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Aircraft oxygen mask intelligibility: the Phantom Menace

Jens VON ESSEN, Flight Test Specialist Engineer, Airbus Development Flight Test Department, Toulouse, France
Jim FAWCETT, Lead Flight Test Engineer, Airbus Development Flight Test Department, Toulouse, France


installed on all aircraft operating in the upper atmosphere. Whilst the oxygen delivery characteristics of FFQDM are well known and function correctly, historically less attention has been paid to the quality of communication available when a user is wearing a FFQDM. This has led to issues ranging from simple misunderstandings between crew members on the interphone to completely unintelligible radio communications putting the certification of such FFQDM into question, particularly considering it has to be used in an emergency situation.

The Airbus ATA35 design office, in conjunction with the flight test department, has therefore developed a new speech intelligibility test specifically for FFQDM in order to define a baseline requirement for future FFQDM specifications which manufacturers will have to meet. This paper will describe some of the historic problems with FFQDM intelligibility and give details of the test method that has been developed, as well as the impact this may have on flight testing in the future.

Thu, 2017-09-14