Re: Inert Gas In Fuel Tanks

From: (Jeremy Whitcher)
Organization: Cal State Long Beach
Date:         18 Aug 96 20:13:38 
References:   1
Followups:    1
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P. Wezeman ( wrote:
:    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?

The McDonnell Douglas C-17 uses an inert gas generating system to prevent
small arms fire from igniting fuel tank vapors.  The system is called
OBIGGS (onboard inert gas generating system).  The system takes engine
bleed air and filters out oxegen and moisture.  It then pressurizes the
NEA (nitrogen enriched air) in storage tanks.  When the NEA is needed, it
is distributed to the fuel tanks.  OBIGGS is able to supply inert gas to
the fuel system for 48 hours without the need for external power.

Jeremy Whitcher