back to article Breathless F-35 pilots to get oxygen boost via algorithm tweak

The oxygen deprivation problems that choked F-35 pilots will be fixed through a software update, according to US reports – with the UK's handful of F-35B jets also in line for the fix. Back in June the US grounded a quarter of the world's F-35s after pilots reported "physiological incidents" when using the aircraft's oxygen …

  1. Christian Berger Silver badge

    You'd hope they are hackable...

    ... because there may be situations where you want to fix or otherwise tweak them without having the propper materials. It's like any large machine, it shoul work by default, but sometimes you need to tweak it to work for you.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: You'd hope they are hackable...

      I'm sure in the cockpit there will the the obligatory tool set.

      Hammer

      WD-40

      Gaffer tape.

      Mole Grips

      With those, you can fix anything....yes, yes you can.

      1. Chicken Marengo

        Re: Re: You'd hope they are hackable...

        With the F-35, prayer beads and a sacrificial goat might be advisable

      2. Voyna i Mor Silver badge

        Re: You'd hope they are hackable...

        You missed;

        Desktop replacement laptop with complete development system

        High speed Internet connection to Stackexchange, without which nobody can "code" these days

        F35 simulator software so you can check your hack before installing.

        1. MrT

          Re: You'd hope they are hackable...

          How hackable, though?

          Remember turning on autocorrect in Word on a computer left logged on and unlocked at work, then setting it to replace "the" with "you suck"**? Swap 'Word' for 'F35A/B/C', 'the' for 'Countermeasures_Button", and "you suck"** with "SET: Fuel_Dump=1: MODE: immediate; VAL: 100%; CONFIRM: Y"...

          ** other phrases are available

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I'd have to ask...

    ..why US military pilots are not given training in hypoxia anyway? Back in the late 90s when I did my UK PPL my flying school required that all pupils be taken up in an unpressurised aircraft to a height of 10,000' whilst undertaking a series of written tests and hand-eye co-ordination tests so that they would recognise and understand the symptoms of altitude hypoxia. One of the scariest things I have ever done, simply because you realise you are losing control of your own body and, to a certain extent, mind.

    In the words of Ford Prefect and Arthur Dent:

    FP: It's unpleasantly like being drunk

    AD: What's so unpleasant about being drunk?

    FP: You ask a glass of water!

    1. ZanzibarRastapopulous

      Re: I'd have to ask...

      Yeah, UK PPL training of nearly 30 years ago is superior to the latest USAF fast jet training programs.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: I'd have to ask...

        1998-2017 is nineteen years, so I'm not sure how you get "nearly thirty years". The point I am making is that an optional CAA recommendation to provide altitude hypoxia awareness training was provided as part of my PPL by a flying school but does not, from the article, appear to feature highly in the US military pilot training as "pilots would be given extra training on recognising the symptoms of hypoxia". I was not in any way suggesting that, in general, PPL training was, or is, superior to US military training except in this particular instance where, presumably for cost reasons and because they considered it an unlikely occurrence in modern aircraft, the training has been reduced to a level below that which might be deemed "sensible".

        Bit of a snowflake reaction from you there...

        1. Anonymous Coward Silver badge
          Headmaster

          Re: I'd have to ask...

          "extra" training.

          They're not saying that they don't get any training in it currently, just that they're going to give them a bit more.

        2. ZanzibarRastapopulous

          Re: I'd have to ask...

          Ok 20 years, does it matter?

          The mind-numbing suggestion that the USAF doesn't do as much hypoxia training as a PPL course is just the sort of laughably stupid crap you get in the comments on any F35 article.

          You'll be suggesting they should get on a f'ing roller coaster for high-G experience next.

      2. Archtech Silver badge

        Re: I'd have to ask...

        I take it you were not being ironic.

    2. Rich 11 Silver badge

      Re: I'd have to ask...

      be taken up in an unpressurised aircraft to a height of 10,000' whilst undertaking a series of written tests and hand-eye co-ordination tests

      Didn't John Noakes do that on Blue Peter in about 1974? Well, maybe it was someone else, but I do remember being astonished at just how rapidly a person's handwriting deteriorated. It's taken 40 years for mine to get that bad.

      1. John Robson Silver badge

        Re: I'd have to ask...

        Destin did it on Smarter Every Day recently - as an illustration of why you put your own mask on before that of your kids in a plane.

