Can’t stand the heat?

23 July 2009

A hired infrared camera from Ashtead Technology was used during research trials on aircraft landing gear at Cambridge Airport. A Flir P620 ThermaCam on a short-term hire was used by Marshall Aerospace to assess landing gear brake disc and tyre temperatures.

Tyrebrake on aircraft
Tyrebrake on aircraft

Without the deployment of hand-held thermal imaging equipment, thermal instrumentation would have had to be installed onto the under-carriage of the aircraft which would be both costly and time consuming. Alternative methods involving temperatures being taken by hand are too dangerous due to the risk of tyre explosion.

The trial sessions involved the aircraft carrying out an abortive take-off on the runway having reached speeds of up to 100 knots.

After each session, the P620 camera enabled engineers to take images showing pinpoint temperature levels from as far as 65 ft away, thereby improving both the safety and efficiency of the trial.

Jon Gorman, principal flight dynamics engineer at Marshall Aerospace, said: “The trials in which we used the Flir P620 ThermaCAM for thermal imaging of the aircraft’s key components worked extremely well. The entire trial process went seamlessly, from assessing temperatures directly after the taxi run, through to easily identifying when the brakes and tyres were at a suitable temperature for trials to resume.

“These factors allowed for an efficient, safer and more cost-effective project.”

Ashtead’s general manager James Carlyle said: “The P620 is capable of recording temperatures of up to 500°C in its standard setting, but this can be increased to 2,000°C which provides the flexibility required in an application such as the monitoring of landing gear."

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