Thursday, May 5, 2016

Aeronautical Expansion Suits

I was one of the few who was invited onto a test flight.  The test was not for the aircraft itself, but for a piece of equipment that was being tested to save a person’s life in the event of an emergency while on an aircraft.  I can not mention the company name, nor when or where the event occurred.  But I will say that those of us who witnessed this test all had some personal connections to the people in the company who ran this test. 

I sat in the middle section of the Boeing 757 that I boarded.  My seat was on the aisle of that middle section.  What was being tested was a suit that a person could theoretically wear in the case of an air disaster.  It would not be used for things such as turbulence or for unscheduled landings, but rather, for catastrophic events such as complete depressurization from a side of a plane being sucked out of the fuselage and for complete structural break ups. 

The idea is that as a plane gets into trouble, this suit, which is made of a thick rubber like substance (the actual materials being unknown to this writer) covers the entire body with the exception of the passenger’s head, is either manually triggered, or automatically triggered via a guage that measures rapid loss in barometric pressure.  With the triggering of the suit, it immediately expands like a blow fish around the passenger, creating a large insulation of air around the person’s body.  The area around the neck is configured in a way to expand completely around the head with supplementary oxygen for maximum protection against forced trauma from flying objects and concussions with objects in the airplane, and with the plane walls, etc., itself.