        However much your parental instinct is to do them first, you aren't going to get your own on afterwards... Whereas the kids being unable to put their mask on doesn't matter if you are doing it anyway...

        YouTube Link

      2. rh587 Bronze badge

        Re: I'd have to ask...

        Didn't John Noakes do that on Blue Peter in about 1974? Well, maybe it was someone else, but I do remember being astonished at just how rapidly a person's handwriting deteriorated. It's taken 40 years for mine to get that bad.

        I seem to remember Clarkson might have done something similar - except they put him in a pressure chamber and dropped the pressure to the equivalent of 12,000ft and gave him some simple tasks like putting wooden blocks in the right holes on a board. Trivial at ambient pressure, almost impossible once hypoxic.

      3. Steve the Cynic Silver badge

        Re: I'd have to ask...

        "Didn't John Noakes do that on Blue Peter in about 1974?"

        Not quite. It *was* John Noakes. I'll take your word for it on the year, but it sounds about right.

        The key discrepancies are:

        * The pressure altitude was 25,000 feet because he was going to do a free-fall parachute jump with the Red Devils, from 25,000 feet.

        * He did it in a hypobaric chamber on the ground rather than in an aircraft.

        And my handwriting has always been atrocious.

      4. IsJustabloke Silver badge
        Meh

        Re: I'd have to ask...

        "It's taken 40 years for mine to get that bad."

        sadly mine has always been that bad regardless of altitude

    3. SkippyBing Silver badge

      Re: I'd have to ask...

      'my flying school required that all pupils be taken up in an unpressurised aircraft to a height of 10,000''

      Which is generally the maximum height you're recommended to fly without oxygen, so I'm a bit stumped why they thought that would be useful training. I've been higher skiing.

      Of course, as has been pointed out, they already had training in recognising hypoxia, it's a NATO requirement, but if the likelihood of an emergency has increased it may be a good idea to increase the training for it, n'est pas?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: I'd have to ask...

        The difference is it's a rapid ascent to 10,000' (aircraft was a twin engine turbo-prop with a removed rear door, also used for photographic runs - there was a seat by the door with a five-point harness and a large segmented box for putting camera gubbins in so they didn't fall out the door) with a climb rate in excess of 2000' per minute; the speed of the ascent causes the effects to kick in much more rapidly than a gentle ascent - your body has no time to acclimatise. After we reached altitude and levelled out there was a period of acclimatisation at which point we started to recover some (but by no means all) of the functionality we had lost. Effects also differ widely from person to person, some exhibited severe reactions well below 8,000', one person was barely affected even at 10,000'. It was designed to give prospective pilots a taste of hypoxia without exposing them to undue risk.

        Personally among the symptoms I experienced were loss of fine motor control, impaired decision making, severe headache, and loss of communication skills.

        I have also been above 10,000' whilst trekking in the Rockies, but that took several hours to get from sea level to Denver, another few hours to get from Denver to the camping ground, a night's sleep at the camping ground, then several hours walking to get to the highest elevation. On that occasion I did not experience any of the above symptoms.

        1. TheElder

          Re: I'd have to ask...

          Many years ago I took my Cessna 140 to a bit over 10,000 feet since I needed that altitude as a safe gliding distance between the mainland and an island. I didn't notice any real difference other than the controls being rather sloppy. I guess it helps that I have somewhat larger than average lung capacity. Also do not smoke cigarettes and never have.

          1. DougS Silver badge

            Re: I'd have to ask...

            My handwriting (printed or especially cursive) is so bad I can't help but think hypoxia might improve it!

          2. Voyna i Mor Silver badge

            Re: I'd have to ask...

            Didn't WW1 pilots regularly reach 14000 feet without oxygen? The St Bernard Pass is over 8000 and people climb a long way up from it without the slightest problem.

          3. Archtech Silver badge

            Re: I'd have to ask...

            I suspect the key words in your post are "I didn't notice".

      2. Alan Brown Silver badge

        Re: I'd have to ask...

        "I'm a bit stumped why they thought that would be useful training. I've been higher skiing."

        Firstly: When you go skiiing you have time to adjust. The "sudden" change from zero to 10,000 feet (an hour or less) exacerbates the hypoxia effects (and FWIW flying the day after you've been scuba diving is a bad idea too unless you like getting the bends)

        Secondly: A _lot_ of people are already affected at 6-8000 feet. Knowing you're susceptable means you know what _your_ height limitation is. (The old 8000 foot "dry air" pressurisation in aircraft is a compromise between hull pressure, corrosion and passengers not being sick. newer carbon-fibre bodied aircraft are able to be pumped up to higher pressures and aren't as problematic about corrosion issues so the air can be more humid too.)

