17th Jul 2012, 01:59
FAA fines Boeing $13.5 million for missed deadline - NewsPlurk (http://business.newsplurk.com/2012/07/faa-fines-boeing-135-million-for-missed.html)
The Federal Aviation Administration on Friday proposed fining Boeing $13.5 million for failing to meet a deadline to provide airlines with instructions on how to prevent fuel tank explosions like the one more (http://bostonglobe.com/business/2012/07/13/faa-fines-boeing-million-for-missed-deadline/SoY6jl3bYMCbZWVZ8cygHI/story.html)Boston Globe ( 7/13/2012 8:03:37 PM -08:00 )
18th Jul 2012, 18:42
Fuel tank inerting (that's what this is about) has not been taken up with any enthusiasm because:
The Onboard Inert Gas Generation System (OBIGGS) increases empty weight and decreases the revenue by that of 1 or 2 passengers
It is not easy determine how effective the system is (or even if it is working at all) without multiple sensors in the tanks to measure the oxygen content. The sensors that are on the market need frequent servicing, which also requires opening the tanks up regularly. This is something the airlines can live without for very little perceived benefit.
An oxygen sensor on the output from the OBIGGS unit is the simplest solution, but it cannot indicate to the pilot whether his fuel tank is in a safe or unsafe condition, only that the system is producing inert gas of a particular oxygen percentage. If there is a crack in the supply pipe downstream of the sensor, the reading is meaningless.
At any given moment parts of the tank will be inert (below 12% oxygen content (IIRC)) and others may be above. Only multiple sensors can give a reliable answer.
Ultimately, if you don't know whether a system is;
b. keeping the tank inert
how can you get anything other than a false sense of security from it?
22nd Jul 2012, 15:20
Simply tax revenue. As for electrical standard practices and tank inerting, I doubt the necessity. I have seen dozens of classic 747's sit with the center tank all most empty and packs running in hot weather on a daily basis for years and never a problem. I have heard first hand testimonial of people hearing an explosion inside 727 fuel tanks and never a breach. Forgive me but it is all horse shite!
22nd Jul 2012, 19:49
Forgive me but it is all horse shite!
So is it the hit-by-a-Patriot-missile or the terrorist bomb theory that you subscribe to instead as probable cause ?
22nd Jul 2012, 22:18
I do not speculate, I am just stating that the odds are beyond reason that the centre tank of flight 800 blew up as a result of fuel vapor detonation. In fact the odds of the aircraft being both blown up and shot down at the same time are greater.