Re: anti-misting additive for jet fuel to avoid explosion in crashes

From:         ehahn@bass.mitre.org (Ed Hahn)
Organization: The MITRE Corporation, McLean, Va.
Date:         09 Apr 95 22:37:12 
References:   1
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In article <airliners.1995.362@ohare.Chicago.COM> thornbur@physics.ubc.ca (Jonathan Thornburg) writes:

<fuel additive stuff deleted>

>   The additive and the equipment involved were fairly cheap (I recall
>   ~$50K per aircraft, and less than 1% increase in the fuel cost),

A 1% increase in fuel costs will translate to significant (i.e.
millions) of bucks to the average airline per year.  $50K/ aircraft
turns into $5 million for a fleet of 100 aircraft.  Not to mention
that stuff like this rarely makes the transition to routine use within
estimates of cost, due to testing, certification requirements, etc.

>   light (I think ~50 kg per aircraft), and worked well in tests.  Alas,
>   when the FAA staged a test crash of a remote-controlled B720, the
>   crash turned out to be a lot more violent than they planned, and the
>   aircraft exploded in a fireball despite the additive.  (I remember
>   a photo of the test crash in the article I read.)

This was actually caused by a ground structure, which was intended to
rip open the wing tanks, going through an engine instead.  Once the
aircraft hit the desert floor, it yawed a bit off to one side, which
put the obstacle through an engine instead of between two of them.
Ripping open a engine that is operating is going to cause a fireball
because of the fuel contacting the hot spot.  Despite this, I
understand that the fire retardant still had a positive effect.

>   Can anyone give more details on this scheme?  What ever happened to
>   it?  Is it still being worked on?  Why isn't it in use today?

No answers on this one.