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Re: Hoses

August 30 2009 at 7:03 AM
Alex  (Login gate1)
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Response to Re: Hoses

I can see where you're coming from Ben. The item I sent you pics of was the adaptor tube, in black rubber with an L shaped connector one end and female bayonet the other. Mick P and others have told me thay have seen braided ones (From Mick: '...I have several adaptor/connecors (adapting the E, E* and G mask to the Mk III bayonette connector) and they are all plain black rubber, although I have seen them pictured with the black/yellow braided covering...), although mine and others Ive seen are plain black. So they might have originally all had the braiding.

Mick makes another note re the braiding. '...Yes - I have seen numerous photos with the braiding frayed - sometimes it's obvious the rubber is black, sometimes it's obviously a light colour (I'm guessing the salmon pink/orange, or possibly grey - I have seen rubber tubing in both colours). I would guess that the yellow braiding is the original early one (the one that was confused with the radio lead). I think the reason they opted for the yellow fleck as standard for oxygen isn't because the masks could be used for other gases, but because the tubing was used for other gases (I recall at college learning to do oxy-acetylin welding and having it drummed into me that you always turn on and light the acetylin first - never the oxygen unless you wanted to blow yourself up). Perhaps it just made more sense for everyone if they were consistent when refilling the oxygen tanks etc. to make sure they always used the right gas. I'd hate to get to 20,000 feet and find out I was breathing in acetylin! I also think you are probably right that they just pulled the braiding off once it tore - although there was always a danger of the rubber freezing (the braiding was supposed to prevent that)...

There will always be photos showing hoses (in whatever use) with no braid, it being either replacement hose, or hose that has been worn and the braiding removed. But I'd think on new items the braiding would be present, with the colour of the rubber hose itself bearing no relation to the use. I'd even hazard a guess that in some cases simple rubber tubing was used on masks when replaced in the field, that wasnt specially made for low temperatures. The braiding served several purposes (in the case of masks, to prevent freezing, to prevent damage to the rubber, and an instant recognition of what it was) so I doubt was ever dropped. There was certainly a colour code chart as I had it, I think it appeared in one of the Airfix books about aircraft.

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