The Importance of Aircraft Oxygen Systems

As humans, we are highly dependent upon oxygen in order to carry out our normal functions and maintain consciousness. As one increases their position in altitude, the amount of air pressure decreases as well which results in less amounts of oxygen that one can absorb while breathing. At the heights at which aircraft typically operate at, humans would not be able to maintain consciousness long due to a lack of oxygen. Despite this, most passengers are never faced with much discomfort during a typical flight. This is due to the use of oxygen systems within pressurized and non-pressurized aircraft, those of which maintain a comfortable environment by supplying breathable air.

With the use of an oxygen system, breathable air can be produced and supplied for all passengers and crew members within the aircraft cabins. From commercial airliners to military transporters, many types of aircraft will feature diverse oxygen systems in order to maintain the well-being of anyone travelling at high altitudes. Additionally, various types of equipment may also be present throughout an aircraft in order to ensure that all parties are provided oxygen during the flight.

Within the Standards and Recommended Practices (SARPS) specifications published by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), regulations mandate the use of oxygen systems on aircraft of all types when travelling at specific altitudes. Depending on whether the aircraft is pressurized or non-pressurized, different systems may be required or present. On non-pressurized aircraft, all crew members are often presented with supplemental oxygen systems with masks for breathing. Meanwhile, pressurized aircraft will often provide systems that automatically distribute oxygen throughout the cabin, as well as have masks that can supply oxygen for emergencies.

As the pilots are responsible for maintaining control over the aircraft throughout the flight, they are typically presented with a separate oxygen system to ensure there is redundancy. Generally, pressurized gas is contained in air cylinder assemblies and tanks located within the flight deck. The amount of oxygen provided by such equipment is always enough for the duration of the flight, as well as extra for emergency procedures. With the use of a regulator, the pressure and flow of oxygen supplied by the air cylinder assemblies can be maintained so that the quality of oxygen always remains the same regardless of altitude changes. Depending on the type of aircraft and its role, the regulator may be either constant flow or diluter-demand. With constant flow regulators, output pressure and flow remains constant throughout changes in altitude through the use of set values. Typically, such systems are present within non-pressurized aircraft. Meanwhile, the diluter-demand oxygen can supply pure oxygen or oxygen that has been mixed with cabin air depending on settings. To further provide safety to the pilots, masks are also present at each flight deck station.

Within the passenger compartment of the aircraft, oxygen is supplied through either a fixed or portable oxygen system. For fixed systems, oxygen is provided by cylinders and a single regulator. For emergencies, masks are also connected to these oxygen cylinder assemblies, allowing for direct breathing when needed. In regard to aircraft that travel at altitudes surpassing 25,000’, oxygen system aircraft survival kits and equipment are present alongside chemical oxygen generators. For the emergency oxygen systems, enough supply must be available to accommodate all passengers on board for at least ten minutes. With this time, the pilots can redirect the aircraft to a lower altitude, allowing them to have more time to find a safe landing spot while maintaining safe oxygen levels in the case of a loss in pressurization. Additionally, the amount of masks available to passengers must exceed the total amount of seating by 10% in order to ensure that any unassigned children or flight attendants can receive supply immediately.

Through the use of oxygen system assemblies, passengers and flight crew members can travel through the sky in comfort and safety. At Cogent Sourcing, we provide many oxygen system parts and components, including those such as battery oxygen parts, adapter oxygen tanks, aircraft oxygen systems, and much more. With over 2 billion items sourced from top global manufacturers, we can help you secure the new, used, and obsolete parts that you need with competitive pricing and rapid lead-times. If there are particular items from our database that you wish to procure, you may begin the purchasing process with a personalized quote when you fill out and submit an Instant RFQ form through our website. Get started today and experience how Cogent Sourcing is revolutionizing the part procurement process for our customers.


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