Narrow-Body Aircraft Water Spray Optimization Study
FEDERAL AVIATION ADMINISTRATION TECHNICAL CENTER ATLANTIC CITY NJ
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Twenty-five full-scale tests were conducted in a modified 707 narrow- body fuselage as part of an aircraft cabin water spray optimization study. The purpose of the study was to test several spray configurations by varying the amount of water sprayed, the flow rate, and orientation of the nozzles, while keeping the fire conditions constant, in an attempt to minimize the quantity of water required to effectively suppress a postcrash aircraft fire and improve occupant survivability. The original Safety Aircraft and Vehicles Equipment SAVE system was configured in the narrow-body cabin using 120 nozzles. Initially, three tests were conducted using 72, 48, and 24 gallons of water for 3-, 2-, and 1-minute spray durations, respectively. In the following series of tests, one-third of the SAVE system 40 nozzles was configured in the area of the fire using 24, 16, and 8 gallons of water for 3-, 2-, and 1-minute spray durations, respectively. During the final series of tests, the spray system was configured in five separate sections or zones with each zone carrying eight nozzles. A thermocouple was mounted at ceiling height in each zone, allowing for the activation of a particular zone when the temperature reached a predetermined value. The flow rate of the nozzles was varied as was the amount of water available during the tests. For comparison, a test was conducted without spraying water in order to establish a baseline. Temperature, heat flux, smoke levels, gas concentrations, and video were continuously monitored at various locations throughout the fuselage. The optimal zoned system was more effective than the SAVE system and used only 11 percent of the water.
- Escape, Rescue and Survival