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+ - Why does air pressure fluctuate in airplanes?

TimFreeman writes: "Commercial airlines have machinery for controlling the pressure in the air cabin. I assume this machinery can give them any pressure they want, so they could have the pressure in the plane change smoothly from the ground-level air pressure at the takeoff point to the ground-level air pressure at the destination. Instead, the pressure goes down when they take off and back up when they land. When I flew with blocked eustacian tubes four days ago, it hurt like hell, every takeoff and landing, and my right ear still hasn't healed.

Why do they permit the pressure fluctuation?"

"This is lemma 1.1. We start a new chapter so the numbers all go back to one." -- Prof. Seager, C&O 351

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