Improving Transport Aircraft Fire Safety Through R&D
Free (open access)
R. G. Hill
This paper documents the US Federal Aviation Administration’s Aircraft Fire Safety R&D program. Areas featured include: • Fuel tank flammability research in support of a new fuel tank flammability reduction rule. Both small and large scale testing, as well as computational modeling is discussed. • Development of upgraded flammability test standards for materials in inaccessible areas of an aircraft, including ducting, electrical wiring and composite structure. • Halon replacement efforts to develop test standards and test agents for use in engine nacelles, cargo compartments and handheld extinguishers. • Developing standards for the safe transport of batteries and fuel cells in both the cargo compartment and in the passenger compartment. • The use of magnesium in the aircraft interior. Initial testing will examine the use in seat frames. If it is determined that magnesium can safely be used in seats, other applications, such as ducting and galley carts, will be explored. • Fire protection for freighter (all cargo) aircraft. This work is aimed at possible improvements in protection in the cargo compartments. Additionally, this paper discusses international cooperation in the area of aircraft fire safety R&D. FAA also conducts long-range research to develop the enabling technology for ultra-fire resistant materials, and to advance the scientific basis for understanding, measuring and predicting the burning behaviour of aircraft materials. This long-range R&D is not addressed in this paper. Keywords: fire safety, aircraft safety, Halon replacement, material safety, fire, research and development, FAA research.
fire safety, aircraft safety, Halon replacement, material safety, fire, research and development, FAA research