AIRCRAFT FUEL TANK DESIGN CRITERIA
Final technical rept.
AVIATION SAFETY ENGINEERING AND RESEARCH PHOENIX AZ
Pagination or Media Count:
Accident statistics indicate that postcrash fire is the most serious threat to human life in aircraft crashes. Several methods are available to reduce this hazard however, the simplest and most effective immediate method is through control of the fuel spillage. Accident investigation reveals that fuel tanks developed to current crash resistant fuel tank specifications fail even under relatively moderate crash conditions. A discussion of the factors which must be considered when establishing specifications that will result in a crashworthy fuel tank is presented. Experiments were conducted with fuel tank material specimens and with experimental fuel tanks subjected to actual aircraft crashes. Results indicate that fuel tanks can be built today that are capable of preventing fluid spillage during accidents involving decelerative loading above the human survival range. Evaluation of the test data indicates that additional analysis is needed in order to understand fully why certain materials function as excellent tank materials and others do not. Two types of materials, Fuzzy Wall and Tough Wall, are shown to have demonstrated good crash resistant characteristics.