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Dressing for Altitude: U.S. Aviation Pressure Suits, Wiley Post to Space Shuttle: U.S. Aviation Pressure Suits, Wiley Post to Space Shuttle

Overview

The definitive story of pressure suits began long ago and has involved a great many people to obtain the present state of the art as this book well chronicles.  Many of these people were visionaries who anticipated the need for such highly specialized equipment long before it could actually be employed in any practical application.  A remarkable number of pressure suit designs were developed early on, the vast majority of which never made it into flight, amounting to little more than science projects. ...

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Overview

The definitive story of pressure suits began long ago and has involved a great many people to obtain the present state of the art as this book well chronicles.  Many of these people were visionaries who anticipated the need for such highly specialized equipment long before it could actually be employed in any practical application.  A remarkable number of pressure suit designs were developed early on, the vast majority of which never made it into flight, amounting to little more than science projects.  Nonetheless, these early “experiments” informed later work, which led to practical pressure suits when they were needed for high altitude flight.

 All successful pressure suit designs have been the result of efforts to address a specific need in a specific application, beginning with Wiley Post’s pressure suit designed for use in his Lockheed Vega, the Winnie Mae.  Long considered the granddaddy of modern pressure suits, interestingly, Post’s suit was employed principally for protection from hypoxia rather than decompression sickness, since his Lockheed Vega’s altitude ceiling was 50,000 feet.

 The first operational full-pressure suit employed (in the D-558-2  Douglas Sky-Rocket) for flight above 50,000 feet was also the result of a collaboration between suit designers and pilot (Scott Crossfield).  This close collaboration continued on for the development of the landmark full pressure suit for the X-15 program.  The X-15 suit first employed link-net material, originally conceived for the neck section of early U-2 pilot

Helmets to aid pressurized mobility, for the entire restraint layer of the suit.  This unique material greatly facilitated custom suit fitting and enhanced pilot comfort and remains in use to the present.  Thus, the X-15 suit is really the granddaddy of modern-day pressure suits as it led directly to the standardized military full-pressure suits that followed and continue in service to the present.  Further, the X-15’s high performance required that the pressure suit be capable of withstanding exposure to extreme altitudes, temperatures, and high-Q ejections, thus setting the stage to satisfy similar requirements for later programs, namely the A-12, SR-71, XB-70. and Space Shuttle.

 

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Editorial Reviews

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 Review from Goodreads:

Steve rated it with 4 stars and had this to say, "Interesting history of the early days of aerospace pressure suits. Many excellent photos."

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780160901102
  • Publisher: US National Aeronautics and Space Admin
  • Publication date: 8/27/2012
  • Edition description: None, First
  • Pages: 526
  • Sales rank: 1,326,514
  • Product dimensions: 11.80 (w) x 9.40 (h) x 1.60 (d)

Table of Contents

Table of Contents

 

Foreword

Jack Bassick Biography

 

Preface

Acknowledgements

Dedication

 

1. Introduction

Horror Vacui

Structure of the Atmosphere

Atmospheric Pressure

Physiological Issues of High-Altitude Flight

 

2. Mark Ridge, Wiley Post, and John Kearby

Early Pressure Suits

Wiley Post and the Winnie Mae

International Efforts

Aeromedical Pioneers

The U.S. Army Rediscovers the Pressure Suit

Summary

 

3. Acceleration Protection

The Physiology of Acceleration

Human Centrifuges

The Beginning of an Idea

Australian Cotton Aerodynamic Anti-G Suit

Canadian Franks Flying Suit

The Americans

Berger Brothers

The Worcester Connection

Cutaway Suits

Postwar Suits

TLSS and COMBAT EDGE

ATAGS and the F-22

Rediscovering the Progressive Aerial Occlusion Suit

Summary

 

4. Partial-Pressure Suits

Pressure Breathing

S-1-Genesis of the Partial-Pressure Suit

S-2 and T-1 –Production Partial-Pressure Suits

MC-1 –Featherweight Suit

MB-1 and MB-2 –Ill-Fated Air Defense Command Suits

MC-3 and MC-4 –Dragon Ladies and Hustlers

MC-3A Specials –Manhigh, Excelsior, and Stargazer

CSU-2/P—Attempt to Improve the MC-4

C-1A and C-4 –Navy Capstan Suits

SCU-4/P and CSU05/P –Bladders Only

HAPS-NASA Dryden High Altitude Protective System

 

5. Navy Full Pressure Suits

Russell Colley, Again

Mark I

Mark II

Mark III

Mark IV

Mark IV Suits for Strato-Lab

Mark V

Project Mercury Spacesuits

 

6. Air Force Full-Pressure Suits

Lines of Nonextension

MC-2—A New Beginning

A/P225-2 –Production USAF Full-Pressure Suits

Sidebar: The Evolving Pressure Suit Depot

A/P225-3---A Navy Suit for the Air Force

A/P225-4 and A/P225-6---Evolving the Concept

Boyle’s Law Suit

PHAFO---The StillBorn

High-Altitude Flying Outfit

 

7. Special Project Suits

S901 and S970---Suits for Oxcart

S-100---Hybrid Suit for the Original U-2

S901J---Initial Suit for Senior Crown

S1010—A Suit for the Dragon Lady

S1030—Improved Senior Crown Suits

S1031---Improved Dragon Lady Suits

S1031C---Common Suits

S1034---Improved Common Suit

Sidebar: The Shrinking Industrial Base

 

8. Space Shuttle Pressure Suits

ISSA and EIS---Stillborn Space Shuttle Suits

S1030A---Ejection Escape System (EES) Suits

LEH---Launch Entry Helmet

S1032---Launch Entry Suits (LES)

S1035---Advanced Crew Escape Suit (ACES)

Comparing Columbia to an SR-71 Breakup

 

Endnotes

 

Index

 

 

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