Millennium Watch – fire-resistant airplane seat upholstery

Millennium Watch – fire-resistant airplane seat upholstery – Brief Article

Martha J. Heil

In 1988, Discover asked a group of experts what technology might look like at the end of the millennium.

PREDICTION: More stringent requirements for fire-resistant upholstery on airplanes should be in effect by 2001, according to Federal Aviation Administration officials. Fire-resistant fuel might also he in widespread use by the end of the century.

REALITY: By 1989, the FAA mandated that airplane seats on all commercial passenger planes be able to withstand a foot-long, six-inch-wide oil flame for two minutes and stop burning when the flame is removed. Seats are now made of urethane foam covered with a flame-resistant fabric, such as Kevlar. For appearance, the Kevlar is covered with a wool-nylon or polyester-blend fabric. Effective fire-resistant fuels used by the military have proven too costly for commercial use.

COPYRIGHT 2000 Discover

COPYRIGHT 2000 Gale Group