It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.
Please white-list or disable AboveTopSecret.com in your ad-blocking tool.
Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.
Although the United States Navy has banned Kapton and the insulation is no longer used by Boeing since 1992, the world's largest planemaker Airbus Industrie continue to use a version of it in their new planes. Even though the British CAA (Civil Aviation Authority) has forbidden the use of Kapton insulation in new aircraft designs, a loophole allows it to be used in current designs.
Despite ample warning about its dangers, the Royal Air Force took delivery of Kapton-wired Harrier GR5s. Two crashed because of the wire before the RAF embarked on a program to modify the use of Kapton in all the vulnerable parts of their planes.
British Airways admit they use Kapton widely in their aircraft, but that its use meets the requirements of regulatory authorities. Panorama understands, however, that British Airways was warned of the dangers of Kapton insulation and did make its concerns known to Boeing, its principal supplier. BA has declined to confirm or deny this.
Kapton insulation (a DuPont trade name, although their patent has now expired and they are no longer the sole manufacturers) seemed to be the dream wire insulation for commercial and military fleets in the 1970s and '80s. Wiring is like a plane's blood vessels, and the average big jet carries up to 250 kilometres of it. When the giant aircraft manufacturers were looking for something extremely light, tough and flame resistant they settled for Dupont's Kapton. Boeing, McDonnell Douglas, Lockheed and later Airbus Industrie all installed it in good faith in their models during the '70s and '80s. Today, 40 per cent of all planes still carry Kapton-insulated wiring.
But in the early eighties, a US naval captain discovered an obscure Soviet technical publication, 10 years old, which analysed Kapton (technically an aromatic polyimide). The publication noted that the insulation decomposed when in contact with concentrated alkali but, more chillingly, the insulation was hydrolitic - it absorbed water. The report also mentioned Kapton's tendency to arc.
The US Navy, already alarmed at a rash of wire failures and unexplained flash fires in its fighter planes commissioned detailed tests of Kapton. These were conducted by Bob Dunham, its top civilian expert on aircraft wiring. Dunham's tests revealed a terrible truth about the now widely installed insulation. Kapton's positive aspects were heavily outweighed by its uniquely negative qualities. Its strength was negated by the fact that it had "straight line memory". It always wanted to return to its original position when on a wire drum. This meant that unless it was properly and frequently imprisoned in clamps it had a tendency to "roam" and subsequently chafe. Its ultra-light weight (only three and a half human hairs thick) was a huge commercial advantage, saving precious weight on the plane. But when the insulation wore through and the naked wire touched metal, it arced at 6000 degrees, and before short circuiting it flashed like a tiny banger firework.
Dunham's experiments then discovered that when the short circuit tripped the circuit breaker (fuse box) in the plane, once the breaker was re-set and the power restored to the wire, a new flame ran along the Kapton insulation, turning it into a charred flame conductor. In this way, fire spread along the path of the plane's wires.
In my not so humble opinion, MS 804 was lost to terrorism.
originally posted by: Zaphod58
a reply to: earthling42
The initial left was probably under control, but when the SEC warning popped, they lost the ability to control the aircraft and that's when they did the 360 and continued to dive into the water.
originally posted by: Zaphod58
a reply to: Flyingclaydisk
And if there was no Intel that they should have been prior to that, or it wasn't shared, then how was it the TSAs fault? Reid managed to get through Israeli security, which is usually considered the best in the world. In 2009, before the attack, Intel services were still trying to determine if Abdulmutallab was a threat.
There's more than enough to blame them for, like I said, without trying to find more.