How Aeroplane Evacuation Slides Deploy in Under Six Seconds

By Gizmodo on at

It's probably quite a bit different when you see one from inside a plane, but from down here on the ground, watching aeroplane evacuation slides deploy is pretty damn mesmerising. Thankfully, Core77 just uncovered some great footage of the slides being both made and tested.

The production process is understandably arduous; fitting something meant to bear the weight of hundreds of humans into a space roughly two-feet-wide ain't easy. Throw in the fact that it needs to be air-tight and fire retardant, and it sounds damn near impossible. Which is partially why, other than the cutting of 800-some-odd pieces, nearly the entire thing is put together by hand.

The really insane part, though, is the fact that these slides need to deploy—i.e. be filled with 25 cubic metres of air—in under six seconds. To do this, they fill a tank with a mix of carbon dioxide and nitrogen, which pressurised to over 3,000 PSI. That's about 100 times the pressure of a typical car tire. And that's only a third of the air needed. The cylinder actually connects to two respirators, which use its immense pressure to suck in external air and fill the slide as fast as possible.

And judging from the video below, that is one efficient system.

You can check out a few more slide deploys over at Core77. [Core 77]