    4. TitterYeNot

      Re: I'd have to ask...

      "..why US military pilots are not given training in hypoxia anyway? Back in the late 90s when I did my UK PPL my flying school required that all pupils be taken up in an unpressurised aircraft to a height of 10,000' whilst undertaking a series of written tests and hand-eye co-ordination tests so that they would recognise and understand the symptoms of altitude hypoxia."

      It certainly used to be included as part of RAF flight crew training, and presumably still is, so I would assume that it's part of US aircrew training schedules as well.

      The whole point of writing while experiencing altitude hypoxia is that many people don't notice that their writing has gone to shit till they are hooked up to their oxygen mask again by their instructor, and then get a big shock when they realise how discoordinated they had become without realising it. Expecting a military fast jet pilot to immediately notice hypoxia when they are simultaneously checking their ingress point, scanning for air and ground threats, identifying and locking targets, selecting and configuring munitions etc. etc. would be a bit of a tall order for most...

      1. Alan Brown Silver badge

        Re: I'd have to ask...

        "Expecting a military fast jet pilot to immediately notice hypoxia when they are...."

        Standard operating practice for PPLs using oxygen or pressurised cabins above 10k feet these days is to use a pulse oximeter with a very loud alarm. If it goes under 92% you're in deep shit no matter what your altitude is.

    5. Alan Brown Silver badge

      Re: I'd have to ask...

      "why US military pilots are not given training in hypoxia anyway?"

      they are, but it's in the context of sudden loss of oxygen, not gradual deprivation.

  3. CraPo

    Dreamliners

    pressurise their cabins to 6,000 feet (yes,I know you said virtually all).

    1. SkippyBing Silver badge

      Re: Dreamliners

      I believe being made of composites helps them do that, I know it increases passenger comfort both theoretically and from actually having flown on one for 16 hours!

      As an exercise for the reader figure out the pressurisation schedule for a 787 flying from Los Angeles to Mexico City (altitude 7382') so that you can open the doors when you get there...

      1. fobobob

        Re: Dreamliners

        You can likely open the doors, as they typically open outwards (I don't know of any modern airliners that actually use plug-type doors for main entry, though the 767 does have door that open inwards, or rather upwards).

        Not to say that's in any way advisable, as one could be blown (one might argue 'sucked', but I feel that's wrong) out of the plane:

        http://abcnews.go.com/US/story?id=94950

        1. Anonymous Coward Silver badge

          Re: Dreamliners

          "they typically open outwards (I don't know of any modern airliners that actually use plug-type doors for main entry, though the 767 does have door that open inwards, or rather upwards)"

          What a way to misread your own linked article. I'll quote one paragraph of it for you:

          Unlike other large passenger jets, the emergency exit doors on the Airbus 300 open directly outward, like a car door, instead of inwards.

          Excepting the one mentioned, airliner doors initially open inwards, then rotate to go outwards. That way no mechanical failure will lead to the door flying open while the internal pressure is greater than the external pressure (ie while flying).

          1. fobobob

            Re: Dreamliners

            Indeed, I'm a derp xD haven't flown in waaay too long.

          2. fobobob

            Re: Dreamliners

            It also took me way too long to notice that you're the one true AC, not some phony.

  4. Gene Cash Silver badge

    They're HOPING it fixes things. They truly have no idea. They're also considering the engine is introducing toxins into the bleed air. There's also the good chance 4 aircrew have already died due to this.

    http://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zone/12664/usaf-and-usn-try-new-fixes-but-still-struggle-with-aircraft-oxygen-woes

  5. M7S

    Why oxygen generators?

    Why not just a simple cylinder of compressed air or oxygen (according to need, as I know there are issues with gas mixtures affected by pressures, but I'm not expert in this) delivered via a regulator?

    Relatively simple to replace for each flight, or is there a large weight/space saving with generators?

    Genuine curiosity.

    1. malle-herbert Silver badge
      Coat

      Re: Why oxygen generators?

      Because :

      A: At different pressures a different oxygen content is required.

      B : You also need to get rid of the CO2 generated by the pilot.

