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Jetaire Patents Foam Solution for Fuel-Tank Safety

Jetaire says the Invicta reticulated foam ignition mitigation system is simpler and more cost-effective than other solutions on the market.

Jetaire has announced that its Invicta reticulated foam ignition mitigation system is now patented technology. The solution for the FAA’s Fuel Tank Flammability Reduction (FTFR) rule was officially patented in late December 2017 and Jetaire says this solidifies its position as leaders in understanding the scope and depth of the technology.

The company began the design process on Invicta—which works as a passive system to fill the oxygenated space in a fuel tank to suppress fuel ignition—in 2008. According to Jetaire, the system is beneficial compared to other inerting solutions because of its simplicity. Jetaire says no parts of Invicta are subject to failure and it is constantly functioning to protect against potentially hazardous situations such as tank punctures or lightning strikes.

Additionally, Invicta inhibits movement of fuel within a tank, which could result in a spark through changes in weight distribution and friction. “It acts as an interrupter of what could become an explosive event and prevents it from occurring,” says a company spokesperson. “A spark introduced into a tank that incorporates the Invicta foam will produce nothing more than a wisp of smoke.” 

Jetaire says that once Invicta is installed, it is essentially maintenance-free and its components do not have a life limit. According to the company, installation time depends on the model of aircraft and how well it is prepared for installation—typically 2-4 days for a narrowbody and 4-5 days for a widebody. Jetaire says installation is quicker and simpler than other products on the market for fuel tank inerting, leading to reduced disruption and aircraft downtime. Although the company declined to share pricing information, it says the Invicta kit and installation are cost effective and affordable.

Invicta is currently FAA-certified for Boeing 737, 737NG, 757 and 767 aircraft as well as the Airbus A320 family. A spokesperson for Jetaire says the company is nearing completion of certification for the Boeing 777 and it has applied for EASA approval for existing supplemental type certificates (STC). Jetaire’s spokesperson adds that the company expects to undertake certification for other aircraft types as the market dictates and regulations change.

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