CabinAir takes to the skies
EC-funded research project CabinAir takes to the skies this month as in-flight monitoring begins. A team of researchers will analyse cabin air quality on 50 BA, SAS and KLM flights to destinations such as Rome, Cairo and Bangkok. Measurements will focus on humidity, velocity, temperature and other constituents of the cabin air. To establish patterns across a range of aircraft, four types of plane will be studied: small narrow body; long narrow body; wide twin aisle and twin deck. The work will thus establish, for the first time, a structured and true picture of conditions on short, medium and long haul flights in the commercial sector of the airline industry.

These studies follow on from investigations carried out last Autumn at Munich Airport by some of the partners and led by Fairchild Dornier. To establish air quality conditions on the ground, measurements were taken in a plane following in the wake of another as it taxied along the runway until the point of take off. The external air was measured and compared with conditions in the cabins of the tracking plane.

Running alongside these monitoring exercises, CabinAir is investigating two other important issues: (i) ways of improving the performance of environmental control systems vis a vis air quality and (ii) reducing the environmental impacts (e.g. minimising engine bleed and reusing pressurised air). Work has already begun on the development of draft European Pre-normative Standards.

If you would like to be kept informed of developments in this important project, please call BRE on 01923 664300 or e-mail: cabinair@bre.co.uk.

A short haul to healthier cabin environments
During his visit to Garston today, Brian Wilson MP, Minister of State for Industry and Energy, learnt of a number of exciting research projects that will improve the environment within aircraft cabins and make conditions more comfortable and pleasant for passengers and crew alike.

CabinAir, an EU-funded project led by BRE, is examining air quality levels in commercial aircraft and developing technology for improving internal environmental systems. Most importantly, it will draft the first European Pre-Normative Standards.

Work is just beginning on a second EU-funded study, HEACE, which looks at the impact of the aircraft environment on cockpit and cabin crew. Here work will focus on issues such as noise, vibration, temperature and humidity with testing taking place in BRE's new aircraft testing rig.

Additional projects will come on stream later this year and together the work represents some of the most important and detailed studies to be carried out in the field of cabin air health. For more information on BRE's aviation work call 01923 664300 or e-mail aircraft@bre.co.uk