Safety fuels such as emulsified and gelled fuels have been studied over the past several years as one means for reducing the post-crash fire hazard associated with aircraft accidents. However, through the work described herein, only recently has a quantitative evaluation been made to characterize the safety performance of these fuels. The safety performance evaluation program described in this paper includes an initial series of screening tests designed to obtain the characteristics of safe fuels in the aircraft crash environment. The authenticity of the screening tests relative to the full-scale crash environment was evaluated through a second series of experiments designed to simulate a full-scale aircraft crash environment. A crashworthiness evaluation criterion was established in terms of an “ignition susceptibility parameter” to quantitize the relative safety performance of different fuels. The conclusions of this research clearly show that significant savings in lives and equipment can be realized if safe fuels which perform within the non-hazardous envelope of the ignition susceptibility parameter are operationally incorporated in present-day aircraft.

This content is only available via PDF.