Computational Flame Characterization of New Large Aircraft Immersed in Hydrocarbon Pool Fires
AIR FORCE RESEARCH LAB TYNDALL AFB FL MATERIALS AND MANUFACTURING DIRECTORATE/AIRBASE TECHNOLOGIES DIV
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New Large Aircraft NLA pose novel firefighting challenges never previously considered for traditional aircraft. Specifically, questions have arisen regarding the applicability of current firefighting protection standards to non-conventional design changes such as fuselage shape modifications, enhanced material compositions, new fuel storage locations, and unique passenger loading configurations. To address fuselage shape concerns, a computational fluid dynamic CFD modeling strategy was developed to quantify heat transfer to the aircraft for a given aircraft geometry and hydrocarbon pool fire condition. CFD predictions support experimental validation data conclusions showing increased crosswinds amplify heat transfer to the aircraft surface due to enhanced turbulent fuel-air mixing. Based upon the predicted CFD fire plume structure and aircraft surface heat transfer magnitudes, nominal changes in aircraft geometry exposed to similar scale flame and atmospheric conditions pose no extraordinary firefighting challenge. However with NLA carrying an excessive amount of fuel compared to traditional aircraft, NLA have the capacity to create a significantly larger accidental fire threat. Unique fire suppression measures must still be taken to ensure the same level of protection at a physically larger scale.
- Safety Engineering