Electronic what???? Yup, cigarettes, and I had never heard of them until today. Perhaps you had.
Well you’ve probably heard about the FedEx MD-11 incident at Minneapolis-St Paul on 14 August. After landing the crew had a lower forward cargo fire warning. They discharged the halon bottles and called the firefighters who eventually found a cargo container on fire – I mean with actual flames coming out of it. They used about 200gal of water to extinguish it.
What they found inside was a shipment of about 1,000 of theaforementioned e-cigarettes which are powered by lithium batteries anduse liquid tobacco to provide the desired kick allegedly without beinga fire hazard. The promoters suggest they can be legally used inbuildings where smoking is banned and in aircraft.
They work like this:
And if they catch fire they look like this:
And they leave FedEx luggage containers looking like this:
Nowimagine if this situation had arisen in-flight with no firefighters toget involved. Probably the halon system would have handled it. Probably.
Asit turns out, my colleague Barbara Cockburn is in fact familiar withe-cigarettes. I’ve got no reason to believe the ones being discussedhere are the same make as the ones in the MD-11.