      1. frank ly Silver badge

        Re: Why oxygen generators?

        You'd need to get rid of CO2 from the pilot anyway, no matter what system you use (except for natural air pass through). If they can design and make an oxygen concentrator that delivers the correct partial pressure of oxygen then surely they can design and make a mixing valve to do the same thing when fed from an oxygen cylinder?

        I suppose that with an oxygen concentrator you don't need to refill/replace tanks and don't have capacity/duration limitations.

      2. nobody_important

        Re: Why oxygen generators?

        ...more like you need to get rid of the pilot.

        Y'know, those drones with AI thingies....notwithstanding latency, friendly fire etc etc..

    2. 2460 Something

      Re: Why oxygen generators?

      I suspect that the weight/space is a big part of it. If you base it off flight time of 2-3 hours that would be fine. But if you then include in-air refuelling for longer flights .. how do you refill the tanks at the same time? So you would then need bigger tanks to cover long flight scenario ... at some point this just becomes unfeasible.

    3. TonyJ Silver badge

      Re: Why oxygen generators?

      Well it depends on how they supply the pilots oxygen.

      If it's a closed loop system then that will mean the gas they breathe out is cycled back through the loop, scrubbed of CO2 and analysed. If there's a requirement to top up the O2, then the required amount to keep the gas breathable will be added.

      If it's not a closed loop, then the gas they breathe out is just vented away but I'd suspect it's not open as this would mean over 90% of the oxygen breathed in by the pilot would be wasted on exhale. Plus it's presumably closed due to things like the cockpit being sealed.

      A closed loop also has the advantages that a) that 90+% of O2 isn't wasted - it's recycled round the loop and b) any O2 tanks will be smaller than otherwise needed.

      I am coming at this from the perspective of a hypoxic trained closed circuit rebreather technical diver. With a pair of 3l cylinders (one for O2 and one for a diluent mix) I could potentially get around 6 hours underwater - I say potentially because various things alter that such as how long the scrubber material can last when removing the CO2, how warm or cold the water is etc etc. But compare that to diving on "open circuit" with 2 x 12l cylinders - they'd tend to last me for an hour of diving.

      Also even as a diver you are trained to spot hypoxia, CO and CO2 buildup, Nitrogen Narcosis etc etc so I'm amazed that these pilots aren't being thoroughly schooled in this!

      Oh and just an edit: the rate at which an individual metabolises O2 doesn't change between any changes in atmospheric pressure so no matter how high you climb or how deep you go, you will still burn O2 at the same rate.

      1. CertMan
        Boffin

        Re: Why oxygen generators?

        Look up "Bill Stone rebreather"

        This guy is the guru when it comes to modern closed loop breathing systems and a damn fine caver and cave diver to boot! He's done 24 hour plus test dives.

        This coming from a caver who has only been cave diving in cold, tight and zero visibility UK sumps. - None of this fancy, warm, spacious and being able to see malarkey you get abroad :-)

    4. SkippyBing Silver badge

      Re: Why oxygen generators?

      'Why not just a simple cylinder of compressed air or oxygen '

      This has been used in the past, most recently with liquid oxygen (LOX) as it takes up less space. There are however a number of issues with producing and storing LOX*, which increase if you deploy somewhere as you have to ensure everywhere you land, as well as your final destination, can replenish you with LOX. Having a self contained system on the aircraft solves all these problems.

      As others have mentioned it also limits your endurance as you can't fly without oxygen for the pilot and air to air refuellers don't transfer that.

      *Because it's very cold, and rather inclined to go bang.

    5. Smirnov

      Re: Why oxygen generators?

      Not all combat aircraft use oxygen generators (OBOGS), others like the Tornado use LOX (Liquid Oxygen) in a bottle.

      The reason for prevalence of OBOGS on modern combat aircraft is that it's easier to maintain (handling LOX is pretty dangerous), also there's no need for replenishment as OBOGS extracts the oxygen from environmental air. The downsides of OBOGS are that it's difficult to monitor, and it's pretty much impossible to detect oxygen contamination.

      As a flier, I'd go with LOX any time.

  6. Anonymous Blowhard

    Not just the F35

    It seems like other aircraft using the OBOGS also suffer similar problems.

    @M7S: The article also mentions that the F14 didn't use OBOGS, but used a liquid oxygen system that needed replenishing for each flight, they probably wanted to reduce the associated infrastructure on carriers by using OBOGS rather than stored oxygen. It seems like Honeywell are supplying their OBOGS for most of NATO's fighters.

