Laptops at high altitude

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digits_
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Laptops at high altitude

Post by digits_ » Tue Aug 28, 2018 7:36 am

Hi all,

I'm wondering if laptops get damaged in unpressurized flight at high flight levels, let's s ay 40 000 ft?

The weakest links appear to be the hard drive (if it is a classical mechanical one, since there is an air bubble required under the moving head) and the screen (possible cracking). In this case, let's assume a laptop with a 14" screen and a Solid State Drive.

There is a surprisingly small amount of information out there.

Regards,
digits
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Rockie
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Re: Laptops at high altitude

Post by Rockie » Tue Aug 28, 2018 7:42 am

digits_ wrote:
Tue Aug 28, 2018 7:36 am
Hi all,

I'm wondering if laptops get damaged in unpressurized flight at high flight levels, let's s ay 40 000 ft?

The weakest links appear to be the hard drive (if it is a classical mechanical one, since there is an air bubble required under the moving head) and the screen (possible cracking). In this case, let's assume a laptop with a 14" screen and a Solid State Drive.

There is a surprisingly small amount of information out there.

Regards,
digits
I don't know that answer to that, but I have to ask. Are you planning unpressurized flight at FL400? If so I think your laptop is the least of your worries.
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Heliian
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Re: Laptops at high altitude

Post by Heliian » Tue Aug 28, 2018 7:55 am

Panasonic toughbooks are rated to MIL-STD-810G and have been tested to 15000 feet for operation in military cargo aircraft.

Since most laptops aren't made to any standard at all, you will find very little information with no one claiming a 40000ft operational ceiling.

Good Luck.
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Mach .28
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Re: Laptops at high altitude

Post by Mach .28 » Tue Aug 28, 2018 8:43 am

Once forgot my laptop in an unpressurized forward cargo compartment of a small business jet. Did a flight at 45,000........it didn't like that at all. Hard drive (Disk Type) failed, was able to recover most data from it. Put in new SSD and kept it in the main cabin from then on. The only specs you will find are on temperature with a minimum non-operating of -40'C. The screen was fine as I allowed the unit to warm up when we landed, but think about a cold soaked wing, then think of the inside of your laptop.

And from the Seagate website:

What is the maximum altitude at which a Seagate hard drive will function?
In general, most Seagate and Maxtor-brand drives are designed to work under the following specifications:

Operating altitude (max): 3,048 meters (10,000 feet)
Nonoperating altitude (max): 12,192 meters (40,000 feet)
For details on the drive you plan to use, please review the product manual for the specific drive at our Document Library.

Please note that the Seagate Extreme Environment (EE25 and EE25.2) lines of drives have different specifications. They are able to operate at extreme altitudes (1000 to 18,100 feet/305 to 5500 meters).
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digits_
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Re: Laptops at high altitude

Post by digits_ » Tue Aug 28, 2018 11:06 am

Rockie wrote:
Tue Aug 28, 2018 7:42 am
digits_ wrote:
Tue Aug 28, 2018 7:36 am
Hi all,

I'm wondering if laptops get damaged in unpressurized flight at high flight levels, let's s ay 40 000 ft?

The weakest links appear to be the hard drive (if it is a classical mechanical one, since there is an air bubble required under the moving head) and the screen (possible cracking). In this case, let's assume a laptop with a 14" screen and a Solid State Drive.

There is a surprisingly small amount of information out there.

Regards,
digits
I don't know that answer to that, but I have to ask. Are you planning unpressurized flight at FL400? If so I think your laptop is the least of your worries.
Not all cargo areas are pressurized on every plane. I want to transport it at 40 000 ft, not use it.
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200hr Wonder
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Re: Laptops at high altitude

Post by 200hr Wonder » Tue Aug 28, 2018 11:55 am

Should be ok if you have and SSD, just allow everything to warm back up before use and if possible remove the battery. They don’t like to freeze. The HDD could allow be removed and carried on person.
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Cheers,

200hr Wonder

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