THE occurrence of isolated fires in commercial, passenger carrying aircraft has focused considerable attention upon the fire risks involved in the use of combustible materials, the arrangement of functional equipment and accessories, and the effectiveness of fire‐proof finishes and coatings. In addition to other studies concerning the elimination of fire hazard through careful survey of the electrical system and other functional systems, studies have been made concerning the improvement of the ignition resistance of materials and the subsequent propagation of fire. Serious fires have developed as a result of propagation by materials which were not responsible for the original ignition of fire. An intensive effort has been made to reduce this fire hazard by the development and application of protective coatings and finishes to vulnerable and combustible materials. This work led to the obvious need for, and development of, a testing apparatus by which a realistic comparison could be made of combustible materials under conditions simulating those of an actual fire.
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