The carbon brake gains ground
Last June 22nd, Pegasus Airlines signed a contract with Messier-Bugatti-Dowty (Safran group) for the replacement of the steel brakes on its Boeing 737 Next-Generation aircraft with carbon brakes. A profitable investment in more than one way for the transporter based in Istanbul.
According to Jean-Luc Noirjean, Director of Programs for the Wheels and Brakes division of Messier-Bugatti-Dowty, "Our carbon brakes contribute to a substantial decrease in mass. This decrease represents around 300 kg for the Boeing 737-600 and -700 aircraft, and around 350 kg for the -800 and -900, resulting in lower consumption and reduced CO2 emissions of approximately one hundred tons per aircraft per year." That which is good for the planet is also good for the airline since the fuel savings made have an estimated value of around 40,000 dollars per aircraft per year. Furthermore, the cooling capacity of the wheel-brake assembly makes it possible to guarantee very short layover periods, in accordance with the most drastic operational requirements. The carbon brake is also characterized by an endurance potential of 2,200 cycles, i.e. about twice that of its steel counterpart.
Seducing the low-cost market
"The airlines have confirmed a technological transition, which Messier-Bugatti-Dowty has always supported," notes Jean-Luc Noirjean. "We ushered in this technology with the Mirage 2000, before importing it into commercial aviation as early as 1984, by equipping the Airbus A300 and A310. From that point on, we left steel brakes behind to commit all our resources to carbon brakes." This bold policy was recognized on the other side of the Atlantic with, successively, the Boeing 767, C-17 and 777LR becoming equipped. Then, in 2005, Boeing took the leap and also agreed to equip its best-seller: the Boeing 737NG. "Today, we are the global leader in carbon brakes and the installation of this equipment on new Boeing 737 aircraft, or retrofitted to existing aircraft, opens up a considerable market for us", sums up Jean-Luc Noirjean. By mid-2011, 117 aircraft had already been equipped with Safran brakes and ongoing contracts involve equipping 500 additional aircraft – now increased by the 47 Boeing aircraft of the Pegasus Airlines fleet. "By taking this step, Pegasus Airlines is clearly leading the way in the field of low-cost aviation", concludes Jean-Luc Noirjean.