An innovative aircraft braking system that promises significant improvements in runway efficiency is to go into service on the first Air France A380 next year.
Called Brake to Vacate (BTV), this system is in the final phase of evaluations on an Airbus development aircraft in Toulouse after undergoing extensive testing on the A380 landing gear test rig at Filton, England. Orders already have been placed for the system, which is set to have major benefits in terms of cost, efficiency, passenger comfort, turn-around time and safety.
Airports with heavy traffic levels are constantly striving to increase capacity by reducing the time aircraft spend on the runway after their landing touchdown. Brake to Vacate has been designed to optimise braking efficiency and runway turn-around time, improving the traffic flow so dramatically that airports could expect to see a capacity increase of approximately 15 per cent.
The BTV technology allows pilots to select the appropriate runway exit during the approach to landing. It also regulates the aircraftâ€™s deceleration after touchdown, enabling it to reach any chosen exit at the correct speed under the optimum conditions - no matter the weather and visibility.
BTV was designed by a multidisciplinary team that brings together expertise from the areas of flight controls, landing gear, flight warning systems, onboard air navigation, flight management and flight test.