Posted on 17/04/2024 in Transport 2024
Lessons from Japan Airlines Airbus fire

All 379 people escaped the A350, with its carbon-composite fuselage, when it caught fire after a crash on landing. The, Japan Airlines flight crashed during landing into a small aircraft which was stationary on the runway at Haneda Airport, Japan, 1st January 2024 (see pinfa Newsletter n°156). Everyone on board escaped. Experts say this was thanks to the aircraft crew’s exemplary action, but also because the carbon-fibre – polymer resin composite of the fuselage and the flame-retardant seats and other fittings provided effective protection of passengers from fire. Experts do however express concern that the carbon composite fuselage caused the aircraft to burn for longer, posing dangers to firefighters. Airbus indicate that composites make up 53% of the A350-900 model concerned. Carbon-fibre composites are 20% lighter than aluminium, meaning significant fuel economies.

“The Japan Airlines A350’s fuselage gave passengers and crew time to escape and did not burn through for some time”, FireRescue

“Japan Airlines fire to give insights into latest manufacturing materials”, Financial Times

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