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The effect of flash point reduction and, therefore, the increase of vapor pressure on the design and operation of a supersonic transport (SST) is examined in detail. Considering an SST design, which has been optimized on the basis of a kerosine flash point of 38°C (100°F), the effect on design criteria of lowering flash point by 5.5°C (10°F) is equivalent to a cost penalty, to each SST aircraft in the order of $45 000 per year. A further 5.5°C (10°F) lowering would increase the penalty to some $125 000 per year. The penalty is not incurred in full where existing designs have included a margin to allow for lower flash points fuels.
The main effect of lower flash point fuels upon the safety of supersonic aircraft lies in the greater flame speed across pools of fuel which might be spilled in crash landings.
airframe fuel system pressures, tank overpressure, pumping power, weight penalty, vapor pressure, supersonic aircraft
Head, British Aircraft Corporation, Bristol,