If we wish to form an accurate idea of the extraordinary progress achieved in aeronautics, a comparison must be made of the latest altitude records and the figures regarded as highest attainable limit some ten years ago. It is desirable, for two reasons, that we should be able to define the limit of the altitudes that can be reached without artificial aid. First, to know to what extent the human body can endure the inhalation of rarified air. Second, the mental capacity of the aviator must be tested at high altitudes and the limit known below which he is able to make reliable observations without being artificially supplied with oxygen. A pneumatic chamber was used for the most accurate observations.
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