Lufthansa Technik Tackles Decompression in Bizliner Cabins
Lufthansa Technik (LHT) is studying ways to reduce the loads imposed on a bizliner’s interior walls and their structural attachments by a sudden drop in cabin pressure. The solution appears to lie in installing large cutouts in the walls and floor.
The layout of a typical business jet cabin features an open seating area, divided by curtains, an open galley and a lavatory. From the standpoint of airflow it is one large room, a LHT spokesman explained. During a decompression, the cabin air makes its generally unobstructed way to the breach in the pressure vessel and disembarks rapidly.
With several and in some cases many separate rooms, the cabin of a bizliner is different. If a rapid decompression originates in one room, the swift exit of air through the breach from that enclosed space causes a major pressure differential between the affected room and the ambient cabin environment, the spokesman explained. The differential pressure imposes high loads on the surrounding walls and their associated structural attachments to the airframe.
Installing relatively large apertures in furniture, walls and the cabin ceiling and floor can increase the airflow between different cabin compartments. Panels that seal the apertures in normal operations are designed to open at a specific differential pressure to unblock the flow path.
Floor vents provide a path for air to flow between the room and the area beneath the passenger cabin. Whenever possible, the cutouts and panels are installed underneath a cabin monument. However, if a decompression floor panel must be installed more centrally in a cabin area, typical floor covering (such as carpet) conceals the panel. The covering is cut along the panel contour to allow proper opening. Floor cutouts are also fitted with a consolidating frame, to avoid weakening the airframe structure in the attachment area.