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Fire Research Notes


Nash, P., 1966. RESEARCH ON AIRCRAFT FIRES. Fire Research Notes 641


The modern aircraft is one of the strongest structures for its weight created by man, as it has to withstand a range of conditions of high loading, vibration and temperature. These conditions have been closely specified, through the medium of the British Civil Airworthiness Requirements, by the Air Registration Board, and it has been the task of the aircraft designer to provide the competitive performance, within the scope of these conditions, so essential for commercial success. It follows that little extraneous weight has been available for additional strengthening to permit the aircraft to withstand unusual loadings not occurring with its normal operating condition, or within such emergency conditions as are closely akin to normal. Other speakers to follow will, I know, concern themselves with methods of avoiding the full effects of the catastrophic condition, the major aircraft fire, either by designing Vital parts of the air- craft structure to avoid these effects, or by modifying the fuel itself to reduce or eliminate its hazard. In this paper I hope to examine the present and potential effectiveness of external fire fighting in terms of the research that has been carried out in this country and in the United States, on the assumption that a serious but survivable crash has occurred and has resulted in a large fuel spillage and a major fire.

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