Inerting Aircraft Fuel Tanks - Reducing the Hazard 2000-01-2267
Aircraft accidents caused by explosion of the vapor within the fuel tanks have been the subject of many recent articles. Methods of either suppressing the combustion or preventing the ignition have been considered. Indeed, solutions such as liquid nitrogen, halon, and reticulated foam have been installed on production aircraft. However, these have proved to be expensive to operate or are being phased out. By working together, the authors have developed the capability to provide fully integrated On-Board Inert Gas Generating Systems (OBIGGS) based on novel hollow fiber membrane technology. An overview of the advantages of such an approach is presented together with an outline of the system design method. The importance of considering the effect of differing flight profiles, and the inter-reactions of the OBIGGS, with the Fuel System, Engine Bleed Air Management, and Environmental Control Systems in the design process are emphasized.