Essays on Aircraft Fuel Tank Vapour/air Explosions Assignment

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Introduction: The aircraft fuel system with fuel tanks allows the crew to manage, store and deliver the fuel to the propulsion system as per requirements of the aircraft. Fuel systems of the aircrafts differ greatly due to varied performance of the aircraft in which these systems are installed for the supply of the fuels to the aircraft. The fuel systems of the aircrafts vary based on the type and size of the aircraft and their working capacities. An aircraft with single engine piston have a very small fuel system while an aircraft like B 707 , in addition of administrating own fuel will also have the capability of supplying fuel to the receiving aircraft through drogue and probe system or through the boom.

Aircraft fuel tank explosions are the result of a variety of internal and external factors and the organizations work for the development of an efficient, reliable and economical method for reducing these explosions with the assistance of a variety of agents with necessary modifications in the aircraft systems. These systems provide safety to the central fuel tank of the normal aircrafts and to the commercial jets.

These methods include the ignition source of the explosion, electrical arcing along with electrical wiring, and auto ignition in the terminal wires of the central fuel tank of the aircraft. The explosions in the fuel tanks are the chief threat to the working and physical conditions of the aircraft and need to be lowered with the adoption of plausible options with an objective to maximize the working of the aircraft with normal working of the fuel tanks with all their parts and segments. Optimum use of Explosion Suppressant Foam(ESF) that is reticulated polyurethane foam and is used in the fuel tanks where the possibility of explosion exists.

ESF is also called as Safety Foam and the product was invented in the late 1960s and was used by the US Air Force to suppress explosions inside the fuel tanks of the aircrafts. Modifications in the engineering designs in the commercial and corporate business aircrafts have helped in the reduction of the explosions in the fuel tanks of the aircrafts. Changes in all the possible energy sources of the aircrafts could be utilized; however, 100% reduction in the explosions is highly possible.

Even if it is possible to remove all the on- board energy sources, it would, however, be impossible to remove the external energy sources as the cause of the explosions in the fuel tanks of the aircrafts. The explosions could be limited through the application of solutions other than designing out energy sources for the aircrafts. These solutions include purging fuel tank ullage areas of dangerous explosive fume vapor through ram air methods and cooling the fuel tank ullage area to decrease flammability potential with the introduction of ram air past the tank.

Similarly, the solutions like to reduce the fuel tank ullage area and to reduce fuel tank flammability through cooling fuel tanks with the use of colder fuel for lowering the temperature of the fuel tanks. The understanding of the fuel systems with single engine and twin-engine piston will provide necessary assistance for the understanding of the aircraft fuel tank /vapor explosions and to understand the process of combustion as key area of the whole process.

The observance of the recommendations as have been included in the assignment will help in lowering the fire explosions in the fuel tanks of the aircrafts and in the maintenance of vapor-liquid equilibrium with all their thermodynamic values for the execution of the aircraft’s operations in safe modes.

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