Safran unveils electric nose landing gear actuator
Farnborough International Airshow, July 20, 2022
Safran Landing Systems, the world leader in landing and braking systems, has developed a pioneering electric nose wheel steering and extension/retraction system for tomorrow’s narrowbody and widebody commercial jets.
Nose wheel steering and extension/retraction actuators are currently powered by an aircraft’s hydraulic system via a complex and bulky network of pipes. By connecting to the aircraft’s electrical system, Safran Landing Systems’ new electro-hydrostatic actuators (EHA) will drive these functions using hydraulic power generated locally at the front of the aircraft by an electric motor-pump.
The new system offers a host of advantages for aircraft manufacturers and airlines. First, it retains the unrivaled actuation power of hydraulics while contributing to aircraft electrification, thereby optimizing power consumption. It also simplifies aircraft architecture and reduces weight. In addition, it’s a plug & play system to facilitate installation and accessibility for maintenance. Safran Landing Systems’ modular EHA system can also be adapted to planemakers’ varying needs, in terms of both aircraft architecture and system interfaces.
This latest innovation was developed in partnership with Safran Electronics & Defense, which supplied the EHA’s control electronics, and Safran Electrical & Power, which supplied its power electronics and wiring harnesses.
The steering and extension/retraction system tests were conducted on one of Safran Landing Systems’ new test rigs, developed through the DELTA electric nose gear demonstrator project. In particular, the extension/retraction function was tested on a platform combining cobotics (collaborative robotics) and data processing, using an integrated wheel bay and simulated flight conditions such as aerodynamic loads on the bay doors and landing gear plus extreme temperatures.
Walid Hamzeh, Executive Vice President, Strategic Development at Safran Landing Systems, said: “We are proud to offer the first electric nose landing gear system, which will enable our customers to reduce their operating and maintenance costs. It joins our roster of aircraft electrification systems, including of course our electric taxiing solution, which we continue to refine. These two systems clearly reflect Safran’s low-carbon commitments and ongoing R&D to support the emergence of carbon-neutral commercial aviation by 2050. And they are taking us one step closer to the aircraft of the future.”
The “e-taxi” system being developed by Safran Landing Systems will drastically reduce emissions from airplane ground movements – by 61% for CO2 and 51% for oxides of nitrogen (NOx) – while also cutting fuel consumption per flight by up to 4%.
Safran is an international high-technology group operating in the aviation (propulsion, equipment and interiors), space and defense markets. Its core purpose is to contribute to a safer, more sustainable world where air transport is more environmentally friendly, comfortable and accessible. Safran has a global presence, with 76,800 employees and sales of 15.3 billion euros in 2021 and holds, alone or in partnership, world or regional leadership positions in its core markets. Safran is listed on the Euronext Paris stock exchange and is part of the CAC 40 and Euro Stoxx 50 indices.
Safran Landing Systems is the world leader in aircraft landing and braking systems. Its expertise covers the entire lifecycle of its products, from design and manufacturing to maintenance and repair. The company has partnerships with more than 25 airframers in civil, regional, commercial and military transport, supporting more than 32,000 aircraft and making over 80,000 landings every day.
- © Safran
- © Florent Dauphin / Safran