Fellow Builders,

I can not find any information on insulating the firewall to protect in case of a problem. Is it not normal to insulate the firewall? I have found a lot of information on Van's forums. Is this something I even need to be concerned with?

Thanks in advance,


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I have spent hours and hours on Vans forum. I've learned a lot there and incoporated many of the ideas in my build.

At one point I had some comments on my build that maybe I was "overdoing" some things. Such as maybe some things might be of concern in an aerobatic aircraft but not necessarily required for a 601.

This was not meant as a criticism but just for my consideration.

In the end, I am happy with my build. Perhaps some of my decisions were a little more than necessary. However, when my wife climbs in the plane with me I feel I made the right decisions for me.

I did not insulate the firewall but might have if i had the knowledge before i started my fwf.

Can you have an engine fire that can put you at risk? Certainly. Would insulating the firewall as the Vans forum testing has shown increase your chance of survival? I think its been demonstrated that it would.

In the end it comes down to your build considerations, money, time and your perspective on risk.

I think insulating with a foil-backed fiberfrax blanket is a good idea.  Obviously, it delays the ingress of flames and fumes and might give you a few more seconds to either get on the ground or get out of the plane in the case of an engine fire.  It is much more effective if attention has been paid to properly penetrating and sealing the firewall where cables and wiring pass through - no rubber grommets that's just burn or melt and leave big holes for fire!  For even more protection, 3M makes a "Firestop" sealant that can be applied around the edges of the insulation and to seal slits or seams.

There are secondary benefits, too.  The foil-backed insulating blanket will reduce heat radiating from the firewall into the cabin and it will provide some acoustic insulation, also.  It doesn't weigh that much and could be at least partially retrofitted to some areas of the firewall if not done initially during the build.  



I plan to insulate the fire wall, floor and sides for noise reduction and to stop heat transfer. Fairly easy if planning ahead..fireproof materials on FW and floor, heat resistant on  sides.

If fire, the several minutes of your feet not burning will be helpful!

Thanks for the replies. Decision forthcoming!

Just curious. Has anyone ever installed a Halon Bottle with a nozzle through the firewall??

Interesting idea but I'm not sure it would work.  Halon works by eliminating the oxygen (as in a room), with fresh air continuing to come in through the air intakes I don't think it would be able to accomplish its task

That's what I thought, too, Don.  If the plane was static/not in motion and the prop stopped,  i.e. a post-crash or post-landing fire, then a simple nozzle might help quite a bit.  However, if the plane or prop are in-motion, the fresh air would likely dilute and overwhelm the effectiveness of Halon unless one had multiple nozzles and a large volume of Halon.


I recently added sound/heat barrier to my firewall.  It was originally painted which was a big mistake.  First the paint would not stick and in case of a fire would just act as fuel.  Added about four pounds was the only drawback.  Reduces both sound and heat.  Seals over any penetrations like bolts.  So far I am happy with it.


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