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Tue Sep 25, 2012, 11:05 AM

Scientific American responds to Romney's question about Airplane Windows

Why Airplane Windows Don't Roll Down
Were you to open a plane window, the compressed air inside would rapidly rush out, atmospheric conditions inside and outside the plane would equalize, and everybody would die

In his latest gaffe, Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney lamented the fact that airplane windows don't roll down.

Romney's wife Ann's plane had to make an emergency landing Friday (Sept. 21) because of an electrical malfunction. Discussing the incident at a fundraiser the next day, he said: "When you have a fire in an aircraft, there's no place to go, exactly, there's no and you can't find any oxygen from outside the aircraft to get in the aircraft, because the windows don't open. I don't know why they don't do that. It's a real problem. So it's very dangerous."

Here's why they don't do that.

Gravity tends to keep air molecules concentrated near the ground, so the atmosphere thins out as you go up. The air becomes so thin at 10,000 feet (3,000 meters) or so that airplane cabins must be pressurized above that altitude to prevent occupants from suffering from hypoxia, or lack of oxygen. Because temperature and pressure go hand-in-hand (i.e. low-pressure air feels cold), pressurization is also necessary to keep cabins sufficiently warm.

At 35,000 ft. (11,000 m), the typical altitude of a commercial jet, the air pressure drops to less than a quarter of its value at sea level, and the outside temperature drops below negative 60 degrees Fahrenheit (negative 51 degrees Celsius), according to The Engineering Toolbox. Exposed to such conditions, you would quickly die.


http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=why-airplane-windows-dont
The explanation continues with some great comments at the end.

15 replies, 2116 views

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Arrow 15 replies Author Time Post
Reply Scientific American responds to Romney's question about Airplane Windows (Original post)
liberal N proud Sep 2012 OP
bulloney Sep 2012 #1
liam_laddie Sep 2012 #3
Botany Sep 2012 #2
sweettater Sep 2012 #4
Botany Sep 2012 #5
BumRushDaShow Sep 2012 #8
Baitball Blogger Sep 2012 #6
Aviation Pro Sep 2012 #7
matt819 Sep 2012 #9
chelsea0011 Sep 2012 #10
mnhtnbb Sep 2012 #11
Stake Sep 2012 #12
nichomachus Sep 2012 #14
12forward Sep 2012 #13
HopeHoops Sep 2012 #15

Response to liberal N proud (Original post)

Tue Sep 25, 2012, 11:10 AM

1. That explains a lot. Mitt's been flying in his private jets at 35,000 feet with the windows down.

The thin air has affected his brain. Ryan's apparently been flying with him, judging from some of his recent remarks.

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Response to bulloney (Reply #1)

Tue Sep 25, 2012, 11:11 AM

3. BINGO! Well said...

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Response to liberal N proud (Original post)

Tue Sep 25, 2012, 11:11 AM

2. SNARK Bomb!

Were you to open a plane window, the compressed air inside would rapidly rush out, atmospheric
conditions inside and outside the plane would equalize, and everybody would die.

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Response to liberal N proud (Original post)

Tue Sep 25, 2012, 11:14 AM

4. I'm going to cut him

an inch of slack here. Could be he meant when the plane was grounded....................... I know, I know.....but how could anyone actually think a plane window could be opened in flight????????????????? Oh, well I tried........

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Response to sweettater (Reply #4)

Tue Sep 25, 2012, 11:21 AM

5. What could go wrong?

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Response to sweettater (Reply #4)

Tue Sep 25, 2012, 11:28 AM

8. Don't planes have oxygen masks that drop down from above?

Recall those flight attendant demos on how to activate them (now often replaced by videos of the same) on (commercial) flights? Even if needed on the ground?



http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emergency_oxygen_system

Even small lear jets have some sort of oxygen mask.

The real answer is that this man wants to bitch about anything and everything around him that keeps his highness upset.

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Response to liberal N proud (Original post)

Tue Sep 25, 2012, 11:25 AM

6. Curtis Mathis from Curtis Mathis T.V.s died that way.

Smoke inhalation on a plane.

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Response to liberal N proud (Original post)

Tue Sep 25, 2012, 11:28 AM

7. Shameless self-promotion....

....it would have been a hoot if the staid scientists had responded in a manner like this:

http://www.democraticunderground.com/?com=view_post&forum=1002&pid=1409365

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Response to liberal N proud (Original post)

Tue Sep 25, 2012, 11:34 AM

9. Okay, that's all fine

But I don't see god in that explanation, so it can't be true.

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Response to liberal N proud (Original post)

Tue Sep 25, 2012, 11:36 AM

10. Romney misspoke. He meant to say the doors open and I don't they they didn't open them.

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Response to liberal N proud (Original post)

Tue Sep 25, 2012, 11:37 AM

11. Republicans expect to defy science...don't understand science...don't agree with science.

Move along to some Magic Underwear.

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Response to liberal N proud (Original post)

Tue Sep 25, 2012, 11:42 AM

12. hm...

why planes have no emergency brake? let Him ask Putin who recently flew with cranes. Crocodiles fly? Yes they fly, but only a very low

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Response to Stake (Reply #12)

Tue Sep 25, 2012, 12:39 PM

14. Jet planes DO have air brakes n/t

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Response to liberal N proud (Original post)

Tue Sep 25, 2012, 12:28 PM

13. ouch

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Response to liberal N proud (Original post)

Tue Sep 25, 2012, 12:46 PM

15. These are Republicans. Don't bother them with facts. It just confuses them.

 

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