Fire risk on ageing aircraft

As Boeing airliners built in the 1980s start to show their age, they are developing a fire hazard, the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has warned. To blame are insulating blankets that line the fuselage to cut engine noise in the cabin and provide thermal insulation. The blankets are strengthened with a tough, transparent coating of polyethylene terephthalate (PET), and tests at the FAA’s lab in New Jersey have shown that 1980s-vintage PET-coated blankets may help a fire to spread on an aircraft. “They no longer meet fire safety standards in a consistent manner,
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