  7. sawatts

    Pilots breathing...

    ...if you don't explicitly state it in a requirement, then it won't be in the product.

    Of course, the prime can then charge extra for change amendments.

    1. allthecoolshortnamesweretaken Silver badge

      Re: Pilots breathing...

      At least two change amendments:

      - Pilot breathes IN

      - Pilot breathes OUT

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Zeolite Is Carcinogenic

    Zeolite is carcinogenic when inhaled. The granules are prone to breaking down when subject to vibration. The fine dust produced has fibres similar to asbestos.

    I'm sure an F35 doesn't vibrate too much.

    Lovely.

    1. Mephistro Silver badge

      Re: Zeolite Is Carcinogenic

      It shouldn't be too difficult to filter out most (more than 99.9%?)of the particles before they reach the pilot, probably using a combination of filters and centrifuges.

      1. Rich 11 Silver badge

        Re: Zeolite Is Carcinogenic

        probably using a combination of filters and centrifuges.

        Well, that's another million dollars on the unit price.

        1. fobobob

          Re: Zeolite Is Carcinogenic

          Just a whiz in the ocean...

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Zeolite Is Carcinogenic

      My Nature-Attuned Friends are already freaking out because of carcinogenic baby talcum powder.

      Is there anything in the world which is not carcinogenic?

      1. Robert Moore
        Joke

        Re: Zeolite Is Carcinogenic

        Is there anything in the world which is not carcinogenic?

        Posting on the internet as "Anonymous Coward" has been linked to brain cancer in lab rats. (Explains a lot, doesn't it?)

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    So basically they've spend a trillion dollars to produce something more likely to kill the pilots than ISIS....

    1. Anonymous Coward
  10. Stevie Silver badge

    Bah!

    Typical military mindset overthink.

    Just crack a window when the air gets stale.

  11. Trollslayer Silver badge

    Hypoxia?

    Well from dive training we had ANOXIA which is a lack of oxygen and HYPOXIA which is excessive oxygen.

    HYPOXIA and more than 2 bars partial pressure leads of oxygen poisoning and kills which is why some divers use different mixes.

    I have tried oxyhelium 10/90 mix and the Mickey Mouse effect isn't noticeable at surface pressure.

    Got a couple of stories about things going wrong in a hyperbaric chamber BTW.

    1. TonyJ Silver badge

      Re: Hypoxia?

      "...Well from dive training we had ANOXIA which is a lack of oxygen and HYPOXIA which is excessive oxygen..."

      Try again.

      Hypoxia - lack of oxygen in the blood supply and tissues. Also anoxia but that's generally considered a severe form of hypoxia

      Hyeroxia - excess of oxygen in the blood supply and tissues

  12. Egghead & Boffin

    Point of order - fast jet cockpits are not pressurised, which is why the pilot wears an oxygen mask.

    First, a rupture of the cockpit and sudden loss of pressurisation can cause more damage and misting of the canopy, resulting in loss of vision outside the cockpit. Not a good thing at high speed in proximity to other aircraft or combat.

    Second if the pilot had to eject he would leave that pressurised environment and risk suffocation if above 10,000 feet AGL. The oxygen supply (of whatever sort) is built into the ejector seat so it goes with the pilot and keeps him alive. There's an altimeter built into the seat so that it won't fall away and allow the 'chute to deploy until it's reached an altitude at which the air is breathable.

    In my RAF flying days (1980's) we received hypoxia and explosive decompression training in a chamber at RAF North Luffenham. The tradition was that you all went out for curry and real ale the night before. Lovely.... We also checked the oxygen flow tell-take every 5,000 feet (IIRC) of climb to check it was still working.

    1. Adam 52 Silver badge

      "Point of order - fast jet cockpits are not pressurised, which is why the pilot wears an oxygen mask"

      What? Fast jets are pressurised. Heck even the later Spitfires were pressurised.

  13. Unclezip

    Did nobody think to open a window?

  14. Bandikoto

    SPO2 meters are under $20 now - why isn't the aircraft recording/monitoring the pilot's vitals?

    They should at least be monitoring heartbeat, respiration, and SPO2, if not galvanic skin response. (For a proper measure of performance, some kind of pucker factor probe is indicated.) This is old tech now and should be trivial to fit into the system. WTFUSAF?

