Bombers and oxygen at altitude.

Discussion in 'The War In The Air' started by chipm, Nov 25, 2021.

  1. chipm

    chipm Well-Known Member

    I do not really know anything about being in a 4-Engine bomber.
    Oxygen supply has always seemed a very fragile thing to me...maybe it wasn't.?

    How common was it, during attacks by fighters or damage from Flak, for any of the crew to lose their oxygen supply.?
    What did they do if it happened at 20k feet.?

    I am not even sure how supply worked.
    Was there a central supply for all the crew, or did each guy have their own supply bottle(s).?
    Thank You
  2. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    Journal of Aeronautical History
    Paper No. 2014/01
    Dr. Graham Rood
    Farnborough Air Sciences Trust (FAST)
    Formerly Head of Man Machine Integration Department,
    Royal Aircraft Establishment, Farnborough

    1.3.3 Oxygen supply and breathing systems
    Higher altitudes also meant diminished oxygen levels and increased the threat of hypoxia, as an altitude of around 10,000ft marks the onset of deterioration in human performance, a condition often exacerbated by the low air temperatures and duration of exposure. As in many aviation areas, the Germans had led the field in the use, by military aviators, of oxygen systems. The Zeppelin raids on England earlier in the war were carried out from 17,000ft and above and their early oxygen systems used compressed gas, turning to the use of liquid oxygen in later years. The early British systems were produced by the Siebe-Gorman Company, already well versed in underwater breathing systems and comprised a simple regulator valve, feeding from two 500 litre oxygen bottles, with three manually selected altitude settings providing increased gas flow at each setting – the highest being effective up to 29,750ft. A rubber mask, fitting over the nose & mouth, fed the oxygen continuously to the pilot. A rapid improvement was devised by Major Georges Dreyer, RAMC, and used an aneroid controlled regulator, allowing variable control of the oxygen feed with height, which helped conserve the contents of the oxygen cylinders. The mask was light and comfortable and contributed to protecting the face against the cold air blasts.

    it continues ..........................................
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2021
    4jonboy likes this.

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