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Evaluation of Fire Detection Technology for Suitability in Aircraft Cargo Compartments (NISTIR 6242)



Thomas G. Cleary, William L. Grosshandler


NIST is assisting the FAA in its research to improve fire detection in Class C and D aircraft cargo compartments. Class C and D compartments are inaccessible in flight. Class C compartments are required to have detection and suppression systems installed. almost universally, the fire detection systems consist of either ionization or photoelectric smoke detectors. Class D compartments are small in volume and are not required to have detection and suppression. However, a proposed rule change will require that these compartments also be protected within the near future. The number of aircraft affected by this proposed change is about 3000, and the attendant increase in the number of protected spaces will rise threefold. Adding such a large number of spaces to be protected will certainly impact the implications fire detection has on aircraft operation.
NIST Interagency/Internal Report (NISTIR) - 6242
Report Number


fire research, fire science, fire suppression, aircraft compartments, cargo space, fire detection, evaluation


Cleary, T. and Grosshandler, W. (1998), Evaluation of Fire Detection Technology for Suitability in Aircraft Cargo Compartments (NISTIR 6242), NIST Interagency/Internal Report (NISTIR), National Institute of Standards and Technology, Gaithersburg, MD, [online], (Accessed July 13, 2024)


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Created October 1, 1998, Updated November 10, 2018