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SAE Standard Tests Flammability of Aircraft Comfort Blankets

WARRENDALE, Pa., March 16, 2006 - A soft blanket should provide much-needed comfort on a long airplane flight – not concern regarding its flammability. A new standard from SAE International recommends a test procedure to help alleviate any such concern.

The SAE Aerospace Recommended Practice (ARP) 5627 – "Flammability Test Method for Aircraft Comfort Blankets," provides criteria to ensure that any comfort blanket that passes a test will be less likely to be the original fuel source for an aircraft fire. Although such test procedures have been around since the 1990s, the SAE standard makes it a recommended practice, thereby ensuring wider use of the procedure.

"The test was available but not being used," Dave Rich, Aerospace Engineer in Aircraft Certification, FAA Headquarters and sponsor of ARP5627, said. “The committee thought that if we make it a recommended practice, then more airlines would use it."

Although not a widespread problem, the flammability of comfort blankets has been linked to the spreading of fires in overhead storage compartments on aircraft in at least one instance. The new SAE standard offers a simple test to help identify potential risks before they become problems.

"This is an easy and accurate test to perform. It's very similar to what was already available, but provides some definite improvements," Rich added.

ARP5627 was written and created by SAE International's S-9 Cabin Safety Provisions Committee. For more information on ARP5627 or other SAE standards, contact SAE Corporate Communications.


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