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Messier-Bugatti to Supply Composite Brakes for A400M

  • Friday, 4th February 2005
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  • Reading time: about 2 minutes

EADS-CASA has selected the Snecma group company Messier-Bugatti, to be the sole supplier of wheels and brakes for Europe’s new Airbus A400M military transport.

Since EADS-CASA selected a single company to develop the wheels and brakes for the A400M, Messier-Bugatti will equip all 180 aircraft ordered to date.

The brakes will be made from Sepcarb III OR (Oxidation Resistant), a carbon composite which was chosen for its endurance as well as resistance to oxidation. They are expected to provide at least 1,000 “landings per overhaul” (LPO), which means a service life of 3.7 years for each heat pack.

The A400M has two nose wheels and 12 braked wheels. Because of the large number of wheels, coupled with low-pressure tires, the plane will be able to use damaged or unprepared runways. In addition, the A400M has to be able to land in a very short distance, about 550 meters, which means a deceleration force of up to 0.50 g, versus an average of 0.30 for a commercial jet.

For the first time, Messier-Bugatti will develop a 17 inch brake comprising six actuators and three rotors to meet the aircraft manufacturer’s specification. This optimized layout means that the wheel/brake assembly will fit into the tight space available, while meeting operating requirements.

The A400M is slated to make its first flight in November 2007, with certification following in June 2009.


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