In November 2010, from the planned flight over Alaska has not returned fighter F-22 Raptor, the pilot managed J. Haney. As it was established during the investigation, on-board oxygen regenerator OBOGS out due to what the pilot lost consciousness. Enable backup system EOS Haney did not have time. This tragedy was the first time that the regeneration system problems led to the loss of the aircraft and the death of man. But the results of the investigation conducted by improvements OBOGS yet not conceived tribute to the result. It is reported that the pilots «Raptors» at times begin to experience difficulty breathing, requiring new technical investigation.
Still in the process of searching into the death of the pilot J. Haney was able to identify one fact which could indirectly affect the quality of the regenerator. It turned out that in the cool criteria Alaska pilots and technicians prefer to run the engines of aircraft in hangars warm. During operation of old aircraft is not pulling a no nasty consequences. But like the F-22 does not tolerate: combustible products fall into the intakes of the respiratory system and accumulate in the filters. Ultimately, it affects a resource system and OBOGS as her work. After opening the operation of such features and their impact on combat units received appropriate guidance.
How would prerequisites insufficient oxygen supply have been identified and eliminated. But soon reports of choking pilots began to arrive from other regions with more Myagenkaya climate. Suspicion fell on the system again OBOGS: now seen several versions at once. From the regenerator to completely disconnect the air pump problems and as a result, the missing volume of feed air to the breathing mask. But according to reports, new cases of air regeneration system OBOGS not guilty. First edition June Flightglobal said that the Pentagon appeared on the circumstances of the new version of suffocation pilots. Currently verified involvement in it-altitude pressure suit (WCC) Combat Eagle («Fighting Eagle»). WCC is connected with the system OBOGS and along with it is to ensure normal operation of the pilot. The main task of a suit, and specifically its upper part, which raises suspicions is the uniform compression of the chest in accordance with the pilot air pressure in the lungs. Such systems are used more than a dozen years and greatly simplify the work of the pilots. But Combat Eagle, seems to have appeared unexpected difficulties. When incorrect synchronization of different aircraft systems may occur a situation in which, during the maneuvers of the chest man very very compressed suit. Because of this added to the action overload overpressure and the pilot can not breathe.
Version of excessive pressure on certain steps WCC flight confirms the fact that some front pilots was found atelectasis — narrowing of the bronchioles and alveoli spadenie. One reason for this problem is the enormous impact of the simultaneous small internal and external pressures. In addition, because the pilot wears off lung tissue can not breathe properly, which only worsens the features of pulmonary gas exchange under reduced pressure. Ultimately pilot returning from a flight with symptoms of atelectasis, a few hours can not normally read (he trembles voice) and constantly coughing. Fortunately, this phenomenon is not very safe for health, although requests to discover special attention. For example, after a reconnaissance flight by plane U-2, as well as atelectasis, the pilot for a number of days is not ascended into the air for a full recovery of the lungs. But fighter pilots can not afford for themselves such a luxury. Another time, «Raptors» make several departures per day at the present time and rest and recovery is not there. According to Flightglobal, one of the causes of development of atelectasis may be a feature of the system OBOGS. As it turns out, the respiratory apparatus constantly supplies the pilot mask the same amount of air. At the Ordinary flight «on box» is not scary, but when overloading, even more so at the height of this sometimes leads to a significant difference in pressure inside and outside of the chest. As a result, there is spadenie alveoli and following hypoxia.
Is noteworthy that the version of the fault-altitude compensating a suit even voiced in the past year. Last summer, the Pentagon began checking systems OBOGS, installed on in-service aircraft. According to the results of inspections, a version of the failure of the respiratory system synchronization and compensating a suit. But subsequent studies have shown that the suit, as well as the associated support system pressure has a normal structure of the matter is likely to set up communications between different life-support systems.
Version of the involvement of WCC Combat Eagle pilots to suffocation has a number of shortcomings. The most conspicuous features of their concerns fly in what was recorded lacking oxygen supply. According to open sources, about 15-20% of these cases came at low altitudes, where the altitude-compensating suit or does not perceptible pressure, or not at all. Once this has got to open access information about blood tests affected pilots. If the presence of residues in their blood carbon monoxide can somehow explain insufficient ventilation the cab, the combustion of propane, motor oil and antifreeze make the situation much more mysterious and unsafe. In addition, problems with blood may hint at a lack of guilt in the WCC dilemmas breathing.
Another reason in support of the «Fighting Eagle» refers to ground personnel. In the medical unit of the U.S. Air Force, which operated the F-22, has not once addressed technology complaints, malaise reminiscent of pilots. Technology, which, even in aircraft cabins are infrequently feel drawback air and complain prepyadstviya with concentration. Taken from their analyzes have such a weird blood gas composition, as well as pilots. It turns out that the cause of problems with being associated with military aircraft, but is not directly related to the respiratory system or the altitude-compensating suit.
Investigation of problems with life-support aircraft pilots F-22 lasted for more than 2 years, but does not yet have any noticeable results. Any new version has not been confirmed and it is constantly asked to continue the investigation. Attempts to artificially provoke the problem of the situation is no better. Lockheed Martin’s test is not the first month of trying unsuccessfully to do this by conducting flights in full agreement with the course of past failed missions. And the Pentagon, meanwhile, is in a very difficult position. On the one hand, the existing aviation technology represents a certain danger for the pilots, but with all this new aircraft should not be removed from duty. Because until the problem with the respiratory system is not considered so unsafe, that suspend operation of «Raptor». In favor of this solution is given just one reason for the crash because of the problems of life support. And then, in the official report on the causes of the catastrophe guilty J. Haney number of pilots who did not have time to switch to an alternate respiratory system. We have to admit that the military administration still is not blind to the potential danger to the life of the pilots. All F-22 not so long ago were equipped with gas analyzers. As planned by the military and designers «Lockheed», these devices must warn of a pilot in the air unsafe substances. In addition, the modernization ends OBOGS and EOS systems with the introduction of their composition additional carbon filters. In the end, Lockheed Martin recently finished the creation of the modern replacement of the respiratory system, which will cut one without the help of others, without the command of the pilot.
In general, the course of investigation into the circumstances of hypoxia pilots and technicians ailments can not be called successful. Unfortunately, any new version can not be one hundred percent to clarify the situation. Because of this investigation is delayed, and the ordinary combatant pilots constantly at risk if not to lose consciousness during the flight and break, then at least get through the difficulties with health. While no one can say, in any «surprises» poured out permanent atelectasis and will not lead to harsh if he consequences. In the end, the problem with life support and have an image character. Long development and refinement F-22, a significant reduction plans for the purchase, no real practice of other nasty things has long been not the best impact on the reputation of the aircraft. Here also the problem of the respiratory system. Namely particularly naughty style fighter, also active with the investigation can will interpret the fact that in the last few months the number of appeals pilots and technicians to doctors increased. Meanwhile, engineers, testers, lawyers and doctors are struggling with the problem and not yet ready to give a definitive answer. Looks like style «Raptor» suffer again.
Created by Kirill Ryabov