News Articles Regarding NTSB Safety Recommendations
Ventura Aerospace Fire Suppression Systems have a head start on the industry having already been installed on 65 aircraft. In conjunction with FedEx, Ventura Aerospace has been working on this solution for over a decade. The system architecture represents the culmination of practicality, safety, performance and cost. In some of these articles the FAA is quoted as stating that active fire suppression for freighter aircraft could exceed $2,000,000 in cost. The FAA also stated that systems were not cost-effective, yet FedEx has taken the bold step to install the systems without an FAA requirement at a cost significantly less than the FAA estimates. The Fire Suppression System that FedEx has installed was awarded the Bendix Trophy in 2009. Here are just a few of the articles that have been written regarding the need to improve air cargo safety.
Flight Test Data Acquisition Systems
Ventura Aerospace has been building and fielding data acquisition systems for many years. From very high speed to very high channel count we have the experience to get you the right system.
Ventura Aerospace aquires Aircraft Technical Service
Ventura Aerospace is pleased to announce that Aircraft Technical Service (ATS) has now become a division of Ventura Aerospace. As many of our customers know, Ventura Aerospace and Aircraft Technical Service have common ownership. The merging of these two companies brings distinct advantages to the companies as well as our customers. Ventura Aerospace will be taking steps to integrate the engineering services offered by Aircraft Technical Service Division into our AS9100 Management System. This will improve upon the high quality services that are already being offered.
All contact information will remain the same. Some restructuring of management has taken place. Jeremy Snow will remain President of Ventura Aerospace. Michael Snow will become Vice President of the Aircraft Technical Service Division. Ventura Aerospace looks forward to working with all our customers in 2013 and beyond. We look to the future knowing that our legacy is rooted in a strong foundation that is over 50 years in the making.
The Challenge of Obsolete Parts
As with all industries and technologies, the aerospace industry is faced with obsolescence. Over the years, companies are acquired by larger ones, some go bankrupt and some are simply mismanaged. As a result, many STC’s for modifications are surrendered to the FAA or simply not maintained. This leaves operators and owners of aircraft with “Orphaned” aircraft.
While the aircraft may still be airworthy, it becomes increasingly difficult to maintain airworthiness. When a part fails and needs to be overhauled or replaced, the original manufacturer is usually the place to turn to. What happens when the manufacturer has been acquired by a larger company or worse yet, when they have simply gone out of business? When acquisitions occur, there tends to be a consolidation of resources, and an increase in efficiency. However, what really happens is that knowledge of a product line is diminished. It can be so bad that a sales engineer can be convinced that they have never made a certain part before.
When a company goes out of business, the product line ceases to exist. A $500 part can ground an airplane or helicopter indefinitely. Operators and owners are faced with the difficult decision of whether to retire an aircraft, or perhaps make an undocumented fix. Is there another solution?
To face these challenges, engineering is required to find a compatible replacement part to develop a repair methodology. Simply replacing a fuel pump with another fuel pump may sound like the way to go but is it truly compatible? Will check valve C replace check valve P? Ventura Aerospace addresses these questions on many different projects.
Finding a suitable fit form replacement component is often required when converting old aircraft or developing new solutions. Our engineers are uniquely able to query vendors, track down spares and define replacements in support of our customers projects. Our ability to find compliance for PMA parts gives us the ability to replace OEM parts with new parts that are just as functional and perhaps more cost effective and available.
Adaptive engineering is often needed to ensure that a part can be installed. Performance criteria must be maintained. FAA approval is required. Each of these areas can be addressed by our engineering staff.
Contact us today to see how we can help you with your aging aircraft needs.
Suppressing Lithium Ion Battery Fires
Lithium Ion battery fires are some of the most difficult fires to suppress. Along with Class D metal fires, there are few types of fires that present such a risk to equipment and personnel. This is especially true when both are 40,000 feet above ground half way across the Pacific Ocean.
The technology behind Lithium Ion batteries that make them so ideal for powering electronic devices for long periods of time results in unique hazards when they burn. Statistically, Lithium Ion batteries are incredibly reliable and safe. To address the risk of fire in batteries, safety measures in the charging systems and the batteries are designed in.
Lithium Ion batteries have high power-to-density ratios that allow them to store large amounts of energy. When a Lithium Ion battery catches fire, it is the stored energy along with the materials in the battery that make it so difficult suppress or extinguish.
Lithium Ion batteries can catch fire in two ways. The first is being exposed to an adjacent fire. The second is through a thermal runaway in the battery itself. Thermal runaways are caused by a manufacturing defect or physical damage. When a Lithium Ion battery has a thermal runaway, physical expansion of the battery occurs and electrical shorts within the battery either start, or continue. The energy stored in the battery is released, often violently. This release of energy can cause adjacent battery cells to catch fire or thermally runaway as well.
The Ventura Aerospace aircraft fire suppression system using Cargo Foam is the only demonstrated and installed fire suppression system that is capable of suppressing a Lithium Ion battery fire. Ventura Aerospace, along with Ansul, conducted live fire tests with 192 laptops loaded in standard packaging inside an AMJ container. The fire suppression system was able to suppress the battery fire in the laptops and keep it suppressed for four hours.
This fire suppression system has been flying aboard MD-11Fs since 2009 and has been installed on 66 aircraft at FedEx Express. Systems are currently being installed on 777F for FedEx Express. Development of this system began over a decade ago and is the industry’s first effective solution for protecting the main deck cargo compartments from threat of fire.