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Oxygen Problems on F-22 Elude the Air Force’s Fixes

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JOINT BASE LANGLEY-EUSTIS, Va. — Capt. Jeff Haney was at 51,000 feet on a night flight above Alaska in November 2010 when the oxygen system in his F-22 Raptor fighter jet shut down, restricting his ability to breathe as he plummeted faster than the speed of sound into the tundra below. His plane burned a crater into the ice, froze 40 feet beneath the surface and was not fully recovered until the spring thaw. (www.nytimes.com) Ещё...

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racerman
larry clement 1
It's amazing that for $400M they can't find and fix the problem.. One of the most disturbing things is that some of the incidents/accidents related to the oxygen system have been blamed on pilot error. It's hard to fly any plane when you don't have adequate oxygen in your system.
zennermd
zennermd 1
They better be able to fix this problem. The F-22 is by far my favorite fighter.

onceastudentpilot
tim mitchell 1
well I wouldn't want to fly it; not above 14,000 ft MSL at least....nah; I hope they get it fixed because it seems like it would be a wonderful fighter and our nations current fleet is getting pretty old.
99NY
99NY 1
Sad day when the world's most expensive fighter kills its pilots more effectively than any enemy could...
preacher1
preacher1 1
Hopefully the vest thing was the major problem and this most recent episode is something else and unrelated. As far as the F-22's cost, by the time the final tally is in on the
F-35, it may have it beat.
genethemarine
Gene spanos 1
firsq
Yvon Dionne 1
No excuse for this problem......not really sure but from what I've read the F22 generates breathable air via equipment on board the aircraft. To get a good idea of this works I believe either 60 Minutes or 20/20 did a special report on this issue not that long ago. I'm not an aeronautical engineer but why couldn't a bottle of compressed breathable air be placed somewhere in the aircraft for the pilots to use as a supplement to thier current system on the aircraft now. Just saying...
Wingscrubber
Wingscrubber 2
There is an emergency oxygen bottle built into the ejector seat, supposedly, but it has to be manually activated by the pilot in flight when he decides he needs it, or it is automatically activated when he ejects.

The problem is, the F22 was designed with an intelligent software controlled environmental and thermal management system, with such clever features as being able to automatically shut-off oxygen in the event that a leak is detected. (Presumably to prevent fire)
http://www.dailyhampshiregazette.com/2012/03/21/af-to-modify-f-22-following-fatal-crash

...but whoever wrote that line of code that automatically shuts off the oxygen system didn't think about the interim when the pilot has no oxygen at all, so they blame the pilot for not pulling the emergency handle quickly enough. Perhaps the emergency oxygen should have been automatic too?

Everything surrounding the F22 oxygen system debacle reads like a textbook of what not to do in systems engineering. I think maybe a few folks at Lockheed and Honeywell probably need to lose their jobs over this, and maybe even go to jail for gross negligence.
firsq
Yvon Dionne 1
Wingscrubber I couldn't agree more!!!
genethemarine
Gene spanos 1
Watch for the drones to take over the skies for security.
Especially along the southern watch.
wyomnc1
wyomnc1 0
With the composites, the lack of atmospheric pressure compared to 8K or even 20k feet, the toxic whatevers in the composites are LEAKING. Normal atmospheric pressures keep the whatevers contained but when you go up, well things change. The whatevers are in the O 2 system and the O 2 system is probably functioning properly but the materials in use are toxic at low pressures and high altitude. Some how they are invading the system. Teflon coated cooking utensils also give off a toxic gas when over heated during the cooking process but have you ever seen it reported? I believe it was a middle school student in Arkansas while doing experiments in her Science class who discovered the Teflon problem.

[This poster has been suspended.]

wyomnc1
wyomnc1 1
There is a bug in the system,, someone will find it. Meanwhile stay low and slow.
preacher1
preacher1 1
Sounds like a plausible theory on altitude but there is something in the story that says ground crewmen working in the cockpit on the ground were also getting sick as well.
wyomnc1
wyomnc1 1
Ground crews have been known to induce self problems :-)) for a day off. Just joking.

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