Boarding Cargo hold Cockpit Automatic guidance Surveillance Surveillance Air marshals Weapons Depressurisation Boarding Cargo hold Cockpit Automatic guidance Surveillance Surveillance Air marshals Weapons Depressurisation
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2: Cargo hold

Planes belonging to the Israeli airline El Al are thought to have blast-resistant cargo holds.

Following the Lockerbie bombing in 1988 when a few ounces of Semtex hidden in a radio-cassette player exploded and brought down a Boeing 747, researchers pushed ahead with trying to "harden" aircraft against bomb attacks.

Two methods of suppressing the blast in a cargo hold were tested on a fully pressurised 747 in 1997. Both tests on armoured luggage containers and padded walls to channel the blast were deemed to be successful even though the explosions appeared to severely damage the aircraft.

Effectiveness depends on the size of a bomb. Much effort has been put into building devices which can see or even "smell" explosives before they reach the plane's luggage bay.

Heavier, protective holds inevitably mean greater costs as the airline has to carry more fuel and/or fewer passengers.

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