Jet Fuel heated by THERMOSAFE™
LMK Thermosafe Induction
drum heater, with a test Sikorsky S-92 aircraft being fueled from a barrel of
hot JP-8 fuel at 136°F.
Introducing a completely new
aircraft into commercial or military service requires extensive certification
testing before customer deliveries can begin. The Sikorsky S-92 is an advanced
transport helicopter that incorporates the latest design safety features such as
flaw tolerance, bird strike capability, turbine burst containment and benchmark
As part of the performance
flight tests for FAA certification, Sikorsky needed to safely pre-heat JP-8 jet
fuel in standard 55 US gallon drums, to 136°F (58°C), and deliver it to the
aircraft’s tank through an approved ground fuel pump with filtration. The
drums needed to be vented, so fuel vapour with a flash point of only around 100°F
is present, and the potential fire risk very high.
Sikorsky approached LMK for a
solution as the THERMOSAFE™ Induction Drum Heater does not use traditional
radiant heating elements. The heater always stays cooler than the drum, with the
steel drum wall being heated by the induction effect. Thus its key safe use
criteria is the auto-ignition temperature of the hazardous vapour.
JP-8 is a kerosene type fuel with an auto-ignition temperature well above
the safety rating of 170°C (T3) given to the THERMOSAFE™ under its European
ATEX approval for hazardous area use.
The drum wall and fuel
temperatures were separately monitored for the duration of the tests, conducted
at Sikorsky’s Florida facilities, and the results logged onto a lap-top
computer running analyses software. The project was very successfully completed
well within the allotted time-frame. Charles Greenberg, co-ordinator at Sikorsky
commented “Safety has to be our number one priority, and LMK’s Induction
Heater helped us resolve all the potential issues. Technical support from their
UK headquarters during the crucial planning and preparation stages was
excellent, and we were delighted with the results”
Sikorsky is a subsidiary of
United Technologies Corp (NYSE:UTX) of Hartford, Conn, USA, which provides a
broad range of high-technology products and support services to the aerospace
and building systems industries.
LMK Thermosafe Ltd manufacture
a wide range of drum and container heating products used in process industries
world-wide, including the award winning THERMOSAFE™ induction heater.
Thermosafe - Why not rent one for your metal drum heating application? Click here for more information.
9-10 Moonhall Business Park, Helions Bumpstead Rd, Haverhill, Suffolk, CB9 7AA England
Tel +44 (0)1440 707141 Fax +44 (0)1440 713344