Re: Engine fire extinguishers... do they exist?

From:         Ron Adams <>
Organization: Random Access Inc. +1 (800) 910-1190
Date:         07 Sep 96 17:09:05 
References:   1 2
Next article
View raw article
  or MIME structure

C. Marin Faure wrote:
> In article <airliners.1996.1683@ohare.Chicago.COM>, Erico Oller Westerberg
> <> wrote:
> > Could anyone tell me if there are any fire extinguishers mounted
> > inside or close to the engines in modern airliners? If there are
> > any - how do they work? Any special gas, different to those used
> > in regular fire extinguishers?
> There are fire switches on the aisle stand in modern airliners, one for
> each engine, and they're usually mounted right behind the power levers.
> Flipping the switch shuts off the fuel and does some other things,
> including, I believe, activating a fire suppression system on the engine
> itself.  However, I don't know what fire suppression material is used.  I
> would think that a gas like Halon would be dispersed almost instantly by
> the airflow, so perhaps it uses a foam that will stay on the engine.

That's very good, Marin.  Just a few additions...Yes, it's Halon in the
fire bottles and there's usually one per engine, but each one can be
fired into either of two engines, if needed.  For example on my
airplane, the MD-88 (DC-9 series), the fire bottles are mounted in the
tail and if one bottle fired into the burning engine isn't enough, the
other bottle can be selected.  In my former airplane, the C-141, the
bottled were mounted in the wing between the engines, i.e. two bottles
in each wing.  The wings weren't cross-connected, though.

Pulling the fire handle arms the selected fire bottle, trips the field
in the generator, shuts off the hydraulic pump and sets up a runaround,
closes pneumatic bleeds, closes the fuel valve in the supply line and at
the engine mounted fuel control unit and closes any doors in the
coweling to prevent halon venting and silences the audible fire alarm
(Most Important!) ;-)

The fire handles (T-handles in some aircraft) are mounted under the
glare shield, usually, but may be anywhere.

Ron Adams, MD-88 (soon to be B-767/757) Captain