Attached are two pictures of my automatic suppression system. A 2.8lb bottle with two lines – one goes into the engine compartment and the other (pictured) into the cockpit. Both have heat sensors like the one shown. When the temperature reaches the setting for the sensor, the fire bottle is activated.
Today I flew to Hickory, NC to a fire extinguisher company that serves most of the SE. They had some halon left over and were willing to work with me. They met me at the airport and verified they could refill it.
After 8 years, the halon had crystalized and froze the plunger in the “activate” position. Which meant that I had to bleed the halon out by loosening the fittings. Since it was low, it only took about 15-secs. As the halon came out in a mist, it vaporized nearly instantly. No puddles. 15 minute later we were on the way to their plant.
Back at the plant they replaced the plunger valve, cleaned the inside of the canister and refilled with 2 lbs of halon plus the requisite nitrogen. Then they drove me back to the airport. All of this cost me ZERO. Yep, they were so interested in my installation and my charming personality that they simply told me “enjoy”. My understanding is halon costs $60/lb, plus all of the labor (2hrs of conversation) and parts plus the personal Uber service. I don’t run into deals like this very often.
I mentioned the discussion that has been going on with the list. He confirmed that we don’t want any powder suppressants. I then asked about the lethal effects of the halon stealing all of the oxygen. I don’t know the circumstances surrounding Mark Waddelo but this fellow indicated that it wouldn’t kill us, even in a cockpit.
His position was that a 2 lb bottle will disperse very quickly. In order to rob the fire of oxygen it must attack in full force. Dispensing the suppressant out slowly would not evacuate sufficient oxygen to squelch a fire. Yes, there will be no oxygen for that timeframe and lots of really bad odor from the halon.
Since our cockpits aren’t airtight (at least not mine), the inflow of fresh air with oxygen will cycle by quite rapidly. He would expect to experience difficulty breathing for a few seconds, but it would not be incapacitating.
I personally feel better with an automatic system. Several of our accidents have terminated inverted. On such occasions, it is questionable if the occupants will be in any condition to locate (if it isn’t bound down) or unbind the canister (if it is) and deploy the suppressant. If I’m unconscious or pinned, I hope that when the flames start licking my pink little body, the automatic system is still conscious.
That’s all I know.