NBAA Convention News

Aux tanks from Jetaire provide 3-prong fix

 - October 20, 2009, 8:00 AM

Jetaire Aerospace of Fayetteville, Ga., says it has exceeded the compliance requirements for the SFAR (special FAR) 88 FAA Airworthiness Directive for explosion-suppressant systems for auxiliary fuel tanks. Its supplemental type certificate (STC) covers Phase I, Phase II and Phase III (as proposed) explosion-suppressant systems.

As the first company to certify the military version of the explosion suppressant for commercial use, Jetaire (Booth No. 2214) is the STC holder for what it calls the most comprehensive solution that completely mitigates potential ignition sources inside fuel tanks and addresses Phases I, II and III.

Jetaire’s ignition mitigation method includes the use of explosion suppressant foam (ESF), which has been used to protect military aircraft from fuel tank explosions for more than 30 years and currently protects the USAF F-15 Eagle and the Navy F/A-18 Hornet. The ignition mitigation method prevents catastrophic explosions caused by electrical arcing, overheating of internal components, lightning strikes and static electrical discharges. Additionally, the method averts explosion from fuel surge and slosh.

After a significant number of fuel tank fires and explosions in the 1960s and 1970s, the FAA took action to prevent similar accidents. However, the incidence of explosions caused by fuel tank systems continued to occur despite these efforts.

The SFAR 88 AD for auxiliary fuel tanks mandates that on or before December 16 this year affected auxiliary fuel tanks be modified to meet the new guidelines. SFAR 88’s Phase I requires ignition reduction, Phase II requires a reduction in flammability and Phase III will require additional lightning protection.

Jetaire is the holder of the only STC that addresses all three phases. Maintenance-free and completely passive, the ignition mitigation method requires no action by the operating crews.