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9 November 2007
Brake optimisation promises airline industry cost savings
Airlines visiting MRO Europe are being informed how to optimise their aircraft brake wear to generate significant cost savings and to see even greater financial benefits from the use of carbon pads.

Dunlop Aerospace Braking Systems says that by following simple guidelines airlines can reduce their consumption of brake pads. This will not only save on the cost of spare brakes and labour, but also the potential loss of revenue while the aircraft is being maintained.

Whereas heavier steel brakes suffer most wear during the actual landing stop, carbon pads are affected most during aircraft taxiing, particularly when they are cold.

Meggitt's Dunlop Aerospace Braking Systems, which has pioneered the development of carbon brakes for civil and military aviation, is using MRO Europe to highlight some of the simple ways that airlines can improve the 'on wing' life of their brakes.

The company advises pilots to avoid riding the brakes, to reduce the number of brake applications during taxi, and to anticipate traffic density and speed while taxiing to keep braking requirements to a minimum.

Dunlop Aerospace Braking Systems also advises operators to minimise steering of the aircraft using the brakes and, while more difficult, to avoid inching the aircraft forward while holding against the engines. Airlines should also try to save carbon brakes from oxidation by protecting them from de-icers and aircraft cleaning agents.

By following these recommendations, the life of carbon brakes can be extended. However, Dunlop Aerospace Braking Systems recognises that in case of a conflict with the aircraft pilot operating handbook, company instructions or good airmanship, these later regulations take precedent.

"In today's highly competitive marketplace airlines are looking to streamline costs and create efficiencies throughout their businesses," said Ben van Sleeuwen, head of aftermarket business development, Dunlop Aerospace Braking Systems.

"We hope that our simple guidelines will help airlines generate some savings and help them to enjoy the benefits of lower wear rate and higher service life that carbon brakes provide."

Dunlop Aerospace is currently being merged with Aircraft Braking Systems Corporation (ABSC) to create Meggitt Aircraft Braking Systems

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