PHOTOS: All-electric braking system tested on Bombardier Global 5000 flying testbed

A Bombardier testbed aircraft equipped entirely with an all-electric braking system has executed its first flight. Bombardier’s Global 5000 flying testbed aircraft was modified by removing its hydraulically actuated brake-by-wire control system and replacing it with Meggitt’s EBrake suite.

Check out the full story here. Key info from my conversation with Bombardier:

Although the manufacturer used the Global 5000 for the test, it does not plan to equip its business jets with an all-electric braking system. Rather, Bombardier believes the technology is more applicable to commercial aircraft, says a spokesman for the company.

Bombardier has said it intends to use electric brakes on its 110/130-seat CSeries aircraft. However, it has not confirmed if it will choose Meggitt’s system, notes the spokesman.


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5 Responses to PHOTOS: All-electric braking system tested on Bombardier Global 5000 flying testbed

  1. Bob October 28, 2008 at 12:53 pm #

    My only concern would be temperature extremes. How will electrical actuators hold up in extreme heat conditions as when new aircraft are tested at maximum take-off weight and around a V2 rejected take-off with brakes only, then be able to taxi for 5 minutes afterward without the aircraft catching fire? 3000 degrees centigrade is pretty hot.

    For all I know, they may be fine and a good alternative to messy hydraulic leaks when they occur.

    I hate when that happens!

  2. Mary Kirby October 29, 2008 at 1:44 pm #

    Hey Bob, I put your question to Bombardier Aerospace director strategic technology and senior engineering advisor Fassi Kafyeke, who I just interviewed for a Flight article about the test (which runs next week). Kafyeke noted that Meggitt has done maximum kinetic brakes testing at its facilities and that’s why Bombardier felt confident it was ready and safe for flight testing. But he notes that flight testing has just begun and that Bombardier is going through an extensive programme.

  3. Mary Kirby October 30, 2008 at 8:09 am #

    Okey doke, I talked to Meggitt Aircraft Braking Systems president Ken Schwartz and here’s what he says to that.

    “The EBrake performance in terms of its stopping temperature will be very comparable to hydraulic brakes. Having electrical circuitry as compared to hydraulic lines filled with potentially flammable hydraulic fluid which can leak reduces the risk of fire to the aircraft and is the primary reason why we believe the EBrake is a safer brake to operate.”

  4. Bob October 30, 2008 at 3:59 pm #

    Thanks Mary! Ok, I guess they have me there.

    Although MIL-H-83282 synthetic hydrocarbon fluid has a higher flash point, is also fire retardent and will extinguish itself once the heat source is removed,(as long as it is not mixed with more than 5% of MIL-H-5606 fluid), the higher melting point wiring made of Nichrome would have an advantage IF that’s what they are using. I have seen electric actuators fail faster than hydraulic actuators in high heat areas,, hence my concern.

    You know I’m a hydraulic guy Mary, I still like my oil, (I know where you will go with that so just stop right now!). I hope they get those brakes to work as it is a good alternative to carrying hydraulic fluid and hydraulic equipment which is very heavy.

  5. Mary Kirby October 30, 2008 at 5:35 pm #

    It’s like you can read my mind, Bob! Seriously, though, thanks for your continued contribution to this blog. It helps me, help you, help me :)