Fuel Systems (FS) are critical for aircraft safety. Fire, ice and system failures are typical safety hazards associated to FS. FS accidents, though only representing 2% of accidents/incidents, continue to be a recurrent concern, especially as: the complexity of FS escalades to cope with increasing needs, including more stringent safety requirements ; flight conditions evolve with new routes at high altitude, crossing the Arctic, and faster climbing and approach; climate changes with more aircraft (A/C) exposed to hazardous weather.
Thus, FS have to deal with more extreme temperatures, stronger temperature gradients, more humidity, and more exposure to lightning. In addition, new technologies are emerging: Composite, More Electric and Alternative Fuel, bringing new safety requirements. For example, within the composite A/C environment, systems will be more exposed to lightning and induced arcing.
SAFUEL will address the urgent need for European-led research in FS safety to develop the next generation of safer FS also offering the opportunity to reduce the current over-dependence on patented US technology.
SAFUEL will develop:
-the new FS design, meeting the severe safety constraints of Composite and More-Electric A/C and evolving flight conditions
-a range of highly innovative prototypes, adequate testing and simulation tools to allow regulators to assess the safety of future FS as well as providing the necessary data to support authorities in rules and regulations for safe flight in icing conditions.
The project will also significantly improve the compliancy of the FS with evolving flight conditions and emerging technologies, enabling perfect emergence of Composite A/C.
By achieving these objectives, SAFUEL will reduce the rate of accidents/incidents related to FS from the current 2% to 0.4% instead of witnessing an increase.
SAFUEL brings together a consortium of best-of-breed experts from academia and industry-from components to airframer. It will last 3 years.
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