(Hollywood Physics) Does Jet Fuel Explode?

Discussion in 'Hangar Flying' started by Aerowerx, Sep 29, 2019.

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  1. Sep 30, 2019 #21

    litespeed

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    Yep car tanks do not explode.

    What actually goes bang is the tyre when in a fire. If you hear a bang it is the tyre popping open.
     
  2. Sep 30, 2019 #22

    bcguide

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    Years ago I used 5 gallons of jet b to start my garbage pit on fire, I still rember the big woof and the blue flame rolling towards me.
     
  3. Sep 30, 2019 #23

    Swampyankee

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    Jet fuel will not explode. When atomized and ignited, it can burn very fast, but it cannot explode.

    Movie physics, chemistry, biology, geology, and history are, universally, pretty terrible. This has a very long movie history, going way back to the beginning of the movie industry
     
  4. Sep 30, 2019 #24

    Aerowerx

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    Oh, really? I didn't know that. Considering I grew up in a house with oil burning heaters. Drove a diesel car for a while, and have a couple kerosene space heaters around here. Never sniffed Jet A, but the others certainly don't smell the same.
     
  5. Sep 30, 2019 #25

    Aerowerx

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    I would think so! Considering he was portrayed in the movie as a real *******.
     
  6. Sep 30, 2019 #26

    ncmc47

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    We used to crawl under a Huey with a can of sand and drained a little JP4 out of the sump, never had a problem getting it lit. Heated up C rations for 3 or 4 guys.
     
  7. Sep 30, 2019 #27

    Vigilant1

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    Yep, JP4 is a lot like Jet B. As bcguide says, "woof!".
    I'm surprised the USMC burned it in Huey's, the Navy did not like to have it on ships. You guys must have found it at a good price--the USMC is known for watching every dime. Sometimes.
     
  8. Sep 30, 2019 #28

    Rik-

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    The Chevron fuel rack in Richmond CA is where my fuel delivery guy, (former Korean Vet helicopter pilot) gets and he said it's all the same exact thing and comes out of the exact same rack. His route is also a few airports.

    Red kerosene, kerosene, diesel #1 (you have #2 in your "on road" trucks/cars" unless your COLD weather stations sell #1 like in New Jersey) Jet A, Home heating oil are all the exact same product.

    Some things people just take for granted. Like when your order a small orange juice or a large orange juice and they are in different glasses with the exact same volume.
     
  9. Sep 30, 2019 #29

    radfordc

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  10. Sep 30, 2019 #30

    Aesquire

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    You can toss lit matches in a bucket of Jet A and get no fire, depending on temperature. Warm enough and the fumes will burn. Pour out onto hot asphalt on a 90 deg. F day, the fumes will burn. Kerosene burns fine with a wick, see lanterns, but you might notice the wet wick doesn't burn up after the stray frayed edges that protrude into the burning gasses burn away.

    Yes, the liquid will burn, but not easily, and not cold. Spray it into droplets like the injectors on an engine, & it burns much easier. High speed photography shows halos of fire around burning droplets as it vaporizes.

    And legally owned and refurbished WW2 flame throwers often use kerosene instead of the jellied gasoline in demos and movies for safety reasons. Here's more detail if you care, an interview by a historical firearms expert with the Flame thrower professional who restores them and does the tech work for movies.

    But to answer, again, the Question. Nope. Won't happen. Die Hard 2 used Movie Magic. I loved #1 & #3. The original is a superbly crafted movie with great acting and characters, including one of the best all time villains. Alan Rickman's first big movie roll, & he hit it out of the park.

    But I bet the FBI isn't pleased being the comic relief incompetent ones in the film. ;)

    You want accuracy in a movie? Apollo 13. Or Tom Hanks "From the Earth to the Moon" series. And they aren't perfect.

    I'm looking forward to the new Midway movie. I just hope it isn't terrible. The old Midway (1976) was a great movie, but iirc one star takes off in a Wildcat & lands in a Hellcat, not only changing planes in mid air, but using time travel to get one from the future.
     
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  11. Sep 30, 2019 #31

    Victor Bravo

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    If anyone needs a specific answer not covered by this thread, I can ask a real Hollywood special effects guy what he does. Ex Navy EOD, 45 years movie and TV SFX
     
  12. Oct 1, 2019 #32

    wktaylor

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    JP-4 was once described as gasoline with a little oil added for lubrication. Aircraft on alert in dead-cold of winter would start 'no-sweat'... but very wide-range of explosive limit [LEL-to-HEL] and very low temperature spontaneous combustion [in 'normal' atmospheric conditions] made JP-4 extraordinarily hazardous in every respect. A small amount of evaporated [gaseous] JP-4 in the right concentration of atmosphere made for a hardy detonation.

