TWA800 Fuel Tank Thermal Management Issues 1999-01-2474
This study identifies the ambient conditions under which a so-called empty-Boeing model 747-131 fixed wing jet center wing tank (CWT), containing a residual fuel loading of about 3 kg/m3, less than 60 gallons of aviation kerosene (JetA Athens refinery jet fuel), could form hazardous air/fuel mixtures. The issues are limited to explosion safety concerns relating to certificated fixed wing jet aircraft in scheduled passenger service. It is certain that combustible mixtures do not exist in a fuel tank containing JetA type fuel at ambient temperatures below 38°C (100°F), the lean limit flash point (LFP) for jet fuel at sea level. Never the less, the original study by Wyczalek and Suh (1997), identified six rational conditions which can occur and permit hazardous mixtures to exist in a fuel tank.