Fire & Explosions

The fact that commercial aircrafts are highly complicated engineering systems, combined with their mission to transport crew and passengers to their destinations safely and with comfort, suggest that significant measures and precautions must be taken by designers to ensure the achievement of this goal. It is an aircraft’s inherent complexity that gives rise to all kinds of issues concerning what parameters could be established at a given time that would lead to an accident and possible fatalities.
Although there are regulations and legislation in place and all involved parties of the aviation industry try to reinforce the existent safety measures and procedures as well as implement new ones, aircraft accidents are an unavoidable reality.   In 2010, according to the Aircraft Crashes Record Office, there have been 1,115 fatalities in 130 aircraft accidents (ACRO website). They can be a result of numerous factors such as human errors, violation of official regulations, air traffic controller errors or even combination of them. A very significant aspect of aircraft accidents which is going to be investigated here is ground fires; fires that occur before the aircraft becomes airborne or after it has landed.
Fire Physics In Aircrafts:
When it comes to fire chemistry -fire being a very intense example of a chemical reaction- an aircraft fire occurring on the ground does not differ. As in every such case, for a fire to start three things are essential, as presented in the fire triangle of Figure 1. Firstly, there is a need for fuel, and the term fuel encompasses any combustible material, whether a solid, a liquid, a gas, or even mixtures of materials.
In an aircraft, the primary flammable substance is the liquid fuel (usually kerosene – Jet A) used to power its engines and provide the necessary thrust. In modern commercial aircrafts, where the old-fashioned piston engines are replaced by more fuel consuming jet engines, “the use of under-wing or...