Airplane fire protection demands a very high level of reliability. In flight there is no escape from a fire and with an abundance of fuel and ignition sources, the threat of a fire onboard an airplane is ever present. Today's airplanes comply with existing fire protection regulations. The regulations affecting fire protection change with the advent of new technologies and experiences. This paper addresses methods for fire protection in the design of new airplanes.
Prevention of a fire is the best method of fire protection, for it is best to prevent a fire than to have to deal with a fire in flight, but dealing with a fire in flight may become inevitable at one point or another. This is why fire protection methods such as passive methods and active methods are addressed.
This paper addresses various fire protection methods from eliminating fuels and ignition sources to reducing flammability, from zoning and compartmentation to material selection and ventilation, from temperature control to fire detection and fire extinguishing or fire suppression systems. In addition the fire protection design basis for all areas of the airplane, from radome to the tail that include the flight deck, engines, auxiliary power unit (APU), cabin, cargo compartments, fuel tanks, lavatories, crew compartments, electrical and electronics compartment, accessory compartments and the tail compartment are discussed.