AFRL hosted the United States Air Force Fire Panel on March 4, 2009. The Fire Panel consists of the Major Air Command fire chiefs led by the Air Force fire marshal, Mr. Don Warner. While the panel was in session, two tests were conducted to determine the feasibility of using water only to extinguish a fire with the F100 engine nacelle.
During this testing, we noticed a remarkable trend. Tests were conducted on a hot F100 engine nacelle mockup flowing approximately 5 gpm of JP-8 fuel, which was extinguished from the aft tail section. The ground fire was extinguished with 6 percent AFFF pre mix. Five out of five ultra high pressure (UHP) water-suppressed fires were put out using a 14 gpm nozzle. Extinguishment times varied from 27 to 110 seconds; the average was 52 seconds.
The HMA system also extinguished 5 out of 5 fires using a 20gpm UHP nozzle. Extinguishment times ranged from 2 to 9 seconds, the average was 5.2 seconds. Very fast, very efficient in comparison to the 14 gpm nozzle.
Previous flow with similar systems was 10 to 14 gpm. However, HMA system increased their flow to 20 gpm, which has reduced the average extinguishment time for such systems by a factor of 10 while still providing 100 percent extinguishment. It looks like we found a "sweet spot" at 20 gpm UHP, water only, at extinguishing running 3D/concealed fires.
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