When a commercial plane lands, and the rubber hits the tarmac, the brakes are really put to the test. To cut this time in half, Technofan, a Safran group subsidiary, has supplied Brake Cooling Fans to airlines for over 30 years. Referred to as "B.C.F.'s", they form an integral part of the aircraft's wheel hubs, and are activated by the pilot.
Eric Jennequin, Engineer - Technofan : "Within the wheel rim or hub, there is a motor which turns this fan, and which extracts the interior hot air to the exterior. The B.C.F., therefore, only works on the ground. This is done, not only to reduce the brake temperatures, but also to reduce the aircraft turn-around time on the ground."
To take-off again, the temperature of the brakes should be less than 300°C., a safety limit set by the aircraft manufacturer. With this fan, the temperature drops 200°C in thirty minutes. On average an airline will gain an hour and a quarter, per 'plane, additional commercial activity daily. A considerable time-saving for carriers that focus on the relatively short turn-around time of their aircraft…
Today, for example, although optional, four of these B.C.F.'s, per 'plane, are used on 90% of Airbus' short-hauls. Widebodies have less need however, due to a normally longer aircraft ground handling time between flights. Qatar Airways and Singapore Airlines have, nevertheless, opted for the these fans on their future A-350 long-haul's. Last year, Technofan produced 10,000 units.