the core compressor. It's named like this because it doesn't cross the air cycle machine of the packs as does the regular bleed ...
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  • 67.9k
23 votes

How thick is the skin of an aircraft like the Airbus A350 or Boeing B777?

From whats written here f100 skin is 1.0 - 1.4mm b747 skin is 1.8 - 2.2mm a320 skin is about 1.1mm According this article on the 757 ...Although Boeing specified that the skin in ...
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23 votes
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If you depressurize an aircraft at FL340, will the temperature inside fall to match the temperature outside?

This depends entirely on how you depressurized it. Depressurizing the aircraft by fully opening the outflow valve will lower the temperature somewhat, but will not bring it to that outside. The ...
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  • 17.8k
22 votes

How do door seals work?

How do they prevent pressurized air to leak from the doors? They don't. The seal does not have to be perfectly airtight. The requirement is that it will create enough impediment to the air that ...
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22 votes
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When is an aircraft required to be pressurized?

The main reason is that it's simpler than having everyone wear supplemental oxygen masks. There is no specific requirement for pressurizing an airplane but there are requirements for supplemental ...
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22 votes
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How fast does cabin air pressure leak after a total engine failure?

The valves will not be able to maintain cabin pressure until the plane descends to 10,000 feet at best glide speed. The oxygen masks will deploy before then. At least that was the case for Air ...
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22 votes
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Are there any pressurized piston-engine aircraft?

The first pressurized aircraft were piston powered, beginning as early as 1921 with a modified Airco DH.9A containing a pressurized enclosure for the pilot. Throughout the 20s and 30s, pressurization ...
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22 votes

How are turboprops and other propeller planes pressurized?

Turboprops are actually turbine engines. They can produce bleed air just like turbine engines (e.g. turbofan). The bleed air can be used directly to pressurize the cabin, or it can drive another turbo ...
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19 votes
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What's the relation between cabin pressure and altitude?

Here is a plot of cabin pressure on one flight. You can see a small increase in pressure right before takeoff. The decrease and increase in pressure is fairly constant during climb and descent. The ...
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  • 69.8k
19 votes

How thick is the skin of an aircraft like the Airbus A350 or Boeing B777?

Just a couple of mm thick, about 2-3 is enough. The fuselage barrel gets its strength from the large diameter: bending moments of the fuselage (and wing) get translated into tension and compression ...
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  • 58.8k
19 votes
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How are turboprops and other propeller planes pressurized?

A turboprop plane can be pressurized in the same way a turbofan plane can: via bleed air from the compressor stage of the turbine engine. A turboprop and turbofan are not that different actually. You ...
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  • 45.9k
18 votes

Why don’t airports use jetways as an airlock to avoid having to repressurize the plane for every flight?

I believe there are quite a few misconceptions here: When an aircraft is "pressurised", it means that at higher altitudes, the pressure inside the aircraft is higher than the pressure outside. At ...
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  • 1,631
18 votes

Is it possible for a pressure loss in the cockpit to not extend to the cabin?

The internal walls in an aircraft are not designed to withstand any significant pressure difference. Since the accidents of American Airlines flight 96 and Turkish Airlines Flight 981 where explosive ...
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  • 54.2k
17 votes
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What would happen if someone covered a small hole in the fuselage of a plane with a soft body part?

I assume the hole has been properly deburred, otherwise you could suffer cuts on the sharp edges of the hole. What happens else depends on altitude and flight speed. At low level, the outside ...
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17 votes
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Why is air mixed with bypass air on the A/C of an aircraft?

You almost have the answer in your question; bleed air is hot, compressed air taken from the engine compressors. Bypass bleed air here refers to some of that air which is bled off the engine, but not ...
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  • 1,214
17 votes
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What happens to the cabin pressure if all the packs (ACMs) stop working?

If all ACM failed, an alarm would sound in the cockpit. And two messages would appear on the ECAM/EICAS¹. One indicating that the ACMs failed and the other indicating that cabin altitude² is rising ...
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  • 54.2k
17 votes

How can I communicate an emergency de-pressurization descent to the cabin as a passenger?

A couple of things that get drilled into you in first aid or emergency response training is 'if you aren't part of the solution you're part of the problem', second is 'don't become a casualty.' In ...
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