    The USAF/USA migrated from JP-4 to JP-8 in the 1990s... and are now flying mostly Jet-A+special additives. Flammability hazards/mishaps due to the shift in jet fuel have dropped to practically '0'. There are unique problems with starting engines at low temperatures... but engine/engine-control and igniter technologies have evolved to solve many of those issues.

    NOTE. Due to hazardous operations on USN carriers, the Navy eliminated JP-4-like fuel in-favor of JP-5 a long time ago... [I think] after the USS Forrestal and USS Oriskany fires. The combination of JP-4-like jet fuel and high-octane Avgas [for the piston Acft like A-1s S2s, etc] made for a truly terrifying holocaust on these ships. I can say that I have seen/reviewed USAF mishaps with PJ-4 and the results were god-awful, also... but on a more confined scale.

    https://www.google.com/search?sourc...i30j33i22i29i30.2_LLvQby77k#spf=1569940641935

    https://www.warhistoryonline.com/instant-articles/3-aircraft-carrier-fires-1960.html
     
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2019
  13. Oct 3, 2019 #33

    crkckr

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    Jet A, diesel fuel and fuel oil are *essentially* the same but they do have different additives. Jet A is also high sulfur, unlike diesel fuel. There are some differences! None of the vapors will explode, although it may seem like it, unless enclosed or pressurized in some way. They do burn rapidly and will flash when in a aerosol form. The Die Hard movie made me laugh, first off, the water faucet valve on the 747 was a complete joke and the part about him lighting the Jet A in the snow with a lighter was also quite funny. The fire following the airplane into the air was another joke, all of it Hollywood b.s. (you can call it magic if you like but I call it what it is!). Jet A will work in your diesel car (I know a guy that used to sump a pint of Jet A - exactly how much he needed for the round trip to work - and add it to his diesel VW Rabbit every day but he added it to the existing fuel in the tank and did not try to run the car on straight Jet A) but if used exclusively, the results will not be good for the engine due to a lack of lubricity.
    Cheers,
    crkckr
     
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  14. Oct 3, 2019 #34

    Victor Bravo

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    Ironic that this was mentioned. The same Hollywood FX guy that I mentioned a couple of posts ago was onboard the Forrestal when it went bang.
     
  15. Oct 3, 2019 #35

    pictsidhe

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    Pfft, in Batlle of Britain (1969), 109s were used to pad out a flight of Hurricanes. But, unlike a lot of modern movies, it was mostly shot with period-ish planes. A lot of the German aircraft were Spanish made after the war.
     
  16. Oct 3, 2019 #36

    Rik-

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    I used 100% straight Jet A for years in my Volkswagon Diesel Rabbit. Lasted me all though College
     
  17. Oct 3, 2019 #37

    Pops

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    And I worked for VW of America stamping plant making all the body parts for the U.S. Rabbit.
    In about 1985 or so we made a 100 aluminum body Rabbits .
     
  18. Oct 3, 2019 #38

    Rik-

    Rik-

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    I don’t know what that has to do with anything. They were a real POS of a car, got good fuel mileage and I didn’t care what happened to it when parked in San Francisco, which is a **** hole to park in.
     
  19. Oct 3, 2019 #39

    crkckr

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    I have no idea how much actual difference there is between Jet A and diesel fuel, nor how long it would take to damage an engine. You couldn't run it in anything that has to have an inspection, since it won't pass due to the higher Jet A sulfer content. I do know diesel has lubricity additives that Jet A does not, plus Jet A has things like anti-microbial additives and anti-icing additives that probably do nothing for your diesel engine. Diesel is also slightly heavier than Jet A, although I don't know the exact differences and, it has a few more BTU's per gallon. Rik, if you ran your Rabbit on Jet A that long I'd say you were probably lucky... or the thing leaked enough engine oil into the fuel to keep it going. Rabbits leaked everything into everything else! I drove my buddies Rabbit (no Jet A in this one) from Tucson to Las Vegas and literally had it floored the entire time, just trying to keep up with the heavier trucks - but not succeeding very well! We got there, which is what counts. If nothing else the thing kept running and running!
    Cheers,
    crkckr
     
  20. Oct 3, 2019 #40

    Pops

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    Never mind, just thought you might want to know there are people on this site that help build the car you drove. But I was wrong, you will now go on the totally ignore list, not many on this list on this site, a lot of nice people.
     

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