September 2009 Issue

Oxygen Options

Not so long ago, when using oxygen in the cockpit graduated from the nice-idea to the must-have phase, the equipment took a quantum leap forward. In case you haven’t looked recently, state-of-the-art oxygen gear is better than ever, so good in fact that it may be time to toss that converted medical junk and upgrade. But what to buy? If your portable system dates back to the days when Loran was the hot choice for navigation, there’s no need to spring for a complete new system to benefit from the latest stuff—a cylinder is a cylinder. Instead, upgrading some basic components will make using oxygen easier and cheaper. Sister publication Aviation Consumer recently took a close look at some of the latest products from the top oxygen suppliers in general aviation. What they found was more choices in regulators, flowmeters, cannulas, masks, conservers and monitoring devices, all at competitive prices. In fact, the industry has almost reinvented itself over the last 10 or so years, due in part to advances in the medical market. Just as improvements in consumer electronics have resulted in better, more-capable avionics, those medical advances mean higher-quality and easier-to-use oxygen systems are more accessible than ever.

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