A tough one to get through

Alcoa Aerospace and Aviation Equipment have developed the ‘Fortress’, a new door designed to prevent unauthorised access to the cockpits of the world’s current commercial air fleet.

The reinforced and armoured door will provide levels of protection mandated by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) in response to the September terrorist attacks on the US while also offering global airlines fast and efficient retrofit installation.

Structural design engineers from the Engineering Design Centre at the Alcoa Technical Centre (near Pittsburgh, PA) evaluated several concepts and selected the Fortress design for FAA certification testing. The Fortress cockpit door uses Alcoa 2519 ballistic aluminium armour in conjunction with composite armour laminates.

FAA certification is now in process.

The Fortress design is able to accommodate most aircraft models. The tamper-proof door is furnished as a complete kit, including attachment hardware, and can be installed in four hours or less – allowing for overnight installation.

A security camera, with tamper alarm for monitoring from the cockpit, is also available. A single-point door release is reachable by both pilots from inside the cockpit. Only security coded access is available from the passenger side of the cabin.

Upper and lower blow out panels allow for air pressure equalisation in both directions should rapid decompression occur. The panels automatically re-latch after pressure is balanced.

Only slightly heavier than conventional, non-reinforced doors, the Fortress door weighs 5.5 pounds per square foot.

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