Flammability Test for Aircraft Blankets

The Flammability Test for Aircraft Blankets is used to determine the resistance of aircraft passenger blankets to flame when tested in the horizontal position and exposed to a flame for 12 seconds.

Test Methods

  • FAA Fire Test Handbook, Chapter 18

Test Summary

Four layers of the blanket are mounted in an 8-inch square metal test fixture. A Bunsen burner flame is applied to the center of the blanket for 12 seconds. The after-flame time and drip extinguishing time are recorded. This test is repeated three times and the results averaged. The average after-flame time must not exceed 15 seconds and the average drip extinguishing time must not exceed 5 seconds.

Test Sample Requirements

Test samples must meet the following requirements:

    • The standard sample size is 11-inch x 11-inch.
    • A minimum of 12 samples must be provided.
    • Samples should be cut from new aircraft blankets.
    • If each side of a blanket is composed of a different material, then each side must be tested.

Regulatory Requirements

There are no regulatory requirements for flammability testing of carry-on items such as blankets. However, this is the FAA-recommended test for determining the fire safety of aircraft blankets.

Products Requiring This Test

This test is optional (but recommended) for all airline carry-on blankets.

History of the Flammability Test for Aircraft Blankets

In 1993, during gate departure of a Northwest Airlines 727 aircraft, the pilot declared an emergency after a fire was reported in an overhead stowage bin. Upon completion of their investigation, the Transportation Safety Board of Canada determined that the original source of fuel for the fire was the 100% polyester airline blankets stored in the overhead stowage bin. Since the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) does not require flammability testing of airline blankets, the U.S. National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) asked the FAA to develop a fire performance criteria for blankets supplied to commercial airline operators.

After extensive testing performed at the FAA Technical Center, this 4-ply horizontal test method had been developed. It produced consistent test results and correlated well with full-scale testing. This test was incorporated into Chapter 18 of the FAA Aircraft Materials Fire Test Handbook (DOT/FAA/AR-00/12) in April 2000.

Sources: FAA Report DOT/FAA/AR-96/15

Additional Resources

Resource Description
FAA Fire Test Handbook,
Chapter 18
FAA Aircraft Materials Fire Test Handbook (DOT/FAA/AR-00/12); Chapter 18; Recommended Procedure for the 4-Ply Horizontal Flammability Test for Aircraft Blankets.
This handbook provides an acceptable means of compliance with the relevant regulations. This is the preferred test method to find compliance with the listed regulations.
FAA Report
The Development of a Flammability Test Method for Aircraft Blankets
FAA-issued test report detailing the research and creation of the Flammability Test for Aircraft Blankets.

Ready to Order?


Ask the Experts

Expert photo

Stuck? Our experts will help you determine the best solution for your needs.

Contact Us