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.
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