Pressure suit

A pressure suit is worn at ambient pressure conditions, which are without appropriate protective measures a threat to human health or even life-threatening.

Pilot - altitude protection suit


In ascents by airplane (or in the mountains ), the Earth's atmosphere for the people by the decreasing oxygen content, the decreasing air pressure and decreasing temperatures without adequate protection is always hostile with increasing height. The gases inside the body stretch out due to the smaller external pressure. This manifests itself through physical reactions, such as the perception of ear pressure or pain in the sinus, maxillary and frontal sinuses. From 10,000 feet ( 3,000 m) altitude such symptoms as shortness of breath, increasing fatigue and / or drowsiness. About 20,000 feet ( 6,100 m) takes the oxygen content of the air from the extent that additional oxygen, for example through breathing masks must be supplied. From 34,000 feet (10 km ) are 100% oxygen necessary to achieve the partial pressure exerted at sea level. About 40,000 feet (12 km ) must be 100 % oxygen under a pressure above the ambient air metered increased pressure breathing in order to maintain the level of oxygen partial pressure of air ( 21% oxygen) 10,000 feet. For stays at altitudes above 50,000 feet ( 15 km) has a pressure suit be taken care of ( the respiratory tract and communicating cavities of the body ) relieves the lungs from the pressure difference inside towards the outside, from 65,000 feet ( 20 km) are coveralls required, the allow for survival in a vacuum. A man last longer unprotected in these pressure conditions on or there is a rapid drop in pressure in the cabin, there is a danger that in the blood of dissolved nitrogen is gaseous. This would result in decompression sickness with neurological disorders ( failure of the brain and nerve areas ), paresthesia (sensation disorders such as itching), numbness and pain in the joints ( known as bends ) and / or respiratory disorders (so-called chokes ).

Technical measures

To provide the crews and passengers of aircraft an "artificial air " pressure cabins are used. In fighter aircraft, the cabin pressure behaves differently in passenger aircraft at 10,000 feet similar to the ambient pressure. Above this level, an internal pressure is created in the cabin, which decreases more slowly than the external pressure. This method is retained up to a maximum cabin pressure altitude of 18,000 feet, and then kept the pressure. To protect against oxygen deficiency, therefore, oxygen masks must be created. To the crew when flying at high altitudes in addition from the effects of decompression sickness to protect at a rapid decompression ( for example, the loss of the canopy or damage by fire ), height protective suits are worn.

Pressure suits

Pressure suits are a completely closed system that surrounds the body. In this, a pressure level is generated, which also allows the wearer a longer stay at high altitude. They consist of the suit, connectable boots, gloves and a hermetically sealed helmet. A significant drawback of these suits is the limited mobility.

Pressure suits are used in aircraft operating over long periods of time at very high altitudes, such as the David Clark S1030 Suit in altitude reconnaissance Lockheed SR- 71st In air forces of the Warsaw Pact specific height protective suits were worn at an appropriately planned flight profile.

1931 developed the Russian Yevgeny Chertowski in Saint Petersburg the first pressure suit, but was impractical. 1934 Wiley Post entwickeltet of the Goodrich Corporation with Russell S. Colley together the first practical pressure suit. On September 5, 1934, he thus reached over Chicago a flight altitude of 40,000 feet. This allowed him to fly in the jet stream.

Partial pressure suits

Since warplanes often have only short mission shares at high altitudes, is resorted to a compromise solution by partial pressure suits. In order to prevent in the case of rapid decompression oxygen deficiency symptoms and decompression sickness with the pilot until he can reach a safe height (the so-called get- me-down functionality), it is ventilated at high altitudes under pressure with 100% oxygen. To compensate for the limitations, which in turn has this breathing technique to the respiratory and circulatory system, it is protected by a tight-fitting suit. In modern systems, in addition the incorporated for the anti-g suit rubber bladders are pressurized, thereby further narrowing by a one -to four- times the back pressure is achieved.

As part of a pressure suit, for example, is one of the British Aircrew Equipment Assembly (AEA ) for the Euro Fighter or the NPP Zvezda JCC -6M for various aircraft of Russian design.

Astronaut Space Suit

The space suit is a multi-purpose pressure suit for astronauts, the vital signs of the wearer secures the vacuum of space, among other things, by being put under pressure.

Diver - pressure suit

Divers use pressure suits, such as armored suits to perform particularly deep or long dives. The ruling in the suit pressure - less than the high external pressure - provides among other things surfacing without decompression.