BRECOFLEX ATK timing belts flying high with new Airbus A380
The world’s largest passenger airliner, the Airbus A380, completed its maiden flight in April 2005 and is set to revolutionise air travel when it enters service next year. To ensure fast and efficient catering supply on the twin deck, four aisle jet, a new trolley lift system has been developed which includes self-tracking BRECOFLEX ATK 10 K6 timing belts and pulleys from MULCO, Europe’s leading group in the field of polyurethane timing belt technology represented in the UK by Transmission Developments.
The Airbus A380 will carry 550 passengers who need to be provided with everything they require on long haul flights. The lift system is used to transport catering trolleys from the lower on-board kitchens to the higher passenger decks saving valuable space on the aircraft. The rigorous design criteria included exceptional reliability and minimal maintenance within its lightweight construction and although the design resembles a passenger lift, highly sophisticated engineering was required to ensure that the specification was achieved. A one and a half year extended life test involved moving a 240 kilo load more than one million times over a vertical distance of 2.94 metres in just under ten seconds per cycle. Under flight conditions the trolley lift system is subjected to mechanical forces of up to eight times the force of gravity.
The BRECOFLEX®PU timing belt was the first choice as a power transmission system because it meets the demanding technical specifications for materials used in aircraft construction and features virtually noiseless running, exceptional wear resistance and excellent dimensional stability. Minimal maintenance is extremely important as the lifts in the A380 are totally enclosed within the passenger areas and access is difficult. The nylon tooth facing on the PU timing belt contributes to its extremely quiet running characteristics and high wear resistance.
The complete lift system weighs just 60 kilos with the main aluminium column built in two half-shells supporting the pulleys which run in high grade bearings. The BRECOFLEX ATK 10 K6 timing belt drives the platform for the trolley and the redundantly designed system includes high-torque electric motor drives with braking and safety devices to prevent the free fall of the heavy trolley in the event of a malfunction. The overall design of the lift system exemplifies space and weight saving techniques for aircraft construction.
The BRECOFLEX ATK 10 K6 endless timing belt features a central V-guide for guaranteed self- tracking and is part of a full range of BRECOFLEX® POWER, longitudinally extruded polyurethane timing belts with continuous helical tension members with ‘S+Z’ twist to reduce belt run-off and heavy side loads on flanges. Available in metric pitches of AT5 to AT20 and imperial pitches of XL, L, H and XH, the range features reduced noise, minimal elongation and extremely high wear resistance with belt speeds up to 80m/sec and efficiency to 98%