Crane Aerospace (Hall 4, F10) has developed an innovative method of safeguarding fuel pumps and motorised valves on board aircraft.

The SafeTRIP ground fault interruptor (GFI) family uses miniaturised sensing technology to measure electrical activity within the fuel pump. If an anomaly is detected SafeTRIP GFI turns off the power in the pump before a fire can occur.



The GFI is installed where the relay panel usually sits on the fuel pump and installation is so simple that all users need do is plug the device into the relay panel, saving expensive installation costs.

The SafeTRIP GFI features a series of customised GFIs for installation in different categories of aircraft including Airbus and Bombardier. The idea for the product came after the crash of a TWA airliner in 1996. Though the Crane Aerospace fuel pumps on board were not at fault for the incident, the company got involved with the investigation teams.

"This investigation made us more aware of the different failure modes in engine pumps and though air travel is very safe we wanted to try and make it even safer," says Gregory Ward, president of the Hydro-Aire, Lear Romec and Resistoflex divisions of Crane.

"We had the idea that we could combine our sensing technology with our fuel pumps and developed the idea from there."

As a result the Interpoint, ELDEC and Hydro-Aire divisions of Crane Aerospace worked together on the electricity, sensing and design aspects respectively.

The technology becomes increasingly important with the advent of Special Federal Aviation Regulation (SFAR) 88 which requires anyone owning an aircraft with more than 30 seats to submit a compliance plan before 6 December for any device in their fuel system with the potential for catastrophic failure.

"Airframe manufacturers such as Bombardier, Boeing and Airbus have a real desire to comply with these fuel system safety regulations and require help to do it," said Steven Schrader, director of fuel system safety.

"The obvious worry is that the installation of further safety devices would be extremely costly so the easy installation of the SafeTRIP GFI coupled with its effective performance makes it an attractive option."

Source: Flight Daily News