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Measurements of voltage gradient and static pressure distribution in the constrictor of a gas stabilized constricted arc discharge are reported. These and previously obtained data yielding the column diameter are used to compare the behavior of this discharge with laminar column theories. Significant disagreement are found, and it is concluded that the discharge represents an inlet flow region. A qualitative model is presented of the physical processes occuring in this inlet region. The implications for arc heater efficiency of this model and of the data are discussed.