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NASA Glenn Progress in Fire Protection Research International Aircraft Systems Fire Protection Working Group Workshop Atlantic City NJ. 5-6 November, 2003. Bob McKnight robert.c.mcknight@ nasa.gov Al Linne [email protected]

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NASA Glenn Progress in Fire Protection Research

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Nasa glenn progress in fire protection research

NASA Glenn

Progress in Fire Protection Research

International Aircraft Systems Fire Protection Working Group Workshop

Atlantic City NJ. 5-6 November, 2003

Bob McKnight robert.c.mcknight@ nasa.gov

Al Linne [email protected]

Clarence Chang [email protected]

Jennifer Xu [email protected]


Nasa glenn progress in fire protection research

Accident Mitigation Project Manager -- Bob McKnight

Fire Prevention Element Manager-Clarence Chang

Inerting/Oxygen Manager-Clarence Chang

Fire Safe Fuels Manager-Martin Rabinowitz

Cargo Fire Detection Manager- Gary Hunter

Organization- Accident Mitigation Project

Advanced OBIGGS/OBOGS Fuel Tank Inerting

Elevated Flash Point Fuels / Flammability

Low False Alarm Fire Detection


Nasa glenn progress in fire protection research

Recent Accomplishments

  • Fuel Tank Inerting

    • Flight test planning JSC B-747 Shuttle Carrier Aircraft

    • Valcor PH II -testing of small scale advanced high temp membrane

    • Honeywell PH II-identified high temp materials and solvents for advanced membrane manufacturing process

    • Security program planning

      • Flammability feed-back control sensors, algorithms

      • Participation in Air Force Large Aircraft Survivability Initiative (LASI)

  • Low False Alarm Fire Detection

    • Testing at NIST

    • Testing at Boeing Commercial

    • Proposal for hidden fire detecting and locating on technology

  • Elevated Flash-Point Fuels

    • Fuel modification concepts identified.


Nasa glenn progress in fire protection research

Figure 2. The missile’s 2.2 pound warhead detonates inside the engine nacelle.(3)

Security-Fuel Tank Inerting Background

Civil transport aircraft are now subject to what was once only a military threat –MANPADS and Small Arms (Man Portable Air Defense System)

Their proliferation has resulted in numerous shoot-downs and close-calls involving civil passenger aircraft.

From 1975-1998, 585 passengers and crewmembers of commercial transport aircraft died from MANPADS missile attacks. The attacks brought down 24 aircraft and severely damaged 10. (1) .

They have long reach to arriving/departing aircraft

Key to the threat is the difficulty of securing the 100 or more square miles of land surrounding civil airports. (2)

They use the fuel system against the aircraft

Theexplosion of a 2 lb MANPADS warhead or impact effects of small arms can induce a far larger explosion of fuel tanks. Moderate damage can be magnified to make the aircraft unflyable.

Countermeasures to throw off guidance systems are limited

Countermeasures can be defeated Small arms operate without automatic guidance

1. National MANPADS Workshop, Redstone Arsenal AL, 1998

2. “The Vexing Problem of Protecting Airliners from MANPADS” Aircraft Survivability Magazine, spring 2003

3. Aircraft Survivability Magazine, spring 2003

Figure 1. The five foot long Stinger is seen approaching the C–130 from the rear.(3)


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