Industry leaders in aircraft extinguisher design and technology

Continuous Improvements

AAE System Continuous Improvement

In 2002 AAE began developing FPS designs for Aircraft Fire Protection that meet the higher performance standards described in the latest guidance and regulations proposed by the JAA and required by the UK CAA for Class C cargo compartments. The new guidance and regulations were first proposed in January of 2000. Since AAE’s original FPS designs predated this new guidance, AAE decided to develop kits to upgrade these older designs to the new higher performance outlined in the proposed guidance in anticipation that the proposed guidance would eventually be adopted by EASA.  In addition, AAE incorporated these changes into our existing FPS designs and to all new designs developed after this guidance was proposed.

The standards are contained in JAA NPA 25D and UK CAA TGM/25/09 respectively. These standards have resulted from the past work of AAE, and others, to make the Aviation Industry aware of important criteria to use in determining if a FPS design is adequate for any fire likely to occur in a Class C cargo compartment, will function properly when installed, and will operate properly under all foreseeable operating conditions. AAE’s FPS is considered by the Industry to be critical to the safety of the passengers, crew, cargo, and aircraft.

The new guidance and regulations expand the definition of an adequate fire protection system. Simply put, the change is that now, to be adequate, a Class C cargo compartment detection system must warn the crew within one minute of the presence of a fire, which is producing only the amount of smoke from a smoldering fire in a small suitcase. Then, whether in a full or partially loaded compartment, the suppression system must be able to knock down any fire likely to occur in the compartment and afterwards maintain a level of extinguishing agent to suppress the fire everywhere in the cargo compartment until the aircraft can be landed, parked, and evacuated. The duration of protection of the system must provide at least 15 minutes for approach and also time to land, park, and evacuate the aircraft before suppression agent levels decay below that needed to keep the fire suppressed. These new requirements are much more stringent than the minimum standards currently acceptable to the FAA. The FAA and the Civil Aviation Authorities of European countries, many now represented by EASA, are trying to harmonize their design requirements and have adopted these more stringent requirements.

AAE is currently working on new designs that will work with our current Cargo Fire Protection Systems to also provide fire protection to the E & E compartment and other inaccessible areas where fires can hide.