How High Should We Fly?
FLYING at altitude intensifies most problems, simplifies some, the author shows. Increasing operating altitude from 25,000 ft to well into the stratosphere lowers temperature more than 50 F, and reduces pressure to one-fifth the sea-level value. This complicates structural problems. It affects the hydraulic and control systems, electrical systems, cooling, and air conditioning, and increases the danger from failure of any of these essentials. Gusts and turbulence, on the other hand, are lessened by flying high. The author charts the extent of each of the problems, and shows how altitude economy gains make solutions imperative.