How Does Aircraft Pressurization Work?

For a typical commercial flight, such aircraft operate at an altitude between 31,000 and 38,000 feet. At such altitudes, humans would quickly face various physiological problems due to the lack of air pressure present, possibly resulting in hypoxia, altitude sickness, loss of consciousness, and more if left unprotected. This is why many aircraft are pressurized and supplied with fresh oxygen throughout the flight, providing passengers and crew members with a safe and comfortable environment while operating at heights that bring more flight efficiency. In this blog, we will discuss the aircraft pressurization system, allowing you to familiarize yourself with how cabin pressurization is upheld.

With a fuselage that is well sealed off from the outside atmosphere, cabin pressurization can be created through the use of numerous parts and components that work together. With the engine compressor, ambient air is compressed, resulting in a rapid temperature spike. This compressed air is used for many processes, ranging from the functionality of deicing systems to the operation of air-driven hydraulic pumps. The pressurized air that is used for pressurization specifically is routed to an intercooler, ensuring that heat can be removed. Temperatures are further reduced with the use of air packs located in the belly of the plane. As air expands through the expansion turbine, cool air is achieved and is mixed with recirculated cabin air before being delivered to passengers.

Typically, cabin pressurization is used to create an internal altitude of around 8,000 feet, and the temperature of air can be managed by the pilot for the comfort of passengers. As aircraft pressurization may rise from the consistent addition of air and spent air will quickly build up over time, an outflow valve is present on the fuselage that ensures the automatic disposal of air to maintain a set pressure with pressure sensors. This guarantees that the cabin is always supplied with fresh air for health and sanitary reasons.

While pilots are provided with manual control over cabin pressurization, they will typically have little manual management over the system during flight as the outflow valve will control everything automatically. Generally, the pilot will simply set a display to show the altitude of the landing airport. If a malfunction were to occur, however, the pilot could then assume control over the control valve for the means of safety. Furthermore, an oxygen mask is provided for every seat in an emergency as well.

Despite cabin pressurization holding altitudes that are much higher than sea level on average, there are no long-term risks for remaining in a pressurized cabin. Despite this, cabins typically exhibit low humidity, so it is important to remain hydrated through drinking water, and avoiding having too much alcohol is recommended. Additionally, pressurization can also reduce taste and smell temporarily, and as such, aircraft food is spaced and flavored to a higher degree.

By conducting flights in high altitudes while maintaining cabin pressurization, pilots can ensure flight efficiency, safety from collisions, and much more. At Paragon Purchasing, we are your strategic sourcing partner for top quality aircraft pressurization system parts that have been sourced from leading global manufacturers that we trust. Take the time to explore our ever-expanding part catalogs, and all listings are readily available for purchase at any time. If any particular item sparks your interest, you may request a quote for your comparisons at any time through the submission of an RFQ form as provided on our website. As our team members are always available for customers 24/7x365, responses to quote requests will be given in just 15 minutes or less. Get started today and see how Paragon Purchasing can serve as your strategic sourcing partner.


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