    1. Cynic_999 Silver badge

      Re: SPO2 meters are under $20 now - why isn't the aircraft recording/monitoring the pilot's vitals?

      I thought the exact same thing. A simple optical blood O2 sensor built into the flying helmet or gloves that brings up a cockpit alarm if blood O2 saturation falls below a certain level. As you say, the cost would be insignificant.

      Then it doesn't matter whether the pilot has been trained to self-detect the onset of hypoxia (which is not and cannot be reliable due to its very nature).

      Seems such an obvious and simple solution - so what am I missing?

  15. handleoclast Silver badge

    The extra training is this

    [Begin extra training]

    1) You all remember the hypoxia training you had?

    2) This is an F-35.

    3) The breathing equipment on an F-35 is shit.

    4) So if you find yourself in an F-35 at altitude, keep checking for signs of hypoxia.

    [End extra training]

  16. WibbleMe

    Clearly someone is on laughing gass

  17. fobobob

    Big concerns

    My two main concerns (in this specific context, there are many others for this bird) are:

    Why does it take the pilots suffering hypoxia to expose the problem? In an aircraft already laden with sensors, a pulse oximeter for the pilot, or an oxygen sensing system for the oxygen system makes... sense?

    I'm going to assume (benefit of the doubt, but not holding my breath (hyuk!)) that they at least carry small bottles of supplemental oxygen to deal with ejection at extremely high altitude, but why would they not include an emergency bottle for the main system?

  18. Mike Moyle Silver badge

    Admiring all this technical talk. Me, I was just feeling sorry for the pilots who apparently got all their air filtered through o' bogs. Flying on the day after Curry Night in the mess hall must be particularly challenging!

    1. TonyJ Silver badge

      You learn very quickly on CCR diving equipment that it's not a good idea to eat spicy food prior to the dive.

      Or belch. You're breathing that same gas for the duration of the dive...:)

  19. alexbeck

    have a bake sale

    Just spend another $1,000,000,000,000US on the facking POS and invent a facking magical oxygen bubble to surround it at all times.

    1. Emmeran

      Re: have a bake sale

      Do. Not. Give. Them. Ideas.

  20. John Smith 19 Gold badge
    Unhappy

    O-BOGS

    Possibly an unfortunate acronym, but what few pilots might have felt like as they realized their minds were slowly turning to blancmange.

  21. John F***ing Stepp

    Well actually.

    I could be wrong but the problem as I remember it was a reduced partial pressure of CO; you would have plenty of oxigen but without the carbon dioxide in your lungs you just don't feel the need to take a breath.

    Which would mean that in some situations pure oxigen would not help.

    Perhaps a "breath stupid" light could be installed on the heads up display

  22. Archtech Silver badge

    Laughing all the way to the vast soulless bank

    https://www.rt.com/uk/396824-f35-deal-lockheed-profits/

    What a brilliant way to run a business! Mind you, they just nicked the idea from Microsoft...

    1. Roll out crappy, bug-ridden, undesigned piece of garbage.

    2. Use high-powered selling and shmoozing methods to sell it to all large corporations and governments.

    3. When they notice that it falls over every ten minutes and is hopelessly unreliable, sell them a hugely expensive contract to "maintain" it. Which you proceed to do by introducing changes every two weeks, none of which change the product's fundamental hopelessness.

    4. Profit!

  23. 0laf Silver badge
    Holmes

    Would it not be a good idea to have a non-software based backup to something as critical as the 02 supply?

    You know so when Windows 10 for Warbirds decides it needs to install a candy crush advert rather than deliver oxygen to the pilot they can take over and turn a valve to get oxygen.

    1. SkippyBing Silver badge

      AIUI there is a bottle of compressed oxygen in the ejector seat, and there was talk of making it available as an emergency back up. There is still the issue that people with hypoxia don't automatically recognise they have hypoxia so initiating the emergency supply is still an issue.

    2. fobobob

      I made a comment above questioning this, and why they did not have a system to monitor pilot blood O2 saturation, or system oxygen levels... but some googling suggests that they are in the process of providing pulse oximeters for the pilots. Why was this not a thing on the bird from day 1? If it's a sensors-oriented platform, why would the sensing of the pilot's vitals be ignored? The fact that it's not trying to track every aspect of the user's existence causes the Windows 10 analogy to break down :3

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