Inert Gas In Fuel Tanks

From:         "P. Wezeman" <pwezeman@blue.weeg.uiowa.edu>
Organization: The University of Iowa
Date:         11 Aug 96 00:03:58 
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   For many years now oil tanker ships have used inert gases (filtered
exhaust gas from the engines) to fill the non liquid containing part of
their cargo and fuel tanks, greatly reducing the risk of explosion.
Explosions, when they do occur now, are usually when the tanks are
being ventilated and cleaned. Inert gas is also used to pressurize
the fuel tanks of liquid fuel rockets, since Goddard's time, when
pressure is needed.
   Are inert gases used in the fuel tanks of any present aircraft?
Was such a system used on any gasoline fueled aircraft in the past,
or perhaps experimented with in World War 2 to protect aircraft from
gunfire? Anyone see problems with this in planes? I suspect that a
supply of nitrogen or CO2 carried on board would work better than
exhaust gas.

           Thanks in advance for any comments.

                        Peter Wezeman