HC Deb 30 April 1919 vol 115 c149

asked the Under-Secretary of State to the Air Ministry whether his attention has been called to the burning of the Paris-Bordeaux postal aeroplane on the 7th instant; and whether he will cause experiments to be made with a view to the utilisation of more steel and less inflammable materials in the construction of civilian aircraft?

Mr. PRATT (Lord of the Treasury)

I am not aware of the actual cause of the accident referred to, but in the great majority of such cases five is caused primarily by petrol. The substitution of metal for framework and fabric would reduce only slightly the risk of fire or the probability of injury to personnel. Experiments on the lines suggested are actually being made, but till further knowledge is obtained—and this will take some time—I do not anticipate that it will be practicable to employ metal extensively in aircraft construction. The risk of fire from petrol is being reduced in English aeroplanes by various improvements which are being introduced.