Parker’s Fuel Tank Inerting System Keeps Purpose on the Horizon

Most commercial flight passengers don’t think twice about how fuel is managed onboard the plane, the design of the fuel tank, the quantity or properties of that fuel or the point of combustion. They’re just happy to make it from point A to point B safely.


Fortunately, there is a whole team of highly skilled Parker Aerospace engineers and technicians for whom aircraft safety is top of mind. For these team members, ensuring a safe flight is more than a passion. It’s their purpose. Take the Fluid Systems Division in Irvine, California for example.


Drawing on talent, experience and technology from across Parker’s divisions and operating groups, this team developed, a Fuel Tank Inerting System that separates and removes oxygen from the fuel tank and replaces it with nitrogen-enriched air. In order for a fire to occur, an ignition source, fuel and oxygen must all be present. While it’s not possible to eliminate the fuel or the remote possibility of a spark, inerting the air above the fuel in the tank ensures the aircraft is safe to fly.


To develop Parker’s patented air separation technology, the Fluid Systems Division adapted nitrogen solutions that the Filtration Group had introduced in the food preservation industry, and then worked together to develop a fiber filter that would be even more efficient in separating the oxygen from nitrogen content in the air.


The division also collaborated closely with its customers to support the integration of the inerting system into the aircraft design. From designing the system to developing the certification and the flight test model, Parker took end-to-end responsibility for the inerting system. And the Parker Aerospace team wouldn’t have it any other way. Today, Parker’s inerting system technology is used throughout most Airbus, Boeing, and other aircraft produced globally.


As the first company to put an inerting system on an aircraft more than 50 years ago, Parker is a pioneer in fuel tank fire suppression. But today’s inerting system is also a reflection of Parker’s culture—the ability to leverage technology and expertise from within, our team members’ passion for making the world a safer place and our commitment to keeping purpose on the horizon.