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Simulating Fuel Spill Fires Under The Wing Of An Aircraft

Keltner, N.R., Gill, W. and Kent, L.A., 1994. Simulating Fuel Spill Fires Under The Wing Of An Aircraft. Fire Safety Science 4: 1017-1028. doi:10.3801/IAFSS.FSS.4-1017


As part of a probabilistic risk assessment program, estimates of the thermal exposure in aircraft crash fires were needed. Tests were conducted to simulate fuel spill fires that might occur under the wing of a C-141 transport aircraft. Measurements were made of the fire temperatures and the heat fluxes to the underside of the wing and the underwing fuselage surfaces. Both temperatures and heat fluxes are needed to adequately specify the fire exposure. Direct comparisons between the average centerline temperatures measured at a given elevation in different sizes of fires showed poor agreement A scaling analysis using the total heat release rate gave promising results. Statistical analyses of the temperature and heat flux data were used to develop temperature-to-heat flux mappings. The heat fluxes from the current test series are significantly lower than prior data from large open pool fires.

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