Lonely Planet Writer

Scientists develop 'bomb bag' to stop explosions onboard planes

A group of scientists have developed a bag that can contain an explosion in plane cargo. The Fly-bag, developed by a group from the University of Sheffield and partners around the EU, is a bomb-proof soft lining bag that can be used to stop the explosion of a bomb in the event one is smuggled aboard a plane.

Egyptian Military on cars approach a plane's tail at the wreckage of a passenger jet bound for St. Petersburg in Russia that crashed in Hassana, Egypt, on Sunday, Nov. 1, 2015.
Egyptian Military on cars approach a plane’s tail at the wreckage of a passenger jet bound for St. Petersburg in Russia that crashed in Hassana, Egypt. Image by (Maxim Grigoriev/Russian Ministry for Emergency Situations via AP)

Researchers put a bomb in a suitcase then put it inside the Fly-bag and when it exploded, the bag was not torn. The bag is made with a heat-resistant and very strong fibre that is used in the aerospace industry, reports the International Business Times, and is designed to absorb shock and shrapnel. The bags were initially tested in a lab, but were then brought to test in the cargo-holds of a Boeing 747 and an Airbus 321, where the bags were able to contain the explosion.

Fears of explosive devices being brought onto on planes has renewed since a Russian plane carrying tourists out of the Egyptian resort of Sharm el Sheikh crashed on 31 October, killing 224 people. The terrorist group Isis claimed responsibility, saying the plane was brought down with an improvised explosive made from a pop can. Russia has suspended all flights into Egypt, greatly impacting tourism to the country. However, Egypt’s chief investigator into the incident said this week that the preliminary inquiry into the crashed found no evidence of an illegal or terrorist act.

Watch a video explaining the Fly-bag here.