Researchers have successfully tested a material that is designed to limit a bomb explosion by containing the impact within a bag.
The test involved placing luggage (containing bombs) inside the Fly-Bag, aboard old jets parked at the Cotswolds Airport in Gloucestershire.
When the bomb exploded, scientists reported no visible effects of the detonation.
A controlled explosion without Fly-Bag in the hold
The Fly-Bag project is funded by the European Commission and backed by a consortium of organisations, including the European Aviation Security Centre, who say the aim is to create a lightweight, cabin friendly option to help limit the potential damage created by bombs hidden in bags that get past security.
Despite its unassuming appearance, the bag is made of various complex layers including Kevlar as well as a fire resistant elastomeric coating.
Dr Andy Tyas, a specialist in explosives engineering from the University of Sheffield said:
“Key to the concept is that the lining is flexible and this adds to its resilience when containing the explosive force and any fragments produced,”
“This helps to ensure that the Fly-Bag acts as a membrane rather than as a rigid-walled container which might shatter on impact.
“We have extensively tested Fly-Bag prototypes at the University of Sheffield’s blast-testing laboratory, but the purpose of these tests was to investigate how the concept works in the confines of a real aircraft and the results are extremely promising.”