Jump to content
SASS Wire Forum

Fighter Jet cockpit temps?

Recommended Posts

With all electronic gizmos and stuff in the cockpit and the pilot wearing a special suit,

just how cool/cold is it in the cockpit of todays jet fighters?


I know its cold up there in the thin air and such, but is the temps kept steady by an air conditioner.

And would air friction tend to make it warmer inside?


Just curious.   I been watching to many YouTube videos..... :D




Link to comment
Share on other sites

I don't know exact temps but the flight suits are not really insulate.


The normal coveralls are nomex for fire protection. When you start looking at the U-2 or old SR-71 suits, those are indeed pressure suits. Cargo planes and helicopters only wear this along with life preservers. 


Fighter jet pilots wear g-force suits over flight suits to help with blood flow to prevent the pilots from blacking out during high-g maneuvers. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Special suit? That was the electric plug in stuff for WWII bomber crews.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Fighter jets have environmental controls for the cockpit. Once airborne they do an excellent job of keeping the crew comfortable even in direct sun . All of the avionics in the cockpit and avionics bays have a separate source of conditioned air that is always cold  just to keep it from overheating.


On the deck all aircraft environmental systems struggle to keep things cool on hot days. This is due to a combination of factors but mostly it is because the heat exchangers that cool the air cannot cool it much below the outside air temp. 


Cabin and avionics air is provided by the engines by siphoning off air from one of the compressor stages. This air is at high pressure and very hot  so it has to be cooled via a heat exchanger before it reaches the cabin. Typically the heat exchanger is a combination of a radiator and venturi type of pressure reducer.  The combination of the rapid reduction in pressure and the direct transfer of heat through the radiator cools the air. Using mixing valves the system varies the ratio of hot and cooled air to regulate the temperature of the air entering the cockpit or crew compartment. 

All of the avionics receive air that is as cold as the system can make it.


While there is some recycling of air on commercial airliners a lot of the air is purged back into the atmosphere via the cabin outflow valve(s). These work as pressure regulators to keep the crew compartment at a safe pressure altitude.

Commercial aircraft usually keep the cabin at the equivalent of 8000 feet no matter what altitude they fly at.

All of the military aircraft I worked on were usually set to 10,000 feet if they were large aircraft. Fighters and other tactical aircraft maintain a specified pressure differential above the outside air pressure. This is why they have to wear masks that have a constant supply of oxygen. In older aircraft this O2 was supplied by 1 or more containers of liquid oxygen. In modern fighters there is a system on the aircraft that continually generates oxygen for use by the crew.      

Link to comment
Share on other sites


This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.