The University of Sheffield

'Fly-Bag' could shield airplanes from bombs

Last month, undercover agents with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security smuggled mock explosives and banned weapons past airport security checkpoints 67 out of 70 times. Now, scientists have found a new way to protect passengers—not by beefing up airport security, but by protecting the plane itself, NBC News reports. Researchers say they have created the Fly-Bag, which lines an aircraft’s luggage hold with multiple layers of bomb-proof fabrics. They conducted tests on a Boeing 787 and an Airbus 321, detonating and successfully containing bombs akin to the ones in the 1988 Lockerbie bombing. The team says the bag acts as a membrane rather than a rigid-walled container, increasing its resilience against explosions. Such devices could be adapted for use in the airplane cabin as well, the scientists say.

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